The Summer Olympics may be a few months away, but the climate in the U.S. is already breaking records. The National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration reported that 2012 took the gold for the warmest March ever recorded, while April earned a bronze for third-warmest average national temperature ever recorded in that month. With the hottest months coming up, perhaps the U.S. has more climate records to break.

ANALYSIS: Forty-one Percent of U.S. Abnormally Dry

The year without winter may have been the opening ceremony for the hottest year on record for the contiguous United States if the first third of 2012 passes the torch on to May. NOAA's State of the Climate National Overview showed that January to April had a national average high temperature of 45.4 degrees Fahrenheit, the warmest ever recorded. That’s 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit above the long-term average.

Forty-three states had temperatures ranking in the top 10 for warmth for the first third of the year, 26 of those states had the warmest ever.

Watersports-wise 2012 has been a mixed bag. The West Coast, Appalachians, Pacific Northwest and Northern and Central Plains have been getting either soaked or snowed in. The South, Northeast and parts of the Midwest, on the other hand, have been going thirsty.

ANALYSIS: Climate Change Loads Disaster Dice

As far as devastation goes, 2012 lags behind 2011’s decathlon of destruction. The 228 tornadoes reported this year are above average, but pale in comparison to the misery wrought by the 750 tornadoes that ravaged the South in 2011.


Top image: Significant weather events of 2012. Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Bottom image: 1988 Seoul Olympics Commemorative $5 Reverse. Credit: United States Mint, Wikimedia Commons.