The average temperature of 51.1 degrees Fahrenheit was 8.6 degrees above the 20th century average for March and 0.5 degrees warmer than the previous warmest March in 1910, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration reported Monday.
The entire first quarter of 2012 also the warmest on record with an average temperature of 42.0 degrees, 6.0 degrees above the long-term average, NOAA said.
Since the U.S. climate record began in 1895, only one month, January 2006, has seen a larger departure from its average temperature than March 2012, it said.
A number of cities had a record warm January through March period, including Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C.
No state in the contiguous United States had below-average January through March temperatures, NOAA reported.
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