Record extreme weather events seen in 2012

Jan. 15, 2013 at 3:56 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- 2012 saw thousands of monthly weather records broken in communities throughout the United States, a year-end review of weather indicates.

An updated extreme weather mapping tool and year-end review released by the Natural Resources Defense Council has tallied record-breaking heat, rainfall and snow events and cataloged them by state.

Some 3,527 monthly weather records were broken in 2012, surpassing the 3,251 records smashed in 2011, an NRDC release said Tuesday.

Some of those newly broken records had stood for 30 years or more, the release said.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration has estimated 2012 will surpass 2011 in aggregate costs for U.S. annual billion-dollar disasters, due in large part to the destruction wrought by Superstorm Sandy and from the yearlong drought.

Sandy devastated states along the Atlantic seaboard, while summer brought the worst drought in 50 years across the country's breadbasket, with more than 1,300 U.S. counties across 29 states declared drought disaster areas.

The top 10 states reporting record-breaking weather events in 2012 were Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin, the NRDC said.

An interactive map of 2012's extreme events has been posted at http://www.nrdc.org/health/extremeweather/default.asp.

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