BOULDER, Colo., Dec. 8 (UPI) -- November was the second warmest November on record in the United States, according to a new report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The warm November made this year's autumn, defined by NOAA as the months of October and November, the warmest autumn on record. The average temperature during the two months was 57.6 degrees Fahrenheit, 4.1 degrees warmer than the 20th century average.
Almost the entire country was warmer than usual during October and November, but the upper Midwest -- including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan -- was especially so.
The latest data sets the stage for a potentially record-breaking year in the United States. As of now, average temperature during the course of 2016 stands at 56.9 degrees Fahrenheit, the second-highest value on record. The current record, 57 degrees, was set in 2012.
The U.S. may or may not set an all-time record in 2016, but the global record is a foregone conclusion.
Precipitation in November was more of a mixed bag, but increasingly extreme conditions are the norm. Record-breaking drought conditions continued in much of the South and Southeast, while the Pacific Northwest was drenched with rain.
A comprehensive overview of monthly and yearly temperature and precipitation totals, as well as data on wildfire and storm activity, can be found on the website of NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information.