Winter was record warm for the contiguous U.S.

Alaska experienced its second warmest winter on record
March 8, 2016
US Winter mean temperature departure from average, Dec. 2015 to Feb. 2016

A strong El Niño helped fuel a warm and wet winter for the United States.  The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during winter (December – February) was 4.6°F above the 20th century average, a new record, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.  Alaska had its second warmest winter on record.  The winter precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 1.26 inches above the 20th century average, ranking as the 12th wettest winter on record for the Lower 48 states and the wettest since 1997/1998.

The February average temperature for the Lower 48 states was 5.7°F above the 20th century average, which ranks as the seventh warmest February on record. The February precipitation total was 0.20 inch below average, ranking near the middle of the 122-year period of record.

More: Find NOAA’s reports and download images by visiting the NCEI website.