The increasing influence of global warming has already been seen in the early months of the year 2012. Record breaking temperatures have been seen across the United States in a year meant to be marked with La Nina cooling influences. Due to the already record breaking year, forecasters believe the U.S. is in for a sweltering summer.
In the month of March, more than 15,000 temperature records were broken across the country, with a relative balance between day and night temperatures breaking records. March 2012 is now the warmest March ever on record dating back to 1895. April of this year was the fifth warmest ever recorded globally but third warmest in the U.S.. Overall, May 2011 through April 2012 has been officially recorded as the warmest twelve month period ever on record.
Now with the continuing warmth, forecasters believe that is likely that the coming summer months will continue to break records, likely records for the warmest twelve month period as well. In addition to sweltering heat, droughts and wildfires are an increased concern this summer. It is especially concerning due to limited moisture from the La Nina conditions and the reduced snow cover. Weather across the U.S. has left snow cover at the fourth lowest levels since records began forty-six years ago as of this month.
The U.S. Climate Prediction Center recently reported their expectations for the months of June through August across the U.S.. The center has determined that the Southwest U.S. is to expect above average temperatures, the area likely to be hardest hit this summer. However, a majority of the U.S. is predicted to endure above average conditions, with only the very northern areas excluded for now. The western and southern regions of the U.S. overall are expected to be hit with high temperatures.
The center indicated that due to wildfires already in progress in numerous locations in the U.S., including Arizona and Colorado, wildfires are a major concern. The wildfire season began earlier than usual this year and is not expected to abate at any time due to dry and drought conditions in many places, offering fires large levels of burnable materials.