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Top Ten States with Greatest Percentage of Locations with Record-Breaking Heat: TN, WI, MN, IL, IN, NV, WV, ME, CO, MD
NEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --In 2012, there were at least 3,527 monthly weather records for heat, rain and snow broken by extreme weather events that hit communities throughout the U.S., according to an updated interactive extreme weather mapping tool and year-end review released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The 2012 tally exceeds the 3,251 records smashed in 2011 and catalogues these record-breaking extreme events in all 50 states.
New this year, the interactive map at www.nrdc.org/extremeweather also ranks all 50 states for the percentage of weather stations reporting at least one monthly heat record broken in 2012. The ten states showing the highest percentage with new heat records are: Tennessee (36%), Wisconsin (31%), Minnesota (30%), Illinois (29%), Indiana (28%), Nevada (27%), West Virginia (26%), Maine (26%), Colorado (25%), and Maryland (24%). Especially hard-hit regions include the Upper Midwest, Northeast, northern Great Plains, and Rocky Mountain states.
"2012's unparalleled record-setting heat demonstrates what climate change looks like," said Kim Knowlton, NRDC Senior Scientist. "This extreme weather has awoken communities across the country to the need for preparedness and protection. We know how to reduce local risks, improve our lives and create more resilient communities. Now our leaders must act."
Because these monthly weather records compete against prior records set over at least the last 30 years at each location, the 3,527 monthly records-broken highlight notable patterns of extreme weather in the U.S. And in fact, from 1980 through 2011, the frequency of weather-related extreme events in North America nearly quintupled, rising more rapidly than anywhere else in the world, according to international insurance giant MunichRe.
In 2012, Americans experienced the hottest March on record in the contiguous U.S., and July was the hottest single month ever recorded in the lower 48 states. As a whole, 2012 was the warmest year ever recorded in the U.S., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) State of the Climate report released last week. NOAA has also estimated that 2012 will surpass 2011 in aggregate costs for U.S. annual billion-dollar disasters, and MunichRe also recently revealed that in 2012, more than 90 percent of the world's insured disaster costs occurred in the U.S.
Some of 2012's most significant weather disasters include:
There are proactive steps government decision-makers can take to minimize the impact on communities increasingly vulnerable to climate change. NRDC encourages all states to undertake the following key actions to protect public health:
For more information about 2012's record-breaking extreme weather events, see:
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Livingston, Montana, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.
SOURCE Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington, D.C.