From NOAA Visualizations:
A drop in the jet stream sent temperatures across the United States plummeting over the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday weekend. The pronounced change in temperatures can be seen in this weather data from NOAA/NCEP’s Real-Time Mesoscale Analysis. Areas colored blue are below freezing. The diurnal cycle of heating and cooling can be seen over time, but the pattern is clear: much of the U.S. is pretty cold.
2012 is now the warmest year on record for the contiguous United States, according to the data gathered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center. 2012 had a record warm spring, second warmest summer, fourth warmest winter and a warmer-than-average autumn. The average temperature in 2012 was 55.3 °F, 1°F warmer than the previous warmest year, 1998.
2012 was also filled with extreme weather, making it the second most extreme year on record for the contiguous United States. Precipitation was almost 3 inches below average, making it the 15th driest year on record. 2012 had 11 disasters that reached beyond $1 billion in losses, including Hurricanes Sandy and Isaac, and the tornado outbreaks in the mid-west.
Learn more about climate records from 2012.
Image description: A satellite captured this image of Post-Tropical Sandy rolling inland on Tuesday, October 30 at 6:02 a.m. EDT. It lost its hurricane status on Monday and is now considered an extratropical cyclone.
Photo by NASA.
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Hurricane Sandy is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge flooding to the Mid-Atlantic coast, including Long Island Sound and the New York Harbor. Winds are expected to be near hurricane force at landfall.
If you’re in an area that will be impacted by the storm, follow the instructions from your state and local emergency management officials.
Make an Emergency Kit and Plan
If you haven’t done so already, put together a family emergency plan and emergency kit. Some of the items in a basic emergency kit include:
- one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation,
- at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food,
- battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio,
- flashlight and extra batteries, and
- First Aid kit.
Learn more about how to prepare for a hurricane.
Follow the Weather Forecast
The National Weather Service is the official source for weather information and severe weather watches and warnings. You can follow the forecast at Weather.gov or on their mobile site.