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Winter was warmer, wetter than average

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By USA Today
Monday, March 11, 2013, 7:36 p.m.
 

The winter of 2012-13 was warmer and wetter than average, according to data released on Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Meteorological winter is considered to be the months of December, January and February.

The average temperature for the contiguous United States during the winter season was 34.3 degrees, which is 1.9 degrees above the 20th-century average, marking the 20th-warmest winter on record, NOAA reported.

As for precipitation, while the Southeast and Upper Midwest were wetter than average, much of the West was quite dry, especially in January and February, contributing to below-average snowpack in the Sierra and Rockies.

“Drought conditions continued to plague much of the Great Plains and West,” according to NOAA.

So far this year, California is enduring its driest year on record. NOAA reports that San Francisco has recorded only 1.82 inches of rain, which is the fifth-driest January-February on record in the city.

National weather records go back to 1895.

Winter was warmer than average for every state east of the Rockies. The warmest states were along the East Coast. Florida, Delaware and Vermont each had one of their 10-warmest winters on record.

Conversely, the Southwest was cooler than average, while near-average winter temperatures were reported in the Northwest.

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