July 2012 Officially the Hottest Month on Record for Lower 48

Aug 8, 2012 at 12:32 pm
I want to kick this guy right in his fireballs.
I want to kick this guy right in his fireballs.
That life-wrecking July we just survived has already been certified the hottest, nastiest month on record for St. Louis. Today, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed that July was a ballbreaker all over the contiguous United States. With an average national temperature of 77.6 degrees Fahrenheit, July 2012 is now the hottest month America has experienced since 1895 (the year records first were kept).

But wait, it gets worse. The past 12 months have also been the hottest on record for the country. I don't want to offend anybody's deeply-felt convictions by mentioning global warming, so I'll just say "schmobal schwarming?" and tilt my head to the side like an inquisitive dog.
The NOAA scientists have compiled an interesting graph of recorded temperature extremes for the US at their website, which is pasted below (and visible in a larger format here).

The five hottest years (1998, 2006, 1934, 1999, 1921) are marked in orange, and the five coolest years are marked in blue (1917, 1912, 1895, 1924, 1903). You may notice that three of the five hottest years are of a rather recent vintage; none of the five coolest years are. In fact, we haven't seen a truly record cold year since 1924.