By Eddie Wrenn
PUBLISHED: 09:39 EST, 15 June 2012 | UPDATED: 11:15 EST, 15 June 2012
America, and much of the world, had a rather toasty May – it was the hottest since records began back in 1880.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in its monthly report on temperatures, shows the combined land and sea temperature for May 2012 was 0.66C above the average for the last century, which stands at 14.8C.
Although this figure is not reflected across all of the world, with Australia having its fifth coolest May since records began for the continent in the late 1940s.
So far, 2012 has been the hottest year on record for the United States, with temperatures five degrees above normal across the country.
However the May record-breaker was not that long ago – May 2010 is the hottest on record.
In America, Between March and May the average temperature was 57 degrees – two degrees hotter than the previous record set in 1910, and 29 states east of the Rocky Mountains have had the hottest five months this year since the NOAA began keeping track.
Another 14 states have experienced temperatures that are among the top ten hottest in the books.
All the high temperatures, combined with a pair of unseasonably early tropical storms in the southeast, have made 2012 the most volatile year on record, as well.
NOAA’s Climate Extremes Indicator, a tool government forecasters use to measure how far from normal the weather is, was the highest it’s ever been.
The last 12 months, counting from June 2011, also set heat records.
Most of the US was also drier than average this spring, with part of the Northeast experiencing drought conditions – rare for for season.
This was likely due in part to the scant snowfall that fell throughout the winter. Spring snow-cover was one of the sparsest on record.
The lack of rainfall in New Mexico is being blamed for the massive wildfire that ravaged Gila National Forest. It was the largest blaze in the state’s history.