Yes, it was warm in 2012.
Last year broke the record as the warmest in both Akron and Cleveland, according to the National Weather Service.
For the year, the average temperature as measured at the Akron-Canton Regional Airport was 3.8 degrees warmer than normal and broke a record that stood since 1931. There were 26 days in which the thermometer hit 90 degrees or higher.
In Cleveland, the average temperature was slightly warmer — 4 degrees above normal — breaking the previous record set in 1998.
The weather service maintains data back to 1887 for Akron and 1871 for Cleveland.
Elsewhere in Ohio, Mansfield recorded its third-warmest, Toledo its fifth-warmest and Youngstown the sixth-warmest.
The nation also may be on track to set a record. The National Climatic Data Center has reported that the first 11 months of 2012 were “the warmest first 11 months of any year on record for the contiguous United States.” Spokeswoman Katy Vincent said the agency will release its 2012 national climate report Tuesday.
After a mild January and February in Northeast Ohio — the coldest was zero on Jan. 20 at Akron-Canton — it was March that really pushed the mercury. The month that ushers in spring was 13.5 degrees above normal in the Akron-Canton area for an average 51.1 degrees. Cleveland was about the same: 13 degrees above normal for an average temperature of 51.4 degrees.
There were only two months in 2012 in which Akron-Canton recorded temperatures that were cooler than normal — September, 0.3 degree below, and November, 2 degrees cooler. Cleveland had three months that were cooler than normal: September, off 2.2 degrees; October, off 0.8 degree; and November, down 3.6 degrees.
The warmer temperatures coupled with below-normal precipitation weren’t a good mix. Kristen Yeager, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Cleveland, said a high-pressure pattern dominated the region’s weather, resulting in fewer clouds and little rain.
“Because there were little clouds and little rain we were able to heat up more quickly than with clouds present,” she said.
It wasn’t until fall, she said, that weather began to moderate, with more rain and clouds, helping to return temperatures closer to normal.
Jim Carney can be reached at 330-996-3576 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.