Break out the jorts and put away the turtlenecks, because the U.S. just ended the warmest 12-month period in its entire history, according to new numbers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Naturally, Texas was no exception. The state had its second hottest May to April ever, and twenty-two other states had their hottest years on record. Overall, the country was 2.8 degrees hotter than normal over the last twelve months.
The report also says that last month was the third warmest April on record for Texas, with an average temperature of over seventy degrees. And it was dry. NOAA says that “many stations reported only five percent of normal precipitation or less” in Texas. The state got an average rainfall total of only 1.39 inches for the month.
But despite a relatively dry April, drought conditions in Texas and the south improved overall, according to NOAA. The report says that ”the amount of extreme drought has been decreased by approximately six percent,” with much of that happening in western and southern Texas. Rains are either falling or forecast for much of the state this week, and the weather pattern mostly responsible for the drought, La Nina, has left the building. Fingers are crossed, but it could be a wetter, cooler summer this year.