2012: Warmest Year on Record

Overview:

People across eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas may recall the summer of 2012 as being especially hot, but above normal temperatures occurred every month except for one in 2012.  As a result, Tulsa, OK, Fort Smith, AR, and Fayetteville, AR all recorded their warmest year in 2012 for their respective periods of record.  March 2012 was the warmest March on record across the region, averaging around 10°F above normal, and several other months this year had average temperatures in excess of 5°F above normal.

2012 was also defined by the Severe to Exceptional Drought that affected the region for much of the year.  Despite a wetter winter 2011-12, the 2012 Drought was an extension of the drought conditions that began in October 2010.  Rainfall totals for 2012 ranged from around 20” in Pawnee and western Osage Counties to around 45” in portions of southeast OK and west central AR. This represents 50%-90% the normal annual rainfall across eastern OK and northwest AR, though a few pockets of 25%-50% of normal were found in Pawnee, Tulsa, and Washington AR Counties.

  • According to the National Climatic Data Center, in 2012, the contiguous United States average annual temperature of 55.3°F was 3.3°F above the 20th century average, and was the warmest year in the 1895-2012 period of record for the nation. The 2012 annual temperature was 1.0°F warmer than the previous record warm year of 1998.   19 states in the contiguous U.S. were the warmest on record, including Oklahoma.
  • The state of Oklahoma also recorded its warmest year on record in 2012 with an average temperature of 63.0°F.  The previous record was 62.8°F in 1954.  2012 ranked as the 12th driest year on record for all of Oklahoma, with 25.80" of rain.
  • The state of Arkansas ranked as the 2nd warmest year on record in 2012 with an average temperature of 63.4°F.  The current record is 63.7°F in 1921.  2012 ranked as the 10th driest year on record for all of Arkansas, with 39.79" of rain.

Jump to: Top 10 Warmest Years 2012 Temperature, Rainfall, Snowfall 2012 Graphs Monthly Breakdown Additional charts/images


 Top 10 Warmest Years on Record
Click on the city name for a complete list of temperature rankings

Tulsa, OK (1905-2012)
1  2012 64.7°F
2  1954 63.7°F
3  1921 63.7°F
4  1931 63.6°F
5  1934 63.4°F
6  2006 63.3°F
7  1936 63.3°F
8  1990 63.0°F
9  1938 62.8°F
10  1933 62.7°F
Fort Smith, AR (1883-2012)
 1 2012 66.2°F
 2 1938 64.5°F
 3 2011 64.4°F
 4 1921 64.3°F
 5 1998 64.1°F
 6 2006 64.0°F
 7 1933 63.9°F
 8 1934 63.7°F
 9 1954 63.6°F
 10 1939 63.6°F
Fayetteville, AR (1950-2012)
 1 2012 60.6°F
 2 1998 59.8°F
 3 1990 59.8°F
 4 1954 59.7°F
 5 1991 59.5°F
 6 2006 59.3°F
 7 2011 58.7°F
 8 2005 58.7°F
 9  1986 58.7°F
 10 2007, 1999, 1980 58.5°F

  

2012 Temperature, Rainfall, and Snowfall
Click on the city name for additional information, including the period of record for each element. 1981-2010 Normals

2012 - Annual

Temperature

Normal Rank   Rainfall Normal Rank   Snowfall Normal Rank
Tulsa, OK 64.7°F 60.8°F 1st warmest   28.74"  40.97" 16th driest   1.7"  9.6" 14th least snoweist
Fort Smith, AR 66.2°F 61.7°F 1st warmest   33.94"  45.46" 33rd driest   6.0" 4.9" 49th snowiest
Fayetteville, AR 60.6°F 57.1°F 1st warmest   30.89"  48.51" 4th driest   1.4" 7.0" 7th least snowiest

 

2012 Observed High/Low Daily Temperatures and Rainfall
Click on the image to open a larger version in a new window.

2012 graph Tulsa 2012 graph Fort Smith 2012 graph Fayetteville  2012 graph McAlester
 2012 graph jenks  2012 graph Muskogee 2012 graph Bartlesville  

 

  Monthly Temperature and Rainfall Departures from Normal for 2012
Click on month for additional monthly information. 1981-2010 Normals

  Tulsa, OK
  Fort Smith, AR
  Fayetteville, AR
2012
Temperature Depart from Normal Rainfall Depart from Normal   Temperature Depart from Normal Rainfall Depart from Normal   Temperature Depart from Normal Rainfall Depart from Normal
Jan 44.2°F +6.5°F 0.61" -1.05"   45.8°F +6.4°F 4.42" +1.61"   41.2 +5.6°F 2.50" -0.37
Feb 45.2°F +2.9°F 1.61" -0.24"   47.7°F +3.5°F 2.18" -0.58   43.1 +3.4°F 1.79" -1.02"
Mar 61.5°F +10.2°F 6.24" +2.95"   63.6°F +10.7°F 8.06" +4.21"   57.9 +9.8°F 4.70" +0.68"
Apr 65.6°F +5.0°F 3.62" -0.17"   67.5°F +5.9°F 2.99" -1.31"   61.6 +4.8°F 2.15" -2.45
May 74.3°F +5.0°F 1.18" -4.69"   75.8°F +5.9°F 1.15" -4.32"   69.6 +4.5°F 1.05" -4.86"
Jun 80.7°F +3.1°F 4.29" -0.43   82.6°F +4.8°F 1.57" -2.71"   75.7 +2.8°F 2.29" -2.66"
Jul 88.9°F +6.0°F 1.38" -1.98"   88.0°F +5.7°F 3.91" +0.61"   82.8 +5.2°F 2.41" -1.05"
Aug 82.9°F +0.7°F 3.32 +0.42"   83.8°F +1.7°F 2.18" -0.41"   77.4 +0.3°F 4.32" +1.08"
Sep 75.9°F +2.9°F 1.78" -2.48"   77.3°F +3.4°F 1.79" -2.26"   70.7 +2.2°F 2.75" -2.07"
Oct 60.7°F -1.1°F 2.75" -1.18"   62.0°F -0.8°F 2.65" -1.67"   56.1 -1.6°F 2.98" -1.35"
Nov 52.6°F +2.3°F 1.11" -1.70"   53.1°F +1.5°F 0.29" -4.15"   48.0 +0.6°F 0.97" -3.26"
Dec 43.6°F +4.1°F 0.85" -1.64"   46.2°F +4.9°F 2.75" -0.54"   42.3 +4.8°F 2.85" -0.39"

 

  Graphs of Average Temperature-to-Date for 2012
Click on the image for a larger version in a new window.

 Average Temperature to Date for Tulsa, OK (showing 1939-2012) Image courtesy of NCDC
2012 graph Tulsa
 
Average Temperature to Date for Fort Smith, AR (showing 1946-2012) Image courtesy of NCDC
2012 graph Fort Smith
 

Rainfall for 2012
Click on the image for a larger version in a new window.

2012 rainfall total 2012 rainfall percent of normal
2012 Rainfall Total 2012 Rainfall Percent of Normal

 Page last modified: January 9, 2013


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