The U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration says 2012 marked the warmest year on record for the mainland United States.
The year consisted of a record warm spring, second-warmest summer, fourth-warmest winter and a warmer-than-average autumn.
The average temperature for 2012 was 12.9 C, 1.8 C above the 20th century average and 0.56 C above 1998, the previous warmest year.
The average precipitation total for the mainland U.S. for 2012 was 67.5 cm or 6.53 cm below average, making it the 15th driest year on record.
At its peak in July, the drought of 2012 engulfed 61 percent of the U.S. with the Rockies, Great Plains and Midwest experiencing the most intense drought conditions.