The monthly climate summary for the US for December and for 2021 as a whole was released today by NOAA. The summary shows that the U.S. experienced its 4th warmest year since records began in 1895. This in spite of the very cold February this year. The extremely warm December, especially in the middle of the country, helped it reach that level. Twenty events recorded billion-dollar losses, for a total of $145 billion in all, more than the $105 billion reported in the 22 billion-dollar disasters in 2020. More information is available here and here. You can look at all the maps here. For the Southeast, temperatures were warmer than normal everywhere in December and record-setting in western Alabama and points west where it was so cold last February. Western North Carolina and Virginia were the driest, which is consistent with increasing drought there. For the year, the Southeast was warmer than normal but less so than other parts of the country. Alabama, Georgia, and northern Florida were the wettest parts of the region this year, and North Carolina and Virginia the driest.

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