Rankings for average winter temperatures for each state in the Lower 48 for the winter of 2014-2015. Photo: NOAA / NCDC

By Andrea Thompson
6 March 2015

(Climate Central) – As Yogi Berra famously said, “it’s déjà vu all over again.” While much of the eastern U.S. digs out from yet another snow and ice storm, the West has capped off a decidedly toasty winter.

In fact, California, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and Washington each saw their hottest winter on record, according to data released Friday by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

For California, this winter eclipsed the previous record set just last year — a symptom of the area of high pressure off the West Coast that has stubbornly stayed in place and kept temperatures elevated. It also serves as a potential sign of how the average temperature for the year may turn out, not welcome news for a state parched and in drought.

From December through January, California recorded an average temperature a solid 1.5°F above last year’s mark. For just the first two months of this year, temperatures are 1°F hotter than last year, which ended as the hottest year on record by nearly 2 degrees.

“The state is already off to a large head start compared to last year,” NCDC climatologist Jake Crouch said in an email. “While it is too early to speculate on whether California will see another record warm year, 2015 is off to an impressive start.” And if it doesn’t set the record, it will likely still be among the leaders, Mike Anderson, the California state climatologist, said in an email. [more]

Once Again, A Record-Hot Winter for California

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