It’s official: 2012 was indeed the hottest year in 100+ years of record keeping for the contiguous U.S. (lower 48 states). The record-breaking heat in March certainly set the table for the record and the heat just kept coming through the summer. The previous record holder is very noteworthy. 2012 broke 1998′s record by more than 1°F! Does that sound small? Let’s put in perspective: that’s the average temperature for thousands of weather stations across a country over 3,000,000 sq. mi. in area for an entire year.