Last Three Months Were The
Warmest Ever Recorded In US


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The last three months were the warmest on U.S. record books, and January was the balmiest in the 123 years temperatures for the month have been recorded globally, government scientists said on Thursday.
A preliminary average of the nation's temperature measured from November 2001 to January 2002 was 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit above average temperatures gathered between 1895 and 2001, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the government's climate study arm.
"Unusual warmth persisted across a large part of the contiguous United States during the past few months," said NOAA official Jay Lawrimore. The same monthly period in 1999-2000 held the previous record, NOAA said. The warmth stretched from western states like Montana and Oklahoma to the East Coast. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Massachusetts and Vermont saw the warmest November-January period on record, NOAA said. Abnormal warmth sent global temperatures in January seven degrees Fahrenheit above average in large parts of North America and central Asia, it said. Average global land surface temperatures were 2.43 degrees Fahrenheit above the 1880-2001 long-term mean temperature, based on preliminary data, NOAA said. Globally

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