2012: the hottest year on record in US JAN 09 2013
The NOAA says that 2012 was the hottest year on record. BY AN ENTIRE DEGREE.
The average temperature was 55.3 degrees, 1 degree above the previous record and 3.2 degrees more than the 20th-century average. Temperatures were above normal in every month between June 2011 and September 2012, a 16-month stretch that hasn't occurred since the government began keeping such records in 1895.
Weather-wise, 2012 is Usain Bolt crossing the line in the 100-meter final at the Beijing Olympics, already slowing down, arms out, and still so so much faster than everyone else.