In the coming weeks, we'll take a look at how this January's climate ranks against that of Januarys past. But first things first, let's take a look back at December.
According to the NCDC, when temperatures for the lower 48 states are averaged together, they measure at 36.4°F (2.4°C). This is 3.4°F above the 20th century long-term average and makes December 2012 the tenth warmest December on record for the U.S.
Not only were December temperatures largely above average, but precipitation too. Total rainfall and snowfall for the month surpassed the average amount by half of an inch. This was good news as far as the ongoing 2012-2013 U.S. drought is concerned. It helped reduce coverage of drought-stricken areas by over 1%.
To read the full report, including highlights of significant weather events in each region and Alaska, visit the NCDC State of the Climate page.