Although the official numbers will not be released by the National Climatic Data Center for a few more days, Gary McManus, Associate State Climatologist Oklahoma Climatological Survey, said it appears likely 2012 will go down in the record books as Oklahoma's warmest year on record.
Preliminary data from the Oklahoma Mesonet indicate a statewide average temperature of 41.9 degrees for December. That is 2.9 degrees above normal and ranks the month as the 27th warmest December on record. More importantly, it would give 2012 a sizeable lead over 1954 and the likely title of warmest calendar year on record for the state at 63.1 degrees, 3.5 degrees above normal. According to data from the National Weather Service Oklahoma City and Tulsa also eclipsed their previous warmest years on record with 64.1 degrees and 64.7 degrees, respectively. Oklahoma City's previous best was 63.9 degrees from 2006 and Tulsa's was 63.7 degrees from 1921 and 1954. Oklahoma was not alone in dealing with unusual warmth during 2012.
Officials from NCDC say it is a virtual certainty that 2012 will become the warmest year on record across the contiguous United States.