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December 28, 2007 - 2007 one of 10 warmest in United States

It's hard to remember the whole weather year when Minnesota is in the midst of a winter wonderland. But according to NOAA's Climatic Data Center, 2007 will go down as one of the warmest years in United States recorded climate history.

Some highlights:

* The preliminary annual average temperature for 2007 across the contiguous United States will likely be near 54.3 degrees F - 1.5 degrees F (0.8 degrees C) above the twentieth century average of 52.8 F.

*The warmer-than-average conditions in 2007 influenced residential energy demand in opposing ways, as measured by the nation's Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index. Using this index, NOAA scientists determined that the U.S. residential energy demand was about three percent less during the winter and eight percent higher during the summer than what would have occurred under average climate conditions.

* Exceptional warmth in late March was followed by a record cold outbreak from the central Plains to the Southeast in early April. The combination of premature growth from the March warmth and the record-breaking freeze behind it caused more than an estimated $1 billion in losses to crops (agricultural and horticultural).

* A severe heat wave affected large parts of the central and southeastern U.S. in August, setting more than 2,500 new daily record highs.

* Drought and unusual warmth contributed to another extremely active wildfire season. Approximately nine million acres burned through early December, most of it in the contiguous U.S., according to preliminary estimates by the National Interagency Fire Center.

Check out the NOAA website for more information. Preliminary data will be updated in early January to reflect the final three weeks of December and is not considered final until a full analysis is complete next spring.