It's official! First half of 2012 was hottest ever recorded in Michigan and U.S.

(WXYZ) - You probably knew it was hot, but now we can answer that old question "How hot was it?" for all of Michigan and the Lower 48 states. 

In fact, it was the hottest first half of a year ever recorded here in Michigan. 

According to data just released from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the period from January to June of 2012 was the hottest since records began back in 1895.

Coming off of our very mild winter, we had the warmest March on record, with record highs as hot as 86 degrees here in metro Detroit. 

By the end of June, we'd already had 11 days with highs of 90 or hotter, which is as many as we normally get in an entire summer.  And the first few days of July brought two days of 100 degrees or hotter, which aren't even included in this summary.

Across the whole contiguous United States, 28 states, all of them east of the Rocky Mountains had their hottest January-June period on record.  Washington State was the only state in the Lower 48 to have a cooler-than-average first half of 2012.

An unusually strong an persistent area of high pressure was a big part of the reason for all the heat during the last six months, as it pushed the jet stream much farther north than normal.  Many meteorologists note that this is the sort of weather that we can expect to become more common as climate change continues.

The First Alert Weather Team continues to be the most accurate at predicting these record-breaking temperatures, and we'll keep you up-to-date no matter what comes our way.

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