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January 12, 2010
NOAA’s State of the Climate report shows the December 2009 average temperature for the contiguous United States was 30.2 degrees F, which is 3.2 degrees F below average. Last month’s average precipitation was 2.88 inches, which is 0.65 inch above the 1901-2000 average.
For 2009, the contiguous United States averaged 53.1 degrees F, which was 0.3 degrees warmer than average. The U.S. averaged 31.47 inches of precipitation for the year, which was 2.33 inches above the long-term average. Based on data going back to 1895, the monthly analyses prepared by scientists at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, are part of the suite of climate services provided by NOAA.
NCDC’s preliminary reports, which assess the current state of the climate, are released soon after the end of each month. These analyses are based on preliminary data, which are subject to revision. Additional quality control is applied to the data when late reports are received several weeks after the end of the month and as increased scientific methods improve NCDC’s processing algorithms.
Scientists, researchers and leaders in government and industry use NCDC’s monthly reports to help track trends and other changes in the world’s climate. The data have a wide range of practical uses, from helping farmers know what to plant, to guiding resource managers with critical decisions about water, energy and other vital assets.NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.