Government meteorologists say 2012 was by far the hottest year on record in the United States.
The average temperature was off the charts at over 55 degrees. That's a full degree warmer than the previous record of 1998. Normally, temperature records are broken by about a tenth of a degree.
Scientists blame the heat on global warming and weather variations. That includes the drought that gripped almost two-thirds of the nation.
Last July was also the hottest month on record. The entire year was 3.2 degrees warmer than the average for the 20th century.
The tally was released Tuesday by the National Climatic Data Center.
U.S. temperature records go back to 1895. They're based on reports from more than 1,200 stations across the Lower 48 states.
It sure kept the mountain bike trails in the Midwest dry, dusty and loose for the season. It's hard to tell what 2013 has in store for us, but I've got the tires to deal with it - that's for sure. The warmth and dry conditions was - outside of agriculture - a bit of relief after years of flooding and too much rain for our area. Maybe a happy medium this year would be nice....
Back in the groove at Simpson teaching. The kids are back to school. Tara is back working. Routine is once again flowing at the house.
This semester, Monday nights also include a rehearsal for Bloch's Sacred Service which I am preparing the baritone solos for at the moment (performance in April). Last night's rehearsal went well, but it's complicated tonality. The music has a few tritones, the Jewish 2nd and difficult harmonies, albeit rich and lush, from Bloch. All of this takes a bit more time to get logged into my ear/brain connection so I can repeat it perfectly, but I'm pretty close with Part I. I move on to Part II work (as well as polishing Part I) this week learning the Hebrew and the music in hopes that I will be ready with that by next Monday's rehearsal.
Yesterday found me off the bike as it was a rest day I scheduled following the weights on Sunday. Tonight's bike time includes a bit of Tempo riding in the session. It is supposed to get to 47 tomorrow and 49 on Friday which might be just enough to melt what needs to be melted for the bike paths to open up. We'll see about that as there is a lot of snow and I don't think any clearing was done after the December blizzard like they did last year on the trail. The entire week will be in the 40's until the weekend when it drops back down under freezing during the day again. I don't think it is going to be enough to melt all of the snow. The basement trainer rides will continue to be where my base building is being done until the white stuff is off the trail. Working in some Tempo helps get a little more training effect in during a 65-90 minute session (about the amount of time I can stand being on the bike inside).