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UNH Climatologist: 2010 Warmest Year on Record for New Hampshire

By Lori Wright, Media Relations
January 26, 2011

Although New Hampshire will be bundling up for the next few days of extremely cold weather, residents may be interested to know that the year 2010 was the warmest year since 1895, according to Mary Stampone, assistant professor of geography and New Hampshire state climatologist.

The 2010 mean annual temperature was 46.7 degrees Fahrenheit, which was nearly 3 degrees Fahrenheit above the climate normal of 43.8 degrees Fahrenheit, the average from 1971 to 2000, and 3.3 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the average from 1895 to 2010. As the warmest year on record, 2010 was only 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit greater than 1998, the second-warmest year. Precipitation was also above normal for 2010 with an annual total of 47.45 inches, which ranked as the 24th wettest year on record.

The warmth came early in the year with well above normal mean monthly temperatures for January, February, March and April of 2010 followed by near to slightly above normal temperatures for May through December. During 2010, five months ranked within the top 10 warmest since 1895 including: February (#5), March (#3), April (#2), July (#5) and September (#7).

Since 1895, three of New Hampshire's top 10 warmest years occurred during the last decade: 2010 (#1), 2006 (#4) and 2002 (#9). The 1990s made the top 10 four times: 1998 (#2), 1990 (#5), 1999 (#6) and 1991 (#8). The coldest year for New Hampshire was 1926, which ended with a mean annual temperature of 39.5 degrees Fahrenheit. The range of mean annual temperatures from 1895 to 2010 is 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

The New Hampshire State Climate Office (NHSCO) resides within the department of geography. The mission of the NHSCO is to serve the citizens of New Hampshire by providing access to climatological data and information, conducting climate-related research that is relevant to the needs of the state and its residents, and serving as a focal point for climate education and outreach. The NHSCO is officially recognized by the American Association of State Climatologists and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). For more information, visit http://www.unh.edu/stateclimatologist/.

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