published Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Spring fever: U.S. smashes heat record for season

  • photo
    Elise Cropsey, 5, left, and her brother, Micah, 3, play in the warm weather on the beach at Chester Frost Park Wednesday.
    Photo by Tim Barber

SETH BORENSTEIN

WASHINGTON (AP) — Call it spring's fever. Federal records show the U.S. just finished its hottest spring on record.

March, April and May in the Lower 48 states beat the oldest spring temperature record by a full 2 degrees. The three months averaged 57.1 degrees, more than 5 degrees above average. That's the most above normal for any U.S. season on record. Meteorologists define those three months as spring.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also reported Thursday that it was the second warmest May since records began in 1895. May averaged 64.3 degrees, just behind 1934.

The first five months of 2012 were the hottest start to a year in U.S. weather record history. The 12-month period starting last June is also the hottest on record.

Meteorologists blamed a persistent weather pattern.

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