In stark contrast to Europe, where a brutal deep freeze that began in late January has killed hundreds, the continuous United States experienced warmer-than-average conditions during the first month of the year.
According to NOAA, January 2012 was the fourth warmest January on record—and the warmest since 2006—with an average temperature 3.8 degrees F above average. The average temperature was 36.3 degrees F in the contiguous U.S.
No states experienced cooler than average temperatures and nine states recorded January temperatures among their tenth warmest.
Meanwhile, several towns in Alaska experienced the coldest January on record. In mid-January, two Alaska villages came dangerously close to running out of gasoline when thick sea ice and heavy snowstorms delayed a vital fuel tanker delivery.
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