PORTLAND – Maine was among the top 10 states for record-breaking heat in 2012, according to a study and interactive mapping tool released Tuesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council. It was the warmest year ever in the U.S., according to a report issued late last week from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The report cited 40 new heat records set in eight Maine counties, as well as record-breaking rainfall in five counties, which set a total of eight new rainfall records, based on National Weather Service data.
All told, 26 percent of Maine’s weather stations reported monthly heat records that were broken.
Others states in the top 10 included Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The study compiled data on heat, snowfall, rain, drought and wildfires, said Kim Knowlton, senior scientist with the council’s Health and Environment Program and deputy director of the organization’s science center. It also reviewed some of the more significant “extreme weather events” of 2012, including Hurricane Sandy’s 113.88-foot storm surge, the highest ever recorded in New York Harbor, and the devastating floods and high winds associated with the storm.