Back at the end of October, we gave you all a preview of what how the U.S. average annual temperature was shaping up for 2009. At the time we postulated that we were headed for another pretty normal temperature year (on the heels of 2008’s pretty normal temperatures). Now, after the 3rd warmest November on record was followed by the 14th coldest December, the final numbers for 2009 are in and we were pretty much right on the button.
The annual average temperature for the U.S. in 2009 was 53.13°F, just a smidgen above the long-term (1901-2000) average. This now marks two years in a row in which the U.S. annual average temperature has returned back to normal after its recent 10-yr stint in the much above normal category.
Now we await 2010.
It shouldn’t take too much longer before we can come to the determination that the 1998-2007 warm period was more a part of natural variability than a sign of anthropogenic climate change.
Figure 1. U.S. annual average temperature, 1895-2009 (source: National Climatic Data Center)