2012 on pace to be hottest in 117 years

This year is 20th hottest for San Diego

SAN DIEGO - 2012 is on pace to be the hottest year for the United States in 117 years.

In San Diego, the summer sun sent people running to the beaches to cool off through October. At times, it seemed like standing room only on the sand and in the water. People can still be seen wearing shorts at the beaches in late November.

Climate records are kept for San Diego going back to 1875 and this past September proved to be the fifth hottest on record ever.

While the temperatures went up, so did sales for some merchants in Mission Beach.

"It brought a lot of people out… a lot of tourists from Arizona, Texas, all over," said bike mechanic Ronnie Shirley, who works at Hamel's Castle Surf and Skate Shop.

He said business was significantly up.

"Forty to 60 percent busier… it was really busy," said Shirley. "It was a good summer."

While that is good for business at the coast, it is not so good for the rest of the country.

With the exception of the Pacific Northwest, most of the continental United States experienced 16 consecutive months of warmer than normal conditions.

The average daytime highs have been 2 to 4 degrees warmer than average, making 2012 the hottest in 117 years.

Before the year is over, it could be the hottest ever, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The reason is unclear but may be due to global warming.

"We think there is some link to the warming, to these extreme weather events," said National Weather Service Meteorologist Alex Tardy.

Thousands of records were shattered across the United States so far: 32,068 high temperatures have been broken. That is 6,689 more than 2011. As for all-time record highs, 357 fell.

At Lindbergh Field, 11 daily high records have been set. The hottest day was Sept. 15 when it hit 101 degrees.

This is turning out to be the 20th hottest year in San Diego. The hottest was in 1984.

The hottest day ever on record in San Diego occurred on Sept. 26, 1963 when the high was 111 degrees.


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