In case, you know, you haven't been outside in the past three months, it's about to become official: unless a freak blizzard blankets the country by Thursday, the spring of 2012 will go down as the warmest for the U.S. in 117 years of record-keeping. The National Climatic Data Center won't release a report on the temperatures in May until sometime in June, but based on their assessment of March and April, University of Maryland professor Steve Scolnik, who blogs at Climate Capital, says that our warm May will smash the 102-year-old record. "The previous record spring in 1910 had a national average temperature of 55.1°. However, the March 2012 temperature exceeded March 1910 by 0.5° to set a new record for the month. April 2012 then exceeded April 1910 by 1°," he wrote today. "At this point, May 2012 would have to be 1.5° cooler than May 1910 to avoid exceeding the record. of May's temperature."
Scolnik estimates that this May will average 3.6° warmer than the historical average, meaning the national average temperature for this spring will be 57.4°, or 2.3° above the average in 1910. For the non-meteorologically inclined, 2.3° is a very big gap. The country would need a "supernatural 'Day After Tomorrow' event," according to Scolnik, in order for this spring to be cooler than 1910's. We weather laypeople had a pretty good idea that this spring was hot after sweating through the hottest March and third-hottest April on record. We may not be scientists, but even we can see that the fourth-hottest winter, directly followed by the hottest spring ever, means one thing: buy an air conditioner because this summer is going to be brutal.