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8 January 2016

2015 the second hottest year on record in US

2015 was the second hottest year ever recorded in the United States, and included 10 major climate events that each caused over $1 billion in damages, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The average temperature last year was 12.4°C (54.4°F) compared with 12.9°C (55.3°F) in 2012, the warmest year since government records began in 1895, the NOAA said on Thursday.

Temperatures across the Western US have been much warmer than average, including Washington state and Oregon, as well as the Southeast of the country, including Florida.

Last year was also the third wettest since 1895, with record levels of rainfall in Oklahoma and Texas.

Ten extreme climate and weather events were recorded in 2015 including storms, floods and a wildfire that caused more than $1 billion each in damages and resulted in the deaths of 155 people, the NOAA said.

In November, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said that 2015 would be the hottest on record globally, and 2016 could be even hotter due to the El Niño climate system.

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