CHART: 2012's record temperatures really are an anomaly

In 117 years of weather keeping in the United States, 2012 has really stood out.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration charted weather trends and found that the "… January-July period was the warmest first seven months of any year on record for the contiguous United States. The national temperature of 56.4°F was 4.3°F above the long-term average."

Year-to-date temperature, by month, for 2012 (red), compared to the other 117 years on record for the contiguous U.S., with the five ultimately warmest years (orange) and five ultimately coolest years (blue) noted. The 2012 data are still preliminary.

The NOAA reported that July has been the hottest on record for the US, with the average temperature at 77.6°F, 3.3°F above the 20th century average.

A drought has covered nearly 63% of the Lower 48 and wildfires have consumed two million acres.

Chart from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration