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While a return to seasonably cool temperatures arrived just in time for the holidays, Asheville is on the brink of marking its warmest year on record.
A combination of a mild winter last year, a very warm spring and slightly warmer than average summer sent 2012 soaring to the top of the rankings, said Jake Crouch, a climatologist with the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville.
The year also likely will wind up as the warmest on record in the contiguous United States, and is on pace to be the eighth warmest globally, Crouch said.
The heat is on:
The warmest years on record in Asheville, as measured in overall average temperature:
1 – 2012, 59.6 degrees (through last week).
2 – 1990, 58.5 degrees.
3 – 1998, 58.5 degrees.
4 – 2011, 58.3 degrees.
5 – 1949, 57.9 degrees.
Source: National Climatic Data Center