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First half of 2012 USA's warmest on record

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Warmest half year on recordIt won't be a news flash for the 250 million sweltering Americans east of the Rockies, but the first half of the year has been the USA's warmest on record, federal climate scientists announced Monday.

Twenty-eight states and more than 100 cities have posted their warmest first six months on record, based on national weather data that go back to 1895, according to the report from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center.

For instance, Chicago is almost 7 degrees warmer than average this year; the Windy City had eight 80-degree days in March and five days in the 90s in May.

New York City, where temperatures are about 4 degrees above average, is seeing its warmest year since records began there a few years after the Civil War ended.

The national temperature this year was 52.9 degrees, which is 4.5 degrees above average and 1.2 degrees above the next-warmest year, which was 2006, the climate report notes.

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