Photograph by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.
Last month was the warmest March on record for the United States, federal scientists announced Monday.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's monthly weather report, all 50 states experienced at least one record-high daily temperature last month, with 25 states east of the Rockies having their warmest March on record, msnbc.com reports. The federal data dates back to 1895.
March's average national temperature of 51.1 degrees Fahrenheit was 8.6 degrees above the last century's average for the month. Thanks in part to the March heat wave, the first quarter of 2012 was also the warmest on record. The average temperature over the first three months of the year was 42 degrees, 6 points above average.
But as USA Today points out, at least one NOAA scientist believes that global warming played only a relatively minor role in the warm spell, instead blaming natural causes for the record temperatures. You can read more on that here.
Forecasters predict that April may also be warmer than usual, but that temperatures will likely fluctuate in a more seasonal pattern, at least in the first half of the month, according to Reuters.