CHEYENNE — It’s now official: 2012 was the driest and warmest year in Wyoming in 118 years.
The National Weather Service says the statewide average precipitation for the year was 8.08 inches, shattering the 1988 record.
The average statewide temperature was 45.6 degrees, 5.1 degrees above the 20th century average. The previous warmest year on record was 1934.
Nationally, 2012’s drought was the worst since the 1950s and slightly behind the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows worsening drought conditions across east central Wyoming and some improvement in the far west.
Exceptional drought conditions persist in most of Goshen, Niobrara and Weston counties and parts of Converse, Campbell and Sweetwater counties. Drought conditions are expected to continue through March in areas rated as having moderate or worse conditions.