U.S. breaks record for hottest winter

WASHINGTON - U.S. government meteorologists say the winter that has just ended was the hottest in U.S. records, thanks to the combination of El Nino and man-made global warming.

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The average temperature for the lower 48 states from December through February -- known as meteorological winter -- was 2.7 C, 1.5 C above normal. It breaks the record set in 1999-2000.

Last month was the seventh warmest February. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate scientist Jake Crouch said a super-hot December pushed the winter to record territory. The fall of 2015 also was a U.S. record.

Records go back to 1895.



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