2014 was California’s hottest year ever recorded. In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said it was the warmest year on record for California by a wide margin.
NOAA said the annual average temperature in California -- which has been suffering through a drought said to be worst that the state has seen in over a millennium -- was 4.1 degrees Fahrenheit, or 2.3 degrees Celsius, warmer than the 20th century average. According to Mashable, California’s annual average temperature in 2014 surpassed the state’s previous record for the hottest year, set in 1934, by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
Alaska, Arizona and Nevada are also said to have experienced the warmest years on record in 2014. On the flip side, last year was one of the 10 coldest years since 1895 for seven states in the Midwest and the Mississippi Valley.
The average temperature in 2014 for the contiguous United States was 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, NOAA reported. This is the 18th consecutive year that annual average temperatures have exceeded the previous century's average.
"We do have a long-term warming trend across the globe, across the U.S. and in California," Jake Crouch, a climate scientist with NOAA, told the San Jose Mercury News. "This really warm year [for the Western states] is just an exclamation point on top of a warming trend for that part of the country."
Earlier this month, the Japan Meteorological Agency released a report showing that 2014 was the Earth's warmest year ever recorded. As Time.com notes, all 10 of the planet’s hottest years on record have occurred since 1998.