Warming Trend: 2011 was a warmer than average

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - With a little more than two weeks left in the year, it's a time, when we catch ourselves looking back. 2011 was a year of unusually, warm temperatures. We've seen many of them in the last few decades.

2011 has had it's ups and downs, but overall, it has been a warm one here in central Virginia. You'll often hear us report the daily high and low and compare it to a 30 year average. In 2011, we felt many more warmer than average days instead of colder than average days. In fact, only January and October fell below average, and not by much.

Records have been kept since 1880, and in that time, there are only 8 years where we've seen an average annual temperature of 60 degrees or higher . Through December 12th, our average temperature in 2011 stands at 60.73 degrees. This would place us in the top 5 warmest years ever seen here in Richmond. It's also interesting to note that of the ten warmest years in our history, three occurred in the last five years. And 2011 will soon be added to the list. @

Many scientists would be quick to suggest that this trend is supporting evidence for global warming.

Regardless of your stance on this highly debated issue, it's hard to ignore the fact, it's been warm! Some of the increase in temperature we've seen in the last in few decades could be attributed to population growth, and expansion of the urban heat island effect.

And although the final results aren't in just yet-- with no signs of bitter cold air heading our way anytime soon-- the record setting pace of 2011 seems destined to continue.

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