Last year's off-the-chart weather shattered records across the country, and over the next month or so those records will become final in fascinating detail.
Here are some of the records — and near records — for Omaha, as computed by the National Weather Service office in Valley, Neb. (I'll write about other Nebraska and Iowa cities in the weeks to come):
— Highest average daytime temperature: 67.4 degrees, significantly higher than previous record of 65.4 degrees set in 1934.
— Warmest winter-spring.
— Warmest spring-summer.
— Highest temperature ever recorded in January was matched: 69 degrees on Jan. 30 tied a record set Jan. 25, 1944.
— Fifth-driest January. Only .06 inches of water were recorded from three light snowfalls in January — not enough to bathe a bug.
— Warmest March: The weather service described the month as one of “superlatives.”
Temperatures were above normal every day, eight daily temperature records were set, another two were tied. March had the highest number of days above 70 and 80 degrees and the most nights above 40 and 50 degrees.
More like April than March, the month averaged 56.4 degrees, 16.9 degrees above the normal 39.5.
Like January, March matched its highest all-time temperature. On March 31, the temperature climbed to 91, which last happened March 25, 1907.
— Driest July, which also was the driest spring or summer month on record (.01 inches of rain fell).
As a consequence of that dry July weather, Omaha went 29 days without measurable rain, from the .01 that fell July 8 to the .45 inches that fell Aug. 7. That was the third-longest spring and summer streak without measurable rain in Omaha.
— Tie for the longest stretch of days without a below-freezing daytime temperature — 300.
On Dec. 10, the high peaked at 28 degrees. Before that, daytime highs in Omaha had risen above freezing every day since Feb. 12, when the high topped out at 30.
And the overall record for 2012 in Omaha?
— Second-warmest year. Chilly weather in December lowered the average temperature by just a hair, so 2012 fell 0.1 degree behind the warmest year on record, 1931. The average temperature last year in Omaha was 55.8 degrees; in 1931 it was 55.9.
— Twenty-ninth driest, with 22.61 inches of precipitation.
Source: National Weather Service, Valley