News release: "The first six months of 2012 were the warmest on record for the contiguous United States as a whole, and for many locations across the United States. The following table shows, for about 150 long-term stations, how Jan-Jun 2012 stacks up against normal, and where it ranks among that station's history. The unusualness score is based upon the number of standard deviations difference between the 2012 value and the station's average, based on the station's history. In some locations, 2012 temperatures have been so dramatically different that they establish a new "neighborhood" apart from the historical year-to-date temperatures. For a visual presentation, click a station's rank for a "Haywood plot" that shows its cumulative year-to-date temperature for each year it has been reporting. As you read from left to right, a particular year's trace represents the average of all previous days during that year. Because of the relatively few days that go into the year-to-date average during January and February, the plots are often very noisy during these months."