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1/15/2013 - New Jersey records its hottest year

New Jersey saw its hottest year on record in 2012.

The Garden State received more than its fair share of warm weather in 2012. In fact, the temperatures recorded there this past year were the highest on record.

According to state climatologists, the average temperature in New Jersey last year was just under 56 degrees, The Associated Press reports. While this may not seem especially hot, it's approximately 4 degrees above what the state usually receives, and the highest average temperature recorded there since record keeping first started nearly 120 years ago.

David Robinson, a climatologist from Rutgers University, told the AP that more temperate climates in the Garden State are likely the new normal.

"Jersey has been baking," said Robinson. "And there's really no signs overall that it should stop."

Specific months were particularly balmy, Robinson added, such as February and March. During this early part of the year, temperatures were 7.4 to 8 degrees, respectively, above the norm.

Blistering heat was somewhat of a theme for many parts of the U.S. last year and in the Midwest in particular. Accompanied by limited rainfall, the effects had a devastating impact on farmers whose livelihood depends on favorable weather conditions.

According to reinsurance firm Swiss Re, more than 50% of the country was impacted by lengthy dry spells last year. Drought-related agricultural losses are projected to top $11 billion in property insurance losses, based on the most recent estimates. That's second only to Hurricane Sandy in terms of damage totals, a storm which had its most devastating impact on New Jersey and parts of New York.

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