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Lower 48 records warmest 'cold season' ever with energy demand index 96.1% below normal

The "coldseason" in the continuous U.S., which spans October 2015 through March2016, saw temperatures average 43.3 degrees Fahrenheit, or 4.3 degrees abovethe 20th century average, making it the warmest cold season on record,surpassing the previous record set of 43.1 degrees set in 1999/2000, accordingto the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's latest State of theClimate report for March.

Basedon NOAA's Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index, or REDTI, the contiguousU.S. temperature-related energy demand during October 2015 through March was96.1% below average and the second lowest value on record.

Themaximum daytime temperature in the Lower 48 during the season averaged 54.1degrees, or 4.0 degrees above the 20th century average, which is the thirdwarmest on record.The average minimum temperature was 32.5 degrees, or 4.6 degrees above average,surpassing the previous record warm value of 31.6 degrees in 2011/2012.

Above-averagetemperatures spanned the nation during the cold season. Forty-six states weremuch warmer than average, including Florida and Kansas, which were record warm.The Florida October-March temperature was 66.7 degrees, surpassing the previousrecord of 66.4 degrees in 1931/32. The Kansas six-month average temperature was44.3 degrees, surpassing the previous record of 44.1 degrees in 1999/2000.

Forthe month of March,temperatures averaged 47.5 degrees, or 6.0 degrees above the 20th centuryaverage. This was the fourth warmest March in the 122-year period of record forthe Lower 48 and warmest since 2012.

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Thecontiguous U.S. average maximum daytime temperature during March was 59.4degrees, or 6.4 degrees above the 20th century average and the fourth warmeston record. The average minimum temperature was 35.5 degrees, or 5.5 degreesabove average, also the fourth warmest on record.

Everystate in the contiguous U.S. had an above-average March temperature however nostate had a record warm March.

Basedon REDTI, the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand during Marchwas 71.3% below average and the fifth lowest value on record. Warm weatherduring the first part of March across the densely-populated Midwest andNortheast contributed to the low REDTI value, NOAA said.

Year-to-date,the January-March temperature was 39.7 degrees, or 4.6 degrees above the 20thcentury average, ranking the three-month stretch as the fourth warmestyear-to-date on record and warmest since 2012.

Thecontiguous U.S. average maximum daytime temperature during January-March was50.7 degrees, or 4.6 degrees above the 20th century average and the thirdwarmest on record. The average minimum temperature was 28.7 degrees, or 4.5degrees above average, and the second warmest on record.

Above-averagetemperatures spanned the nation for the first three months of 2016. Thirty-twostates across the West, Great Plains, Midwest and Northeast were much warmerthan average. Florida had a near-average January-March temperature.

Basedon REDTI, the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand during January-Marchwas 34.1% below average and the fourth lowest value on record.