WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Last month came in like a lamb and stayed that way, contributing to the warmest March for the contiguous United States since modern record-keeping began in 1895, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Monday.
All 48 of the contiguous U.S. states saw at least one record-warm temperature in March, with a total of 15,292 high-temperature records broken and hundreds of locations breaking March records, NOAA said in a statement.
Some nighttime low temperatures were as high or higher than previous daytime highs.
The average temperature of 51.1 degrees F (10.6 degrees C) was 8.6 degrees (4.8 degrees C) above the 20th century average for March, and 0.5 degree F (about 0.3 degree C) warmer than the previous warmest March in 1910.
This year's balmy March was part of a record-warm winter. The first three months of 2012 broke high-temperature records for the contiguous United States, with an average temperature of 42.0 degrees F (5.5 degrees C), which was 6 degrees F (3.3 degrees C) above the long-term average.
The contiguous United States do not include the states of Alaska and Hawaii.
(Reporting By Deborah Zabarenko; Editing by Marilyn W. Thompson and Peter Cooney)