This year is on track to be the hottest year in California since record-keeping began roughly 119 years ago, scientists announced Wednesday.
Prolonged drought and increasing temperatures over the last four decades have resulted in the warmer conditions currently plaguing California, said Paul Iniguez, science and operation officer for the National Weather Service in Hanford.
"Everything is kind of working together," he said.
There is an 88% chance that 2014 will beat the warmest year currently on record -- an average 59.7 degrees set in 1934.
Although the most recent heat wave that smothered Southern California certainly looms large in the minds of the public, it's the cumulative effect of consistently warm temperatures statewide that has driven the projection.
"We have baked in the fact that we are going to be above average," Iniguez said.
Scientists also used past and present average temperature data to run 1 million statistical simulations, he said.
Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that the first eight months of 2014 were the warmest on the record in California. The average temperature was 62.6 degrees.