2015 was the second-hottest year for America on record, surpassed only by 2012, according to preliminary numbers released Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Last year was also the third wettest for the contiguous U.S. since record-keeping began 121 years ago.
Here's a look at some of NOAA's most eye-grabbing weather and disaster statistics from last year:
Tornado damage in Garland, Texas, on Dec. 30. (Tom Fox / Dallas Morning News)
The number of natural disasters in America in which damage exceeded $1 billion, including the continuing drought in California, massive wildfires in Alaska, severe storms across the lower Great Plains and a crippling February storm in the Northeast. Those calamities claimed 155 lives, with at least 50 of those attributed to the December storms that triggered flooding across the central U.S.
A woman shields herself with an umbrella during a heat wave in Los Angeles in August. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
The average temperature for the U.S. in 2015, 2.4 degrees above the average for the 20th century. 2015 was the 19th year in a row that the average temperature for the year was higher than the average in the 20th century.
A woman water-skis during an unseasonably warm Christmas Day at Goodyear Lake in Colliersville, N.Y. (Julie Lewis/ Daily Star)
The average temperature for the hottest December ever recorded across the contiguous U.S. -- 6 degrees higher than the average for December in the 20th century. The record fell because of bizarrely warm weather across the eastern half of the U.S., where 29 states recorded their hottest Decembers on record.
A man looks at flood damage in Eastover, S.C., after record rains in the state in October. (Sean Rayford / Getty Images)
The average precipitation for the contiguous U.S. in December, making it the wettest December on record, beating the 20th century average for December by 1.58 inches.
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