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T-shirts galore: Phoenix area posts fifth-hottest start to year on record

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PHOENIX — It’s not your imagination: Temperatures were warmer than usual during the first three months of the year in the Phoenix area.

“We have had several storm systems which brought us some decent rain over the winter, but by and large, most of the days have been warmer than average,” National Weather Service meteorologist Mark O’Malley said Monday.

O’Malley said Phoenix recorded its fifth-warmest start to the year on record. He said warmer overnight lows contributed to the uptick.

The warmest start to a year was 2016, which was one of the hottest years on record.

Phoenix recorded its first 90-degree day of 2017 in mid-March, about two weeks ahead of normal.

O’Malley said warmer temperatures were also recorded in at least three nearby states.

“We’re not alone: New Mexico, Colorado and Texas are just a handful of states that had their warmest first three months,” he said.

In a report, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association said the United States recorded its second-warmest ever start to a year behind 2012.

“The year-to-date average temperature was 40.3 degrees Fahrenheit, 5.1 degrees above the 20th-century average,” the report read.

Thankfully, O’Malley said the warm beginning to 2017 does not necessarily indicate the coming months will be hotter than normal.

“(There is) no correlation between having a hot winter and a hot spring that leads to a hot summer. It seems that every summer is fairly warm around here,” he said with a chuckle.

KTAR’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.

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