Warmest spring, year nationwide

We've noted that in Philadelphia this was the warmest meteorological spring on record -- the March 1-May 31 period -- and same was true across the nation.

The average temperature for the 48 contiguous states, 57.1, was a full 5.2 degrees Fahrenheit above the long-term averages, according to the National Climate Data Center's monthly report.

Incredibly, 46 states experienced above-normal temperatures, with Washington and Oregon being the only exceptions.

More incredibly, with only five exceptions, every state east of the Rockies had their warmest springs in 118 years of recordkeeping.

The outliers were North Dakota, Minnesota, and South Carolina, all of which had their second-warmest springs, and Maine and Florida, were the 2012 spring was only No. 3.

In addition, the 12-month period that ended on June 1, 2011, represented the warmest year on record in the 48 states.

As for May, itself, the abnormal heating backed off just a shade. Washington and Oregon actually finished with below-normal temperatures, and Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming were normal.

Every place else was above, and it was the fourth-warmest May in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and third-warmest in Delaware.

Around here the first week of June is off to a refreshingly cool start, with temperatures in Philly running about 4 degrees below normal through yesterday.

And now it appears that a sea breeze will spare the region of a potential heat wave.

Temperatures will warm well into the 80s on Sunday, but the National Weather Service's latest thinking is that a "back door" front will push southward and allow onshore winds to penetrate into the mainland.

Surf temperatures remain siginficantly above normal -- near 74 at Cape May this afternoon -- but the air over the Atlantic is still chiller than it is over land.

The updated Climate Prediction Center forecast still sees chances favoring above-normal temperatures into the third week of June.

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