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America just had its warmest winter on record

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The spike in temperatures seen across Minnesota the past few days comes on the back of the warmest winter in recorded U.S. history.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed Tuesday the contiguous United States had its highest ever average temperature between December-February.

Records were set particularly in the New England area, with six northeast states experiencing their warmest ever winter. Minnesota meanwhile had its 6th warmest on record.

https://twitter.com/NOAANCEIclimate/status/707240738971623424

The NOAA said the strong El Niño in the Equatorial Pacific played a big role, interacting "with other climate patterns to influence U.S. weather conditions" the previous three months.

The average temperature during that time 36.8 degrees, some 4.6 degrees above the 20th Century average and 0.3 ahead of the previous record of 36.5 set in 1999/2000.

And though Minnesota has had warmer winters, the National Weather Service revealed on Tuesday that the state is experiencing its warmest 12-month period in recorded history, with an average temperature of 49.7 degrees in the 12 months up to March 7.

https://twitter.com/NWSTwinCities/status/707251278888493056

Temperatures in the Twin Cities and other parts of the state hit the 60s on Monday and that's continuing Tuesday – hitting 66 in Minneapolis.

After a colder Wednesday, forecasters say this warm weather is likely to return before the end of the week.

The Hill notes that 2015 was the hottest year on record globally – the fourth time since 2000 the record has been broken.

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