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Amid record global warmth, Baltimore on pace for coldest year in at least a decade

Amid record warmth across the globe, in Baltimore, it has been the coldest year in at least a decade.

Though the globe is expected to have its warmest year on record, in Baltimore, 2014 is pacing to be the coldest year since at least 2003, if not 1996.

Through November, the average temperature at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is about 55 degrees, about two degrees colder than normal. A two-degree difference is significant when you're talking about an average spread across 11 months.

That average ranks as the eighth-coldest for January through November since record-keeping began in 1871. (The records were kept at the U.S. Customs House in downtown Baltimore until the point of record moved to BWI, then known as Friendship Airport, in 1950.)

The last time the first 11 months of the year were colder in Baltimore was 1996, when BWI averaged 53.8 degrees for the full year. In 2003, which also averaged about 55 degrees through November, the year ended up averaging 53.9 degrees.

Both of those years should ring a bell because they were commonly used for comparison amid the shock of single-digit temperatures early in 2014.

So far, December is averaging about 2 degrees warmer than normal. But a stretch of more seasonable temperatures returning Thursday and colder air expected around Christmas, that trend should moderate.

The eastern United States is an anomaly relative to global average temperatures, however. The first 11 months of the year were 1.22 degrees above the 20th-century average, the warmest such period on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

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