Data Tracker

2014 was hottest year in Sacramento's history

By Phillip Reese - preese@sacbee.com

Tree stumps, boulders and rocks normally covered by Folsom Lake lay exposed by two years of drought. Being able to see the front of Folsom dam in the distance gave an eerie feeling to the landscape.
Tree stumps, boulders and rocks normally covered by Folsom Lake lay exposed by two years of drought. Being able to see the front of Folsom dam in the distance gave an eerie feeling to the landscape. greed@sacbee.com

Sacramento plodded through its hottest year on record in 2014, with an average high temperature a full degree above the city's next-hottest year, according to a Bee analysis of records from the National Climatic Data Center.

California also experienced its hottest year in 2014 as an historic drought caused by a coastal high-pressure ridge kept storms from reaching the state during much of last winter.

Temperatures were also aggravated by El Niño, the rise in water temperature in the equatorial Pacific Ocean that often disrupts weather throughout North America.

Average temperatures have increased statewide and in Sacramento during the last 100 years, a trend that most scientists attribute to climate change.

This chart shows the average high temperature at Sacramento's downtown weather station over the last 130 years.

Note: The Sacramento 5 ESE weather station currently sits near Sacramento State. It has been placed at nine different locations over the course of the last 120 years, all either in or near downtown Sacramento.

Records from a separate station at Sacramento Executive Airport that has tracked weather since 1950 also showed 2014 as Sacramento's hottest year.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. on 1/7/15 to correct for missing temperature readings affecting averages in six years.

Source: National Climatic Data Center | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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