The year 2012 has a 99.99999999 percent chance of being the hottest ever in the continental United States, according to Climate Central.
The National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration announced last week that the first 11 months of the year had been the warmest on record in the 48 contiguous states -- a statistic making it likely that 2012 would be the warmest year ever.
But Climate Central has calculated just how likely that is -- and produced the 99.99999999 percent likelihood figure.
The organization, in a release, stated that, "Like so much record-breaking weather, 2012 isn't just going to break the previous record, it's going to smash it, by more than 1 degree." Climate Central projects the 2012 average temperature for the continental U.S. at 55.34 degrees Fahrenheit compared to the previous record set in 1998 of 54.32 degrees Fahrenheit.
In order for 2012 not to be the hottest year on record, temperatures in the continental U.S. would need to average 14.76 degrees Fahrenheit in December -- an unlikely scenario given that the average temperature across the 117 years of previous Decembers for which there are records is 33.08 degrees.
Climate Change is an independent organization of scientists and journalists researching and reporting on climate change and its impact on the American public.