If you're a Missourian and felt hot under the collar in 2012, there is good reason.
The National Weather Service says 2012 was the warmest year on record in St. Louis and Columbia and tied for the fourth-warmest in Joplin.
St. Louis recorded an average temperature of 61.2 degrees for last year, a full 1.1 degrees higher than the previous mark of 60.1 degrees set in 1921. St. Louis had 21 days reach triple-digit temperatures.
This year may turn out to be the warmest on record in parts of Missouri, a continuation of a trend of warmer weather that is having an impact on flowers, plants and agricultural crops.
National Weather Service meteorologist Jayson Gosselin says that 2012 through Nov. 24 is the warmest year on record in both St. Louis and Columbia, Mo., compared to other years through the same date. St. Louis records date back to 1874 and Columbia weather records date to 1890.
In fact, five of the 10 warmest years on record in St. Louis have occurred since 2005.
St. Louis County confirmed its fourth heat-related death of the summer today.
A son discovered the victim, a 76-year-old Lemay man, on July 10. The cause of death was certified on Wednesday.
The victim lived in the 700 block of Military Rd. The brick house had no central air conditioning, and a window unit was not working. The temperature inside the home was estimated to be between 90 and 95 degrees.
Only one color was needed to show where July ranks in terms of hottest months on record.
Credit National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
From NOAA: This map "shows where July 2012 temperatures were different from the 1981-2010 average across the contiguous United States. Shades of red indicate above-average temperatures and shades of blue indicate below-average temperatures the darker the color, the more unusual the temperature difference."
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is urging railroad companies to conduct frequent track inspections to prevent rail derailments resulting from heat-related track buckling.
The Illinois Democrat's remarks during a Sunday press conference come as investigators continue to examine the cause of a July 4 train derailment that killed two people.
A Glenview husband and wife were crushed by the wreckage of a Union Pacific freight train derailment that caused a suburban Chicago railroad bridge to collapse. It sent train cars crashing onto the couple's car on the road below.