By taking the top spot as the hottest year, 2012 pushes 1998 into second place, followed by 2006, 1934 and 1999, according to data from the Climate Center.
In line with the global warming trend spurred by steadily rising carbon emissions, seven of the top 10 warmest years ever recorded in the continental United States have occurred in the past 15 years.
Like so much recent record-breaking weather, 2012 isn't just going to break the previous record, 2012 is looking to smash it by more than 1 degree.
Climate Central projects the 2012 average temperature for the continental U.S. at 55 degrees compared to the previous record set in 1998 of 54 degrees. For perspective, 1 degree is one quarter of the difference between the coldest and warmest years ever recorded in the continental U.S.