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Yes, 2006 was the hottest year on record in the United States, supplanting 1998, the previous record-holder, according to an announcement today from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center.

NOAA had previously estimated that 2006 would be one of the warmest years on record, but not the hottest. But the country’s balmy December — the fourth warmest since records began in 1895 — boosted the yearly average, NOAA said in a news release. Last year’s temperature finished .07 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than in 1998.

ROB DAVIS

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