I made this post on December 26 :
NOAA is about to claim that 2012 was the hottest year ever in the US by a wide margin, but their data shows otherwise. If US temperatures average less than -2C for the rest of the year (which is quite likely) – then 1921 will remain the hottest year according to untampered GHCN HCN data.
Further research shows that NOAA never updated the temperatures for the last four days of December, so my December 2012 numbers are too high. I don’t know if this is enough to bring 2012 down below 1921/1934 or not. It will be close.
I don’t know what NOAA is up to. Many stations have January, 2013 data – but almost none have data for December 28-31. This data is critical because those days were very cold and the annual rankings were very close.