A US agency that focuses on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere has revealed that 2007 was one of the 10 warmest years since 1880.
Preliminary data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) establishes 2007 as the eighth warmest year for the US since national records began in 1895.
The data also suggests that the global surface temperature for 2007 was expected to be fifth warmest since records began in 1880.
The data will be updated in early January to reflect the final three weeks of December, and is not considered final until a full analysis completes next spring.
According to the Environmental News Network, 2007 saw severe to exceptional drought affecting the Southeast and western US. More than three-quarters of the Southeast bore the brunt of drought from mid-summer into December.
Such was the impact of drought that the Governors of at least five South-eastern states, along with California, Oregon, Maryland, Connecticut and Delaware, had to declare states of emergency at some point during the year.
Drought and unusual warmth contributed to another extremely active wildfire season, says the report.
The year also saw 15 named storms in the Atlantic BasinAtlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. Six of such storms developed into hurricanes, including Hurricanes Dean and Felix, which struck Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and Nicaragua, respectively.
Preliminary data also suggests that sea surface temperatures near the equator of the eastern Pacific were below average during by the end of November.
The same conditions are likely to continue into early 2008, according to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.