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At least 16 U.S. cities, and four U.S. states, experienced their warmest years ever last year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Overall, the contiguous U.S. saw its 34th-warmest year ever, and its¬†18th-consecutive year with an annual average temperature above its¬†20th¬†century average. Temps averaged 52.6¬įF, 0.5¬įF above the average.

"2014 was a year of temperature extremes, with precipitation extremes more muted," NOAA said. "Above-average temperatures during 2014 were observed across much of the West, Northeast, and Florida."

None¬†had it worse than Alaska, which broke its¬†all-time average temperature high, set in 1926.¬†For the first time¬†ever recorded,¬†Anchorage never had a day below 0¬įF. It follows a year in which the state had its 10th-warmest year on record. The state is experiencing numerous impacts from climate change, including entire communities that must decide whether to move because of rising sea levels.

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Meanwhile, three cities saw record cold averages, and seven states had top-10 cold years, thanks to "numerous cold Arctic-air outbreaks," NOAA said.

Those outbreaks mostly came during last winter's polar vortex. One group of researchers believes the polar vortex can be linked to climate change, through a multi-step process that involves cold air slipping under a high-pressure "block" forming in the arctic.

Overall, 2014 was the 19th-most extreme climate year on record.

By comparison, 2013 saw numerous states with the wettest or near-wettest years ever, while 2012 was the warmest year ever for the U.S.

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Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.