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      It's official: It's been hot in the Northeast

      No surprise for Northeast residents sweating out the summer after a winter barely touching their snow shovels: this is the hottest year on record in the region so far.

      The Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University reported Tuesday that the average temperature in the 12-state region was 49.9 degrees from January through July. That's the warmest seven-month period since 1895, the year systematic record keeping began.

      The second-warmest comparable period was 1921, when the seven-month average was 49.2 degrees.

      Areas around the United States this summer have suffered through blistering heat waves, wildfires and droughts - the sorts of extreme weather events that experts have predicted will come with climate change. But Cornell researchers cautioned against reading too much into a small set of data covering a single region.

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