NEWARK, N.J. -

It may not feel like it with the current cold temperatures, but 2012 was the warmest year on record for New Jersey.

State climatologists say the average temperature was around 55.9 degrees, the highest since record keeping began in 1895.

Climatologists tell The Record that's nearly 4 degrees above normal.

They say the increase was largely due to above-normal winter temperatures. February came in 7.4 degrees above normal, and March saw temperatures nearly 10 degrees higher than usual.

Five of the six warmest years on record have now occurred since 2002.