Weather thus far for 2012 has not only broke high-temperature records for our region, but for the majority of the US as well. March highs for the Four Rivers region were nearly 15 to 20 degrees warmer than normal. The national average for the same period was just over 8 and a half degrees higher. According to The Paducah Sun, the National Weather Service is reporting the past winter as the third warmest on record for the area. Paducah meteorologist Robin Smith says the warmer weather is due to an extended La Nina effect, preventing fronts from moving through the region. McCracken County Emergency Management meteorologist Beau Dodson compares the extreme nature of area weather to the dust bowl era of the 1930s. Dodson says temperatures will return to more seasonable levels before climbing into May.