In contrast, portions of the West were dry. California had its driest calendar year on record with 7.38 inches of precipitation, 15.13 inches below average. This was 2.42 inches below the previous record dry year of 1898, the review said.
Overall, average precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. in 2013 was 31.17 inches, 2.03 inches above the 20th century average. This marked the 21st wettest year on record and the wettest since 2009.
In terms of drought, conditions improved across much of the southeastern and central U.S. during 2013, but deteriorated in the Far West and Northeast. At the end of 2013, about 31% of the contiguous U.S. was experiencing drought, down from 61.1% at the beginning of the year.
In 2013, the U.S. experienced seven weather and climate disaster events, each with losses exceeding $1 billion in damages. These events included five severe weather and tornado events, a major flood event, and the western drought and heat wave. Overall, these events killed 109 people and delivered significant economic effects.
During 2013, there were 742 confirmed tornadoes during the January-September period, with 149 preliminary tornado reports still pending for October-December according to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center. Depending on the final confirmation rate, this could be the slowest tornado year since 1989 when 856 tornados were confirmed, the report said.
View the complete overview on NOAA's website.