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It was supposed to be one of the wettest Februaries on record. Instead, by one measure at least, it became the hottest on record.

With an average high temperature of 77.5, February was almost two degrees hotter than the previous record set in 1954, according to a Times analysis.

Monday’s reported high of 74 capped a 10-day spell of temperatures in the 70s and 80s. Those mild but unusually warm days combined with the two record heat spells earlier in the month to lift February 2016 into the lead, according to a Times analysis of weather data going back to 1878. The National Weather Service was withholding its official announcement until midnight Monday to include another measure using a combination of high and low readings.

Applying Monday’s predicted low of 56 to that measure, The Times found that February would become the second warmest with a high-low average of 65.9, falling just four-tenths of a degree below the record set in 1995.

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