WASHINGTON - Last month was the warmest April on record for the United States, offering many Americans a pleasant spring month.

For the 48 contiguous states the average temperature was 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit above normal for the month, the National Climatic Data Center reported Tuesday.

That made it the nation's warmest April since record keeping began in 1895.

Worldwide it was also an above-normal month, but not a record breaker, finishing as the seventh warmest April worldwide, according to the Data Center, a branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The warmth led to below normal home energy demand for the month, the agency added.

The warmth was particularly noted in Texas and Oklahoma which had their warmest April on record.

For New Mexico, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee it was the second warmest April.

None of the 48 contiguous states was cooler than average, but it was below normal for the month in Alaska.

Drought persisted across large portions of the southern and southwestern United States, the Center said, but nationwide rainfall was near normal for the month.

And it noted there was a series of tornado outbreaks during the first half of the month affecting parts of the Midwest and central Plains as well as the Deep South.