Thursday, August 9, 2012

U.S. Has Hottest Month on Record in July 2012, NOAA Says

by , The Washington Post:
Temps compared to normal in July across USA (RCCs)
In 118 years of U.S. records, July 2012 stands as king, hotter than any month previously observed.

NOAA reports today that the average temperature across the continental U.S. was 3.3 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the 20th century average, 0.2 degrees hotter than the previous record set in July, 1936.

Link: July State of the Climate report from NOAA

Not only was the month of July unrivaled for its hot temperatures across the nation, but so too were the first seven months of the calendar year and the last 12 months.

In fact, the last four 12-month periods have each successively established new records for the warmest period of that length.

In this most recent 12-month span from August 2011-July 2012, every state observed warmer than average temperatures except Washington state, which was near average.

During July, some of the hottest temperature occurred in the Plains, Midwest and Eastern Seaboard. Virginia had its hottest July on record, a full 4 degrees above average. Maryland’s July was 3rd hottest on record. In 32 of the 48 contiguous U.S. states, July ranked among the top 10 hottest. At least 35 cities/towns had their hottest day on record (any day of the year).

Related: 2nd hottest July on record in Washington, D.C.; warmest year-to-date on record, 5th driest
Precipitation as percent of normal in July across USA (RCC)


The hot weather was intimately linked to the drought, which expanded to nearly 63 percent of the Lower 48 in July.

In a vicious cycle, high temperatures accelerated evaporation which dried up the land surface allowing it to heat up even more.

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