5 states, including Colorado, report warmest August on record
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Average August temperatures across the U.S. soared to 75.7 degrees, a full 3 degrees above the long-term average (1901-2000) resulting in the second-warmest August on record for the country, the National Climatic Data Center reported today in its monthly State of the Climate update.
Several states — including Colorado — reported their warmest-ever August. Persistent heat across much of the country means the summer of 2011 will go down in the books as the second-warmest summer on record.
Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas reported all-time record high August readings and five other states reported top-ten readings, including Florida (third-warmest August), Georgia (fourth-warmest), Utah (fifth-warmest), Wyoming (eighth-warmest) and South Carolina (ninth-warmest).
Precipitation averaged across the country was 0.29 inches below average, with great variability across the country.
The average summer temperatures in Texas and Oklahoma exceeded the previous record for any state during any month of the year. The previous record was set in the Dust Bowl era, when Oklahoma recorded an average temperature of 85.2 degrees for the summer back in 1934.
During the summer of 2011, every state but North Dakota and Vermont experienced at least one day with a location reporting a maximum temperature exceeding 100 degrees. Across large parts of the Southern Plains and Southwest, many locations reported more than 30 days with readings above 100 degrees.
In the northeast climate region, August temperatures were above normal for the eighth month in a row, with above-normal rainfall readings for the region, as well.
The Midwest region reported near-normal to above normal temperatures for the month, with eight stations in Missouri reporting all-time record August highs.
In the West, cooler than normal temperatures prevailed along the Pacific Coast region, likely as an artifact of lingering La Niña conditions in the Pacific and a persistent marine layer. As a result, Santa Barbara reported its seventh-coolest August on record since 1941.
Away from the coast, the Southwest generally reported above-average readings, with high-temperature records set in southeastern California, Arizona and New Mexico. The Las Vegas airport reported the warmest average temperatures in the 75-year record.