Above-average temps widespread across contiguous 48 states
By Summit Voice
The average July temperature in the contiguous 48 states was the warmest on record for the month and for any month of the year, based on records going back to 1895, according to the National Climatic Data Center, which released its preliminary report for the month this week.
The July temperature averaged 77.6 degrees, beating the previous all-time record of 77.4 degrees set in July 1936. Near-record heat prevailed from Idaho and Montana across the central states, into the Midwest and to the Southeast all the way to Georgia. In total, 32 states reported top-10 high temperature readings in July, with seven states reporting their second warmest July on record.
The only states reporting near-normal temperatures were Washington and California, as well as Arizona, thanks to a persistent monsoon pattern that set up across the Southwest. The active monsoon flow also helped bring moisture to California, which reported its fifth-wettest July on record, and Nevada, with the eighth-wettest July on record.
But overall, dry conditions continued across much of the country in July, with about 63 percent of the lower 48 states now at some level of drought, the most extensive area of drought in the 13-year history of the drought monitor.
The warm July readings also resulted in the warmest-ever January-to-July period as well as the warmest consecutive 12-month period since record-keeping started in 1895.
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming Tagged: | climate, Contiguous United States, global warming, July 2012 all-time warmest month, July temperatures, National Climatic Data Center