Was it hot enough for you?
The blistering heat experienced by the nation during August, as well as the June through August months, marks the second warmest summer on record according to scientists at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville. The persistent heat, combined with below-average precipitation across the southern U.S. during August and the three summer months, continued a record-breaking drought across the region.
The average U.S. temperature in August was 75.7 degrees F, which is 3.0 degrees above the long-term (1901–2000) average, while the summertime temperature was 74.5 degrees F, which is 2.4 degrees above average. This monthly analysis, based on records dating back to 1895, is part of the suite of climate services the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provides.
August was the warmest month on record in the South, according to data compiled by NOAA. Drier-than-normal conditions also reigned across the interior West, the Midwest, and the South.
Only nine of the lower 48 states experienced August temperatures near average, and no state had August average temperatures below average.
Despite record rainfall in parts of the country, drought covered about one-third of the contiguous U.S., according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Based on NOAA's Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index, the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand was 22.3 percent above average during summer. This is the largest such value during the index's period of record, which dates to 1895.
NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. For more climate-related information, visit www.ncdc.noaa.gov.