It may come as little surprise to the nation’s corn farmers or resort operators, but the official statistics are in: July was the hottest month in the lower 48 states since the government began keeping temperature records in 1895.
The average temperature last month was 77.6 degrees — 3.3 degrees above the average 20th-century temperature, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported on Wednesday. July thereby dethroned the record of 77.4 degrees set in July 1936, the agency said.
Warmer-than-average temperatures gripped much of the country last month, with the biggest departures from the 20th-century average reported across most of the Plains, in the Midwest and along the Eastern Seaboard, the agency’s report said. Virginia had its warmest July on record, with the average temperature four degrees above the norm, it added.