A heat wave across the United States during June, July and August set more than 2,000 daily high temperature records, according to scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. The record heat helped make August the second-warmest and the summer season the sixth-warmest for the contiguous United States, according to preliminary data. The global surface temperature during June, July and August was the seventh-warmest.
Highlights released Thursday by NOAA:
— The average temperature for June, July and August in the contiguous United States was 73.8 degrees Fahrenheit, 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit above the mean for the 20th century.
— The average temperature for August in the contiguous United States was 75.4 degrees Fahrenheit, 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above the mean for the 20th century.
— More than 30 record highs were set during the summer season.
— A record high temperature in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., of 105 degrees Fahrenheit was set Aug. 21. The temperature in Columbia, S.C., was at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit for 14 straight days, breaking a record of 12 straight days set in 1900. The temperature in Cincinnati was at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit for record-setting 5 straight days. It was the warmest August in 113 years for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah.
— The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for August was 0.85 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th Century mean and the eighth-warmest.
— The global surface temperature for June, July and August (northern hemisphere’s summer season) was the seventh-warmest.
— Hurricane Dean, the first major hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season made landfall near Costa Maya on Aug. 21 as a Category 5 storm. It was the first Atlantic Basin hurricane to make landfall as a Category 5 storm since Hurricane Andrew struck Florida in August 1992.
Click to view “Climate of 2007 — August in Historical Perspective.”
NOAA, a scientific agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, focuses on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere. NOAA warns of dangerous weather, charts seas and skies, guides the use and protection of ocean and coastal resources, and conducts research to improve understanding and stewardship of the environment.