July Is Hottest Month On Record; Drought Expands To 63 Percent Of United States

Source: Jeff Black / NBC News

It may come as little surprise with this summer’s sweaty nights and blistering days across much of the country, but July marked the hottest month on record for the contiguous United States, according to government scientists. Furthermore, drought now covers nearly 63 percent of the Lower 48 states, where average precipitation is 0.19 inch below average.

A bit of hope, though, was seen for some crops in the Midwest thanks to cooler temperatures and rain.

According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the average temperature across the contiguous United States in July was 77.6 Fahrenheit, a full 3.3 degrees above the 20th century average.

The previous warmest July was in 1936, when the nation’s average temperature was 77.4 degrees.

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