U.S. experiences second warmest summer on record

Texas has warmest summer on record of any state

September 8, 2011

Summer temps, 2011.

Each dot represents a day where temperatures met or
exceeded 100 degrees.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

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, N.C. 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. The warmest August on record for the contiguous United States was 75.8 degrees F in 1983, while its warmest summer on record at 74.6 degrees F occurred in 1936. Precipitation across the nation during August averaged 2.31 inches, 0.29 inches below the long-term average. The nationwide summer precipitation was 1.0 inch below average.

This monthly analysis, based on records dating back to 1895, is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides.

August 2011 precipitation "divisional rank" map.

August 2011 temperature "divisional rank" maps.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

U.S. climate highlights – August

July 2011 precipitation "divisional rank" map.

July 2011 precipitation "divisional rank" map.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

U.S. climate highlights – Summer

Other U.S. climate highlights

NCDC’s monthly reports are based on preliminary data, which are subject to revision. Additional quality control is applied to the data when late reports are received several weeks after the end of the month and as new scientific methods improve NCDC’s processing algorithms.

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. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.