Even before summer 2016 has officially begun, the nation faced a deadly heat wave. Temperatures hit triple digits across the Southwestern United States in late June, going as high as 120°F in parts of California. At least four deaths so far have been attributed to the heat.
According to a report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2016 is on pace to become the hottest year on record. Four of the last six years have ranked as the hottest on record.
While temperatures are increasing across the planet, places where the climate is already hot are now reporting scorching temperatures for much of the year. This is no different in the United States, where cities located in hotter climates report even hotter temperatures year-round. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from NOAA on U.S. cities that report the most days a year with exceptionally high temperatures.
The hottest cities in the country are located in states across the South, West and the Southwest. However, no state has more of the country’s hottest cities than Texas. Texas is the second largest and second most populous state, which largely explains its outsized presence on the list.
Just as much of the world seems to be suffering through record heat year after year, so do many of the hottest U.S. cities. 2015 was the hottest on record for five of the cities on the list with available data. For another six cities, 2015 was among the five hottest years on record. Though not every city had a record breaking year, for each of the hottest cities, the average temperature in 2015 was hotter than the mean annual temperature between 1981 and 2010.
While all of the cities on the list had an exceptionally high number of days where temperatures reached at least 90°F, temperatures in these areas are still subject to fluctuation in different parts of the year. Every city on the list has an average of at least one day a year where temperatures hit the freezing mark, and 24 of the hottest cities have at least 10 such days. In Bishop, California, a city with 91 days of at least 90°F, there are an average of 144 days of temperatures at 32°F or less.
To identify the hottest cities in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the average number of days each year that temperatures of 90°F or higher are recorded in 254 U.S. cities. Figures came from NOAA’s “Comparative Climatic Data For the United States Through 2015.” Averages for each city were calculated over varying periods, depending on when the city began keeping records. Other averages, including record temperatures, monthly highs, precipitation data, and days of clear skies, were calculated from a 30 year period between 1981 and 2010 and also came from the NOAA report.
The are the hottest cities in the country.