Americans hoping for a mild summer may be out of luck this year. Climate models are indicating that — outside of the Plains region — temperatures will be warmer than normal this summer as well. The summer of 2018 tied with 1934 as the fourth hottest summer on record for the contiguous United States.
Of course, temperatures vary widely across the country. The coldest temperature ever recorded was -80° Fahrenheit in Prospect Creek in central Alaska in 1971. At the other end of the spectrum, temperatures reached a staggering 134° Fahrenheit in Furnace Creek, Death Valley, California on July 10, 1913 — one of the hottest places on Earth.
Temperatures also vary within each state, with geographic and other factors affecting the weather. Cities filled with heat-trapping materials such as asphalt, metal, and concrete are often the warmest. Elevation may also come into play. Furnace Creek, for instance, sits at 190 feet below sea level.
Based on the most recent historical temperature data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 24/7 Wall St. identified each state’s hottest city.
While California’s Death Valley is the nation’s hottest region, areas in Arizona, Nevada, Texas, and Utah are not far behind. In these cities, the average maximum temperature surpasses 100° Fahrenheit during the hottest month. Among the hottest cities in the nation’s coldest states are Fairbanks, Alaska, and Sanford, Maine.
To identify the hottest city in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the annual maximum average temperature recorded in 9,800 weather stations in the United States between 1981-2010. The weather station (and the subsequent town closest to it) with the highest consistent maximum temperature during the hottest month for this 30-year period was considered the hottest city in the state.
All data on temperature averages, weather station coordinates, and elevation were derived from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association’s 1981-2010 Climate Normals program.