Much like every summer, temperatures across the United States are expected to vary, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The eastern and western portions of the country should see warmer than average conditions, while the Plains and Upper Midwest are forecast to see cooler temperatures than are normal for the warmest months.
While this forecast may be seen as a blessing or a curse — depending on one’s location and preferences — it is not unusual for different parts of the country to have different climates and climate trends. This is not surprising for a large geographical area that spans several different climate groups.
24/7 Wall St. examined summer temperatures in each state over two periods. We reviewed for each state the average temperature during the summer months of June, July, and August from 1901 to 2000, and between 1980 and 2010, using the Climate-at-a-Glance feature of the National Centers for Environmental Information produced by the government scientific agency National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Looking at average yearly temperatures for each state’s weather stations, we also found the areas in each state that tend to be the hottest during the summer. The areas nationwide with the highest recorded temperatures are not necessarily located in states with the highest average temperatures. For instance, the hottest temperature recorded since 1980 was in Phoenix, Arizona. But Arizona, on average, is not the hottest state during the summer even though it is home to some of the country’s hottest cities.
Similarly, the area where a state’s highest temperature was recorded is not necessarily the hottest place, on average, in that state. For example, while the highest temperature recorded since 1980 in California was in Redding, the hottest area on average is Bakersfield. Combined with that city’s poor air quality, this could result in some especially unpleasant days over the next few months.
To identify the hottest and coldest states in the summer, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed for each state the average temperature during the summer months of June, July, and August from 1901 to 2000 using the Climate-at-a-Glance feature of the National Centers for Environmental Information produced by NOAA. We also reviewed 30 years of temperature records between 1980 and 2010 from NOAA’s Comparative Climate Data Report from 2018. The hottest area in the summer is based on the 30-year data, as is the location of the weather station with the highest average temperature. The data used to rank Alaska is based on data from 1953 through 2000.