Jul 7, 2016

Heat Wave Lifts June to Record Hot Temp for U.S.

United States
by
Andrea Thompson
,
Climate Central
How temperatures across the contiguous U.S. compared to normal during June 2016. Click image to enlarge. Image:: NOAA
How temperatures across the contiguous U.S. compared to normal during June 2016. Click image to enlarge. Image:: NOAA

Thanks in part to the epic heat wave that sent temperatures skyrocketing in the Southwest, last month was the hottest June on record for the contiguous U.S., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday.

June was 3.3°F above the 20th century average of 68.5°F, beating the previous record set in 1933 by 0.2°F, according to NOAA data. That bump of heat comes amid what is the hottest year to date by a good margin for the world as a whole...

Globally, 2016 is far ahead of the top three hottest years — 2015, 2014, and 2010 — through the end of May and is poised to break the record. While an exceptionally strong El Niño helped boost temperatures, it is primarily the excess heat trapped by greenhouse gases that is making record hot months and years more and more likely, both globally and for the U.S.

Global warming is having outsize impact on Arctic temperatures, which are warming much faster than those for the planet as a whole. That includes Alaska, which is having its hottest year on record by far through the first half of the year.

Alaska’s average temperature is a stunning 9°F above the 1925-2000 average for the January-June period. That bests the previous record warm January-June (in 1981) by 2.5°F