In more than 117 years of records, July 2012 stands alone as not only the hottest July on record in the lower 48 United States, but also the hottest of any month on record in that time span. To put it another way, July 2012 was the hottest of more than 1,400 months that we've gone through since 1895.
The report released by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Wednesday says that July 2012 surpassed the previous record hottest month set in July 1936. That year was during the middle of the very dry and hot Dust Bowl era. Senior Meteorologist Stu Ostro says, "Exceeding July 1936 at the peak of the Dust Bowl heat -- is BIG!"
July 2012 was 3.3 degrees above the 20th century average. Ostro puts this in perspective, "While three degrees might not seem like much because temperatures can vary a lot more than that from day to day, it’s significant when averaged over a whole month, and particularly so in the summer when temperatures typically have less variation than at other times of year.”
July 2012 Temperature Rankings: A number of 118 represents the warmest July on record and a number 1 would indicate the coolest July on record.