These Four U.S. States Have Had Their Hottest Summer on Record

Four U.S. states have recorded their hottest summer ever, with most of the Lower 48 experiencing above average temperatures.

Arizona, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts had their warmest meteorological summer (June to August) on record, revealed the report by the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), an arm of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

In Arizona, the average temperature in this period was 81.3 degrees Fahrenheit, 72.4 F in Connecticut, 72.5 F in Rhode Island, and 71.4 F in Massachusetts.

A map released by the NCEI showed how the majority of the lower 48 had "above" to "much above" average temperatures this summer.

record US temperatures map
A map showing that most of the lower 48 had "above" to "much above" summer temperatures in 2020. National Centers for Environmental Information

According to the NCEI, many stations in the Southwest, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast met or broke their record for the warmest summer ever. The scorching heat in the Southwest was pinned to an unusually strong ridge of high pressure in mid-August across the western U.S.

The body also found that California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado all reported their warmest August on record. In mid-August, the possible hottest temperature ever recorded on earth of 130 F was marked at California's Furnace Creek Visitor Center in Death Valley.

Phoenix had the hottest month on record, when the temperature was 99.1 F on average. It also had the most known days in a calendar year with a high temperature of at least 110 F, at 50 days, as of September 1.

Not a single state had below average temperatures for the summer, but "near average" and "below average" temperatures were seen in the Lower Mississippi Valley.

In the contiguous U.S., the average temperature was 74.7 F, or 2.6 F above the average of the 20th century, and the third warmest on record.

When the average temperatures between January and August were considered, it emerged Florida had its warmest year-to-date period on record, while Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Rhode Island had their second warmest.

The report comes in a year that the U.S. has battled with extreme conditions, with wildfires raging to the west, and a record-breaking Atlanic hurricane season. The number of storms has been so high that meteorologists may soon need to start using the Greek alphabet to name them.

Last year, environmental scientists told Newsweek climate change will worsen phenomena including extreme heat, wildfires, and hurricanes.

At the time, Paul Roebber of the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, told Newsweek: "You can never say that 'this event happened because of climate change. What you can say, and we already have been able to say for some events, is that 'the chances of an event like the one that just occurred having happened has increased because of climate change.'

"It is really about the changing risk. Traffic accidents happen whether or not there are a lot of cars on the road, but certainly increases in traffic density increase the likelihood of an accident."