July was the world's hottest month ever recorded

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Friday, August 13, 2021
Weather or Not: Climate Change
Meteorologist Lee Goldberg explores the changing climates in this episode of Weather or Not.

NEW YORK -- July 2021 was the world's hottest month ever recorded.

That's according to new global data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Centers for Environmental Information.

"In this case, first place is the worst place to be," said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. "July is typically the world's warmest month of the year, but July 2021 outdid itself as the hottest July and month ever recorded. This new record adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe."

Around the globe: the combined land and ocean-surface temperature was 1.67 degrees F (0.93 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees F (15.8 degrees C), making it the hottest July since records began 142 years ago.

The previous record was set in July 2016 and tied the past 2 years. July 2021 was .02 degree warmer.

Asia had its hottest July on record, besting the previous record set in 2010; Europe had its second-hottest July on record, tying with July 2010 and trailing behind July 2018; and North America, South America, Africa and Oceania all had a top-10 warmest July.

The average temperature last month across the contiguous U.S. was 75.5 degrees F (1.9 degrees above average), placing July 2021 in the 13th-warmest spot in the 127-year record.

California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington had their hottest Julys on record. Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming saw their top-10 hottest Julys.

Not only did we have the hottest month ever, but also one of the wettest Julys on record. The average precipitation was 3.36 inches (0.58 of an inch above average), making it the sixth-wettest July.

Precipitation was above average across much of the Northeast, Southeast and South, as well as portions of the Midwest, Ohio Valley and Great Lakes. New York and Massachusetts had their wettest July on record.

Meanwhile, much of the Northwest and Northern Tier, as well as parts of the central Plains, Midwest and central Appalachians, had below-average precipitation. Minnesota and Washington saw their second- and fourth-driest July on record, respectively.

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