USA sizzles in July

Map courtesy NOAA

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that July 2012 was the hottest month ever in the contiguous (lower 48) United States.

The average temperature during July was 25.3 C (77.6 F) which was 1.7 C warmer than the average for the 20th century.

That breaks the old record from July 1936 by two-tenths of a degree and records go back to 1895.

The month was also drier than normal with drought conditions expanding to 63% of the Lower 48 States.

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