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July Was Hottest Month on Record in US

  • VOA News

Central Illinois corn crops show signs of stress as they struggle to grow during a record breaking heat wave with dry weather conditions that is happening across most of the U.S., in Farmingdale, Illinois, July 6, 2012.
Americans knew it was hot in July, and now the government is saying last month was the hottest on record.

U.S. weather officials said Wednesday the average temperature across the contiguous 48 states in the country - excluding the geographically separate states of Alaska and Hawaii - was 25.3 degrees Celsius [77.6 degrees Fahrenheit] in July. That was slightly higher than the devastating Dust Bowl summer the country suffered through in 1936.

The government also said the country has had the warmest January-to-July period since it began keeping records in 1895, as well as the warmest 12-month period.

The U.S. said climate change is a factor. It said that in almost every month the recent surge in temperatures is topping the marks set during the Dust Bowl years.

Just as in the 1930s, U.S. farmlands have been scorched with the relentless heat, leaving crops withered. With relatively little rain, a majority of the country's land mass has been classified as being in a drought.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.