Much of the nation and the rest of the globe is well on its way to one of the warmest years on record after a blistering July.
July was the hottest month on record globally, breaking several records, the Copernicus Climate Change Service said Tuesday. A long period of unusually high sea surface temperatures around the world have contributed to the heat, said Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth Observation Program.
Many climate scientists already were saying before July even started the chances were good 2023 could be the world’s warmest year on record. July only solidified that concern.
It was the 11th warmest July on record for the U.S., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday. NOAA’s global report is due out next week. Heat waves affected much of the country, and brought record temperatures to the Southwest, which tied with 2003 as the warmest July on record in the region.
Florida experienced its warmest January to July on record.
“We’re on a very good pace to be the warmest year on record,” said state climatologist David Zierden with the Florida Climate Center at Florida State University. August temperatures also have started out warmer than normal.
Another 27 states across the country experienced one of their top 10 warmest year-to-date average temperatures through July, said NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.
July’s average temperatures
Here’s a look at more of this year’s weather records so far:
- uly was the 11th warmest July on record in the contiguous U.S. The 75.7-degree average temperature was 2.1 degrees above average.
- In the southwest, the average temperature tied with 2003 for the warmest July on record.
- In Florida, it was the hottest July on record and tied June 1998 as the warmest-ever month on record.
- It was also the warmest July on record in Arizona, New Mexico and Maine.
- Only five states saw below average temperatures – North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa.
Other temperature records
- Death Valley reported its hottest ever midnight temperature on July 17: 120 degrees.
- In New England, average overnight temperatures were the warmest on record across the region.
- The average temperature in Phoenix for July – 102.8 degrees – was the hottest-ever month for any U.S. city.
- Phoenix had 32 consecutive days of temperatures above 110 degrees, shattering its previous record of 18 days, set in 1974.
- Seven states saw their second warmest January-July period on record: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Mississippi and Louisiana
Billion dollar disasters
- The disasters include 13 severe storms, one winter storm and one flood.
- 113 fatalities have been reported
- The total estimated costs of the disasters exceed $39.7 billion
Why was it Florida’s hottest July?
It’s sort of the tale of two states, Zierden said.
A high pressure heat dome centered over the Gulf of Mexico has cut off the easterly trade winds, he said. That pattern favors more rainfall on the eastern side of the state and lower than normal rainfall on the state’s southwest coast. It also contributes to the very high sea surface and ocean temperatures being seen in South Florida.
- Miami saw a record 46 consecutive days with a heat index above 100 degrees
- In Sarasota, experiencing its driest year to date, the July average temperature – 86.2 – was 3.1 degrees above normal.
- 21 cities broke a record high maximum temperature at least once.
“The extreme weather which has affected many millions of people in July is unfortunately the harsh reality of climate change and a foretaste of the future,” Petteri Taalas, the World Meteorological Organization’s Secretary-General, stated Tuesday. “The need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is more urgent than ever before.”
Source: USA Today