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Summer Of 2022 Ranks As 3rd Warmest On Record For Contiguous US

From extreme heat to multiple 1-in-1,000-year floods, there was no shortage of records that were broken this summer

This past meteorological summer, which spans June 1 to Aug. 31, was ranked the third-hottest summer across the contiguous United States.

In a report recently published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the average temperature this past summer for the Lower 48 was 78.9 °F, which is 2.5 °F above average.

This year ranks right behind the summer of the Dust Bowl, 1936, and the scorching summer of 2021, both of which had an average temperature of 74.0 °F, which is 2.6 °F above normal.

“According to the Southeast Regional Climate Center, 15 US cities experienced their warmest average temperature on record for meteorological summer”, AccuWeather Senior Weather Editor and meteorologist Jesse Ferrell said.

Ferrell noted that Orovada, Nevada, had the most significant temperature departure from normal as the average temperature climbed 4.5 °F above normal.

The month of August was one for the record books, too, coming in as the eighth-warmest August since record-keeping began 128 years ago. The average temperature of the contiguous US in August was 74.6 °F, which is 2.5 °F above average, according to NOAA.

Washington, Oregon, Idaho, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire were the eight states to record their warmest August on record.California recorded an average temperature of 78.3 °F, making it the second-warmest August on record there. It was only two years ago that California notched its warmest August on record, which was only 0.6 °F warmer than this year, coming in at 78.9 °F.

But it wasn’t just temperature records that were broken. Record flooding events and extreme drought made the headlines frequently throughout the summer.

This summer, an ongoing drought tightened its grip across the Southwest, drying up lakes, rivers and reservoirs.

According to US Drought Monitor, a severe-to-extreme drought still covers all of California, Nevada, Utah and New Mexico as of mid-September.

In late August, officials in Southern California took unprecedented measures by restricting water usage to 6 million residents in an effort to adapt to the unrelenting drought.

“Several extreme 1,000-year flooding events occurred across the U.S. in August. On August 2, parts of southern Illinois were drenched by 8–12 inches of rain in a 12-hour period. An area south of Newton, Illinois, recorded 14 inches of rainfall over the same period. On August 5, Death Valley National Park received 1.70 inches of rain, an all-time 24-hour rainfall record for the area, resulting in substantial flooding and damage to roads and vehicles, temporarily stranding park visitors and staff overnight”, noted the NOAA report.

Produced in association with AccuWeather.

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