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US heat wave: What are the hottest temperatures ever recorded in each state?

Every state in the United States has seen temperatures over 100 degrees at one point, but there is a place that holds the world record for the hottest.

Update:
The hottest temperatures ever recorded across the US
MASSIMO PINCAREUTERS

When the mercury climbs in the summer months typically you’ll find the highest temperatures in the American Southwest. Nevertheless, every state at one time has seen a thermometer somewhere register at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit, several well in excess.

Typically, record temperatures are set between July and August, but some heatwaves have produced historic readings above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in June and September. With climate change increasing extremes, the high temperatures are expected to last longer, more records are sure to be set.

Also see:

The highest temperature ever recorded was in the US

The world’s official record hottest temperature ever is currently 134 degrees Fahrenheit taken in Death Valley on 10 July 1913. Prior to 2013 the record was held by Al Azizia, Libya, with a reading of 136.4 degrees Fahrenheit in 1923. However, the World Meteorological Organization decertified that record after a committee was assembled and investigated the matter.

One of the members of the team, Christopher Burt, said the 1913 Death Valley record should be decertified too. “The old Death Valley record from July 1913 is 100% bogus (not just 99.9% such),” he said. However, the record for the hottest ever measured temperature would still reside at the nearly inhospitable stretch of land in California. Seven out of Earth’s top-ten list of hottest reliably measured temperatures were taken at Furnace Creek in Death Valley.

Temperatures are rising globally but most records set in the 1930s

The past nine years have been among the ten hottest years on record according to NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s 2021 Annual Global Climate Update. However, that doesn’t mean that those higher temperatures are spread out evenly around the globe. Heatwaves are influenced by a number of factors and aren’t completely understood.

Many of the record highs set in the United States date back to the 1930s when the Plains were scorched under extreme temperatures and an extended drought. Combined with deterioration of the soil from extensive and destructive farming, the plants withered and the area turned into what would become known as the Dust Bowl.

However, changing climate produced usual extreme heat events in 2021, roasting the Northwest. Temperatures in Oregon and Washington were at or near 120 degrees. The next ten years are likely to be even warmer than the previous ones according to NOAA.

Here’s a look at the record temperatures in each state according to NOAA’s State Climate Extremes Committee.

StateRecord TemperatureYear(s)
Alabama112°F1925
Alaska100°F1915
Arizona128°F1994
Arkansas120°F1936
California134°F1913
Colorado115°F2019
Connecticut106°F1995, 1916
Delaware110°F1930
Florida109°F1931
Georgia112°F1983, 1952
Hawaii100°F1931
Idaho118°F1934
Illinois117°F1954
Indiana116°F1936
Iowa121°F1936
Kansas121°F1936
Kentucky114°F1930
Louisiana114°F1936
Maine105°F1911
Maryland109°F1936, 1918, 1898
Massachusetts107°F1975
Michigan112°F1936
Minnesota115°F1917
Mississippi115°F1930
Missouri118°F1954
Montana117°F1937, 1893
Nebraska118°F1936, 1934
Nevada125°F1994
New Hampshire106°F1911
New Jersey110°F1936
New Mexico122°F1994
New York108°F1926
North Carolina110°F1983
North Dakota121°F1936
Ohio113°F1934
Oklahoma120°F1936
Oregon119°F2021, 1898
Pennsylvania111°F1936
Rhode Island104°F1975
South Carolina113°F2012
South Dakota120°F2006, 1936
Tennessee113°F1930
Texas120°F1994, 1936
Utah117°F2021, 1985
Vermont107°F1912
Virginia110°F1954, 1900
Washington120°F2021
West Virginia112°F1936, 1930
Wisconsin114°F1936
Wyoming115°F1988, 1983
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