The U.S. had its hottest summer on record, narrowly beating out highs set during the Dust Bowl in 1936.
The average temperature for the Lower 48 states from June to August was 74 degrees Fahrenheit—or 2.6 degrees above average, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday. That average is just 0.01 degree Fahrenheit above the previous record, set in the summer of 1936.
NOAA said a record 18.4% of the contiguous U.S. experienced its warmest temperatures. Five states—California, Nevada, Utah, Oregon and Idaho—reported their hottest summers, and 16 had their top-five warmest summers on record, according to the federal agency’s U.S. Climate Report for August 2021. No state had a below-average temperature for the summer.