If your experience was similar to mine, your Facebook news feeds and Twitter streams during July were inundated with posts complaining about the friggin' heat. It wasn't just my friends, as I'm guilty as anyone else. I'm usually a pansy when it comes to heat, but this summer has taken things to a new, hellacious level.
And now, there's scientific evidence to back up everyone's excessive whining. July 2012 was officially the hottest month on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The average temperature for the contiguous United States last month was 77.6°F, a full .2° hotter than any month since they started keeping records back in 1895. Not only that, but it was 3.3° hotter than the average for the entire 20th century.
Only the state of Virginia had it's warmest July on record, but when you factor in the entire contiguous United States, well, it was pretty toasty:
Higher-than-average temperatures engulfed much of the contiguous U.S. during July, with the largest temperature departures from the 20th century average occurring across most of the Plains, the Midwest, and along the Eastern Seaboard. Virginia had its warmest July on record, with a statewide temperature 4.0°F above average. In total, 32 states had July temperatures among its ten warmest, with seven states having their second warmest July on record.
Just look at the map, that's a lot of orange:
Not only was July the warmest month on record, but we're living amid the hottest 12-month period and the hottest start of any calendar year since 1895.
So go home, crank the AC, and have a cold beer. You've earned it, America.[via Ars Technica]