This year is shaping up to be the world’s warmest ever recorded


July was officially a scorcher.

It was the warmest month ever recorded, with average temperatures across the globe surpassing the previous record set in 1998, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

With that record-setting July on the books, the world is on track to see the warmest year to date on record. So far this year, the temperature across the world’s land and ocean surfaces was 1 1/2 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, surpassing the record set in 2010 by over a degree.Some highlights from NOAA:

  • Abnormally high temperatures were observed across Europe. Austria recorded its hottest July since national records began in 1767, and France had its third-warmest July in its 116-year period of records.
  • A high-pressure dome over the Middle East brought what may be one of the most extreme heat indexes ever recorded on July 31. The Iranian city of Bandar Mahshahr saw air temperatures of 115°F combined with a dew point of 90°F for a heat index of 165°F, according to media reports such as this one, . The highest known heat index of 178°F occurred in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia on July 8, 2003.
  • Five months this year, including the past three, have set heat records for their respective months. January was the second-warmest January on record and April the third-warmest April on record.NOAA

In the U.S., July was warmer and wetter than average, though above-average precipitation and record precipitation in certain parts of the country did nothing to improve long-term drought conditions in many of those areas, NOAA said. That was true in California, where 46% of the state is experiencing the worst category of drought.

This year so far is the 10th warmest on record for the contiguous U.S. states, NOAA said. It’s also the 10th most extreme, according to an index that tracks temperatures and precipitations falling in the upper or lower 10% of those on record.

NOAA’s temperature records go back 121 years.


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