The summer of 2021, which produced numerous extreme weather and climate disasters, was also the hottest on record in the US and tied with the Dust Bowl summer of 1936, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The average temperature from meteorological summer – June, July and August – was 2.6 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average, NOAA reported Thursday. This summer’s average temperature “technically exceeds the record heat of the 1936 Dust Bowl summer,” though by just 0.01 degrees, it also noted.
Scientists reported in August that global temperatures are increasing faster than previously thought, and the window is rapidly closing to cut human reliance on fossil fuels and avoid catastrophic climate change.
The state-of-the-science report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said the planet is careening toward a critical threshold that world leaders agreed in the Paris accord should be avoided to prevent worsening impacts.
More than 18% of the contiguous US experienced record warm temperatures this summer, NOAA reported. California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Utah each reported their warmest summer on record, and 16 other states had a top-5 warmest.
“Last month brought Hurricane Ida, numerous wildfires and devastating floods, capping off a summer of record heat and rainfall for many states throughout the country,” the NOAA report stated.
The announcement comes on the heels of last month’s NOAA announcement that July was the hottest month on record for the entire planet.
In addition to having record heat, the summer also saw above-average precipitation for the country, despite historic drought conditions in the West. Precipitation across the US was more than 12% above normal summer levels, with Mississippi, Alabama, Massachusetts, Michigan and New York all experiencing top-5 wettest summer