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News : US Economy Last Updated: Aug 9, 2012 - 9:06 AM


July was hottest month on record for contiguous United States; Drought covers nearly 63% of landmass
By Finfacts Team
Aug 9, 2012 - 7:30 AM

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July was the hottest month on record for the contiguous United States, according to government scientists. Drought now covers nearly 63% of the landmass of the Lower 48 states, where average precipitation is 0.19 inch below average.

According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the average temperature across the contiguous United States in July was 77.6 Fahrenheit, a full 3.3 degrees above the 20th century average. The previous warmest July was in 1936, the Dust Bowl year of the Great Depression, when the average temperature was 77.4 degrees.

The hot July contributed to a record-warm first seven months of the year and the warmest 12-month period the nation has experienced since reliable record-keeping started in 1895.

Weeks of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) heat continued across the Central Plains and Midwest during July. Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri had July precipitation totals ranking among their ten driest. Maine had its fifth driest July on record.

The reduced wheat output of the  world’s top grain exporter will impact food prices later in the year. Cattle are also were less inclined to breed in the high temperatures according to ranchers.

NOAA statement

USDA drought information page

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