July 2012 was the hottest month ever recorded in the contiguous United States.
Summer 2012 was the third hottest summer for the contiguous United States since record-keeping began in 1895. The average temperature between June and August exceeded the twentieth-century average by more than 2° F.
Much of the central United States experienced lower-than-average precipitation June through August. Throughout the summer, conditions in parts of all but three states ranged from abnormally dry to exceptional drought, creating the largest natural disaster in U.S. history.
However, across the West Coast, Gulf Coast and New England, summer conditions were wetter than average. Florida experienced its wettest summer on record, thanks in part to Tropical Storm Debby and Hurricane Isaac drenching the state with rain. A large and slow-moving storm, Isaac brought record-breaking rainfall to New Orleans – more than nine inches in a 24-hour period.
By late August, two-thirds of the way through the Western fire season, 42,927 wildfires had burned more than 7 million acres. Although fewer than average, fires were bigger and burned more acreage than average.
Data is from National Climatic Data Center’s State of the Climate report, August 2012.