Summer 2021 — June through August — was the warmest ever recorded in the continental United States, according to the latest climate report issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The average temperature of 74.0 degrees Fahrenheit was 2.6 F above normal and a scant one-hundredth of a degree higher than the Dust Bowl summer of 1936, the previous record holder.
Not a single state notched a lower-than-normal temperature average for the summer, according to NOAA. California, Nevada, Utah, Oregon and Idaho all reported their warmest summer on record, and another 16 states saw a top-five warmest summer.
Though overall precipitation was above normal in the lower 48 states, huge swaths of the country experienced drought. The Pacific Northwest and California were particularly hard hit by the lack of rain, which contributed to massive wildfires still not under control.
According to the National Weather Service, heat and drought will persist into September in the West.