Statewide rankings for average temperature for July 2018 in the U.S., compared to each July since records began in 1895. Darker shades of red indicate higher rankings for heat, with 1 denoting the coldest month on record and 124 the warmest. Graphic: NOAA / NCEI

By Bob Henson 
8 August 2018

(Weather Underground) – July was California's its hottest month in 124 years of recordkeeping, according to NOAA’s monthly summary of U.S. climate released Wednesday. For the contiguous U.S. as a whole, it was the 11th hottest July on record, with almost every state coming in warmer than average. The national average of 75.5°F was 1.9°F above the 20th-century norm, said NOAA.

California’s average for July of 79.7°F was 0.2°F above the state’s previous hottest month on record, July 1931. In addition, several communities in California and adjacent Nevada had their all-time hottest single month. These include:

  • Palm Springs, CA:  97.4°F (previous 97.2°F in July 2006)
  • Fresno, CA:  88.2°F (previous 87.8°F in July 2006)
  • Bishop, CA:  81.8°F (previous 80.8°F in July 2017)
  • Reno, NV:  81.8°F (previous 80.5°F in July 2017 and July 2014)
  • Tonopah, NV:  79.7°F (previous 78.9°F in July 2017)
  • Winnemucca, NV:  78.1°F (previous 77.5°F in July 2014)
  • Elko, NV:  77.2°F (previous 76.8°F in July 2013)
  • Blue Canyon, CA:  74.2°F (previous 73.7°F in August 2012)

Most notably, Death Valley recorded an astounding monthly average in July of 108.1°F. This is the highest monthly average known to have been reliably measured at any station in the world, based on the global archives maintained by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). See our revised Cat 6 post, originally published July 31, for more details.

The blazing temperatures in California, combined with the normally parched summer climate, helped to stoke wildfires that are continuing to ravage the state. These include the Mendocino Complex, the state’s largest fire on record and the first to top 300,000 acres.

Eight states across the U.S. West had a top-ten-hottest July, including California. The nation’s other hot pocket was New York and New England, where each state had a top-ten-hottest July. Both Caribou, Maine, and Burlington, Vermont, saw their warmest average on record for July and for any other month. In Caribou, the July average of 70.9°F was the first time any month has topped 70°F in records going back to 1939. The 76.0°F in Burlington exceeded all months going back to 1892. [more]

July 2018: Hottest Month in California History, Record-Wet in Mid-Atlantic

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