Hot Weather in USA

Hottest Places in United States

Places in the United States with extremely hot temperatures aren't necessarily the same ones with the warmest weather year-round.

While Death Valley has a well-earned reputation as the country's hottest place, that's true only for extreme heat. On a year-round basis, Death Valley doesn't even make it into the top ten for hot weather.

Here's how the data stack up for ranking the hottest places in America.

Places With Highest Temperatures

North America's highest temperature ever recorded is 134 degrees Fahrenheit (56.7 degrees Celsius), which occurred at Death Valley, California on July 10, 1913 at Greenland Ranch.

The 134 °F reading was officially reinstated as the world's most extreme high temperature after the World Meteorological Organization examined the records. The WMO concluded that a September 13 1922 measurement of 136.4 degrees F (58 °C) in El Azizia, Libya resulted from errors, rather than exceptional heat. In September 2012, the WMO World Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes announced that Death Valley's record instead stood as the earth's highest surface temperature ever officially observed.

No other United States location has come close to experiencing such intense heat. Indeed temperatures over 120 degrees F (48.9 °C) are unusual events, even in the hottest places of the United States, except Death Valley. At the National Park's, weather station, now called Furnace Creek, the thermometer rises above 120 on five to twenty days a year.

Since it set the North American and world records, Death Valley has recorded daytime highs of 128 or 129 °F several times. The Mojave Desert site reached 129 degrees (53.9 °C) in 1960, 1998, 2005 and 2007. That kind of heat has seldom been felt anywhere else in the USA.

Examples of extreme high temperatures officially recorded in the United States
Location °F °C Date
Death Valley, California 134 56.7 July 10, 1913
Death Valley, California 129 53.9 July 18, 1998
Death Valley, California 129 53.9 July 20, 2005
Death Valley, California 129 53.9 July 7, 2007
Death Valley, California 128 53.3 June 30, 1994
Death Valley, California 128 53.3 July 10, 2002
Death Valley, California 128 53.3 July 19, 2009
Death Valley, California 128 53.3 July 12, 2012
Lake Havasu City, Arizona 128 53.3 June 29, 1994
Gold Rock Ranch, California 127 52.8 July 28, 1995
Mecca, California 126 52.2 June 26, 1990
Palmdale, California 126 52.2 July 28, 1995
Thermal, California 126 52.2 July 28, 1995
Buckeye, Arizona 125 51.7 July 28, 1995
Laughlin, Nevada 125 51.7 June 29, 1994
Laveen, Arizona 125 51.7 July 28, 1995
Litchfield Park, Arizona 125 51.7 July 29, 1995
Needles Airport, California 125 51.7 July 17, 2005
Willow Beach, Arizona 124 51.1 July 19, 2005
Yuma Airport, Arizona 124 51.1 July 28, 1995
Casa Grande Monument, Arizona 123 50.6 June 30, 1994
Palm Springs, California 123 50.6 July 28, 1995
Phoenix Airport, Arizona 122 50.0 June 26, 1990
Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, New Mexico 122 50.0 June 27, 1994

Extreme heat is confined to a small region of the United States stretching roughly from Palm Springs to Phoenix and includes lower elevations of the Mojave Desert. The area takes in several cities: Phoenix, Yuma, Palmdale and Palm Springs, and towns such as Buckeye and Litchfield Park.

Warmest Places All Year

Out of 7,438 weather stations across the United States, just 17 report an average year-round temperature of over 77 °F (25 °C). Most of these spots sit on southern islands, either Hawaii or the Florida Keys.

Hawaii's warmest climates center around the south coast of Oahu and the west coast of Big Island. Ten other places on this list with consistently warm weather lie scattered along the Florida Keys, from Tavernier to Dry Tortugas National Park.

Just three places on the United States mainland make it over the 77 degree threshold. Two are near the Florida Keys, the hottest being the Fort Lauderdale—Hollywood International Airport. Miami's International Airport pulls in with an annual mean temperature that's just half a degree lower.

Death Valley shows up, not at the top of the list this time, but closer to the bottom, with the same yearly average temperature as Miami. While the weather at Furnace Creek sears in summer, the desert cools down enough during winter to bring Death Valley's annual average in line with that of southern Florida. Death Valley does stand out on this list, though, as the only place outside of Hawaii and Florida, and the only place farther than ten miles from the ocean.

The mean annual temperatures given here are long-term historical averages, based on weather data collected from 1981 to 2010 for the NOAA's National Climatic Data Center.

Places in the United States with the highest annual average temperature
Location °F °C
Marathon, Florida 78.5 25.8
Boca Chica Key, Florida 78.1 25.6
Kona International Airport, Hawaii 77.9 25.5
Key West, Florida 77.8 25.4
Ft Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport, Florida 77.7 25.4
Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii 77.7 25.4
Conch Key, Florida 77.6 25.3
Barbers Point, Oahu Hawaii 77.5 25.3
Long Point Key, Florida 77.5 25.3
Tavernier, Key Largo, Florida 77.5 25.3
Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida 77.4 25.2
Duck Key, Florida 77.3 25.2
Bahia Honda Key, Florida 77.2 25.1
Furnace Creek, Death Valley, California 77.2 25.1
Islamorada, Florida 77.2 25.1
Miami International Airport, Florida 77.2 25.1
Waikiki, Hawaii 77.1 25.1

Places With the Most 100-Degree Weather

The ten places in the nation that most often have really hot weather average over 120 days a year when the temperature climbs to 100 °F (37.8 °C) or higher.

During summer, the heat at these sites is unrelenting. Their thermometers reach the 100s on a daily basis throughout July and August. And the hot weather lasts for many months. Days with 100-degree temperatures start showing up in April and extend into October.

Average number of days a year with temperatures in the 100s Fahrenheit
Location Days Above 99 °F
Death Valley, California 140
Bullhead City, Arizona 129
Stovepipe Wells, California 126
Mecca, California 125
Gila Bend, Arizona 124
Yuma Quartermaster Depot Park, Arizona 124
Blythe, California 121
Lake Havasu, Arizona 121
Parker, Arizona 121
Willow Beach, Arizona 121

Most Days With Highest Temperature

When it comes to being the hottest place in the continental United States for any single day, Death Valley once again far outpaces the competition. During a recent decade, Death Valley ranked as the day's number one hottest spot nearly three times as often as any other US location.

Top ten places for number of days from 1995 to 2005 with the highest temperature in the USA
Location Days
Death Valley, California 803
Lake Havasu City, Arizona 276
McAllen, Texas 231
Coolidge, Arizona 215
Thermal, California 202
Laredo, Texas 197
Bullhead City, Arizona 177
Fort Meyers, Florida 159
Lajitas, Texas 138
Gila Bend, Arizona   98
References

Khalid Ibrahim El Fadli, Randall S. Cerveny , Christopher C. Burt, Philip Eden, David Parker , Manola Brunet, Thomas C. Peterson, Gianpaolo Mordacchini, Vinicio Pelino, Pierre Bessemoulin, Josť Luis Stella, Fatima Driouech, M.M Abdel wahab and Matthew B. Pace. 2012. World Meteorological Organization Assessment of the Purported World Record 58°C Temperature Extreme at El Azizia, Libya (13 September 1922). Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

Guy King. 2007. The Hottest and Coldest Places in the Conterminous United States. Yearbook of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers. 69: 101-114.

NOAA National Climatic Data Center

Steven Roof and Charlie Callagan. 2003. The Climate of Death Valley, California. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 84: 1725-1739.

Utah State University. Utah Climate Center.

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