Hottest States in America

Throughout the year, the hottest states in the US are concentrated in the south-central region and southeastern corner of the country. During every season, Florida, Louisiana and Texas are consistently among the top four of the nation's hottest states, based on state-wide average temperatures. Florida ranks overall as the warmest state year round.

The other state in the top four is Hawaii. The group of tropical islands ranks second to Florida as the country's hottest state. Hawaii rises to the top of the list in winter, with average monthly temperatures well above those of any other state.

But when the North American continent heats up in summer, Hawaii maintains a steady temperature. It drops out of the ten hottest states during summer and into the middle of the pack.

Several other states round out the southeast's lead in annual and seasonal temperatures. The fifth and sixth hottest states throughout the year are Georgia and Mississippi, which have similar average temperatures. Alabama, South Carolina and Arkansas come in close behind.

Oklahoma experiences the most movement from season to season in the rankings. The state doesn't rank in the top ten warmest states for winter and fall, just makes the list in spring, and then jumps to fourth place in summer.

Differences in average temperatures among the hottest states are small in summer, with just three degrees Fahrenheit (1.7 °C) separating the top 10. The spread between states expands in winter to a 16-degree Fahrenheit (9 °C) span between the three warmest states.

State-wide averages of temperatures give just a general indication of climate. The broad averages hide variations in temperatures within a state. For small states, the differences may not be substantial. But for bigger states with topography that ranges from ocean beaches to snowy peaks, temperatures vary enormously around the state.

California is a case in point. That state isn't among the hottest ten in summer, yet it is home to Death Valley, where summer temperatures rise above all others in North America.

The 10 hottest states in the US, based on state-wide average temperatures.
Rank Year Winter Summer
1 Florida Hawaii Louisiana
2 Hawaii Florida Texas
3 Louisiana Louisiana Florida
4 Texas Texas Oklahoma
5 Georgia Georgia Mississippi
6 Mississippi Mississippi Arkansas
7 Alabama Alabama Georgia
8 South Carolina California Alabama
9 Arkansas South Carolina South Carolina
10 Arizona Arizona Arizona
State Temperatures
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