All-Time State High Temperatures
By The Numbers
Have you ever wondered what the warmest temperature has been for your state? What about the highest measured in the United States? You can view these records, as well as others on the State Climate Extremes Committee tab on National Centers for Environmental Information webpage. Other state records include minimum temperature, 24-hour precipitation, 24-snowfall, snow depth, and largest hail size if available. This blog will focus on all-time high temperatures by state.
Including the Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, there are 78 state all-time high temperatures. The District of Columbia is not included. Here are some facts by the numbers.
- The warmest temperature measured in the United States is 134°F in Greenland Ranch, California on July 10th, 1913.
- All states, including Alaska and Hawaii, have reached 100°F.
- Maryland and Oklahoma lead the way with four records each.
- Maryland – 109°F (July 3rd,1898, Aug 6th, 1918, Aug 7th, 1918, July 10th, 1936)
- Oklahoma – 120°F (July 18th, 1936, July 19th, 1936, Aug 10th, 1936, Aug 12th, 1936)
- Nebraska, Virgin Islands, and Virginia have three records.
- Nebraska – 118°F (July 15th, 1934, July 17th, 1936, July 24th, 1936)
- Virgin Islands – 99°F (July 31st, 1988, Aug 4th, 1994, June 23rd, 1996)
- Virginia – 110°F (July 5th and 7th, 1990, July 15th, 1954)
- Seven locations have set their state’s record more than once.
- North Bridgton, Maine – 105°F on July 4th and July 10th, 1911.
- Cumberland, Maryland – 109°F on August 6th & 7th, 1918.
- Altus Iris Res Station – 120°F on July 19th, 1936 and August 12th, 1936.
- Phoenixville 1E, Pennsylvania – 111°F on July 9th, & 10th, 1936.
- Perryville, Tennessee – 113°F on July 29th, 1930 and August 9th, 1930.
- Charlotte Amalia Cyril E King AP, Virgin Islands – 99°F on August 4, 1994 and June 23, 1996.
- Columbia 2SSE, Virginia – 110°F on July 5th & 7th, 1900.
- Records by month.
- July – 50
- August – 18
- June – 8
- April and September – 1
- Records by decade.
- 1930s – 35
- 1910s – 10
- 1990s – 8
- 1980s – 6
- 1950s – 5
- 1890s – 4
- 1920s – 3
- 1900s, 1970s – 2
- 1960s, 2000s, 2010s – 1
- The only decade since 1890 with zero records, the 1940s.
- Oldest Record.
- Glendive, Montana – 117°F on July 20th, 1893.
- Newest Record.
- Columbia University of South Carolina, SC – 113°F on June 29th, 2012.
- Most Usual Location Name.
- Ice Harbor Dam in Washington reached 118°F on August 5th, 1961.
Interested in exploring more about all-time maximum temperatures by state? Here is a Google Map of their records. If you click on an icon, you can view the actually Cooperative Observer’s form when available. Enjoy!
Hurricane Preventer: Saharan Dust
By: Marina Kobasiuk
Hurricanes need specific conditions in order to form and strengthen; generally this means higher ocean temperatures, warm and moist air above the water, and low wind shear so storms can stay organized and not loose the air masses that feed them. There are other factors as no weather phenomenon or condition exists in a vacuum, but these more prevalent ones tend to control much of hurricane development. Currently in this 2018 season though there has been a more unique occurrence that has been helping to keep the Atlantic quiet. That would be the clouds of dust carried from the Sahara in West Africa by winds moving towards the Americas.
These air masses are extremely dry, and while they’re not an uncommon event at all due to the Easterly winds in that region, the plume observed at the end of June was visibly larger than most on satellites. This larger mass of dust has likely been preventing larger storms from forming as the dryer conditions lie above the moist layer that’s at the surface and restrict convection and keep storms from intensifying. This is such a regular occurrence in the region that the term “Saharan air layer” is used to refer to the section of atmosphere all this heat and dust resides in. This influx of particles is also tied to air quality in the southern united states and the Caribbean with the dry, hot, and dusty air interacting with local air masses and adding to pollution problems.
In May, NOAA predicted that the Atlantic was likely to see an “near or above normal” hurricane season, but this hasn’t come to pass exactly. There have been relatively less storms and even fewer have intensified enough to be named. The conditions at face value should be favoring storms as sea surface temperatures are higher and broke records in June. The month was the fifth warmest June ever for the planet, and the sea surface temperatures when averaged made it the sixth warmest June ever for the sea surface. Ocean temperatures of this sort should be ripe for severe weather development, but the dust plumes that were also pushed into the atmosphere at the same time seem to be contributing to the lack of storms and keeping this available energy under wraps. But while this is the current pattern now, as the dust clears and ocean temperatures continue to rise with the rest of summer, the chance of a hurricane becomes higher. The later half of the season is normally the more active and intense part to begin with and this effect might only be a break before the 2018 shifts once again.
Summary: The recent weeks the Atlantic’s hurricane season has been going slowly, and while things can change, dust plumes from Africa could be keeping the effects of a warm ocean in check for now.
Ozone Pollution and its Sources
By: Marina Kobasiuk
Tracking the air quality of a region becomes vitally important in the summer months as pollutants along with heat and humidity can combine to create major health risks. One of the most commonly observed gasses is Ozone (O3), a molecule formed from three atoms of oxygen. Ozone is naturally found in large amounts in the stratosphere, and high up in the atmosphere like that it is actually part of the reason life can thrive on Earth. Ozone absorbs the UVB rays that are from the ultraviolet part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Since these rays are tied to cellular damages in humans, plants, and marine creatures, the ozone layer protects us from those effects. Midway through the stratosphere this molecule is extremely helpful, but lower down in the troposphere it can become part of smog along with other compounds in the air, which is how ozone becomes a health risk. Sensitive populations such as the young and elderly, or those with conditions like asthma, should always be considered if there are air quality alerts, but healthy individuals are also effected so be aware of what official outlets in your local area recommend when these conditions occur!
Interestingly, ozone itself is not a pollutant that humans create directly. It is created when compounds containing nitrogen react in sunlight along with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). As it is technically a secondary pollutant, tracking the multitude of ways in which ozone can be created is a daunting task. Especially when VOCs are in so many of the products people use daily. In fact they have recently been found to be produced by many items designed to evaporate quickly, such as drying paint. As well as products that disperse scents through the same mechanism of evaporation, such as perfume or anything with a manufactured smell. And a significant number of the products created today have these chemicals added to make them less offensive to our senses. These all emit various VOCs and therefore are contributors to the creation of surface ozone all around the globe. Common assumption puts these as minor emissions but the quantities add up to create major pollution, as the study estimates they could equal that of vehicles. This disparity is due to how engines and their fuels are designed to prevent evaporation, which along with cleaner transportation has greatly reduces pollution. In direct contrast these scented products are made to create emissions for their own sake. Which means in daily life these compounds could linger inside and contribute to indoor pollution before they even reach the outdoors and diminish the overall air quality. So the research done on how these emissions interact with ozone levels and how they could possibly be regulated will be an important next step in controlling pollution.
Summary: Air Quality is a frequent concern in the summer months, so looking at ozone and how it is produced is one important part of a much bigger picture.
Weather Hall of Fame at the National Weather Museum and Science Center.
We are pleased to announce the establishment of the Weather Hall of Fame at the NWMSC. Nominations are open now and will be due back to us by July 29th at midnight.
Please take some time to nominate a well deserving member of the weather community.
Any member of the National Weather Museum and Science Center (NWMSC) may nominate one or more individuals for election to the Weather Hall of Fame at the National Weather Museum and Science Center each year. There are three categories for nomination; representatives from the private sector, from the public sector, and from the media. A nomination consists of a letter to include the following information and attachments of up to two supporting letters or statements.
- Name of Individual
- Sector representing (private, public or media)
A brief description (up to one-page) of the individual’s contributions to the weather enterprise. Up to two supporting letters/statements (not to exceed one-page each) may be included in the nomination package.
Nominations not successful in the first year of submission will be automatically reconsidered in the following two years. After three years a new nomination will be required.
Nominations should be emailed to:
firstname.lastname@example.org or snail mailed to:
The National Weather Museum and Science Center
1200B W Rock Creek Rd
Norman, OK 73069
We will be hosting a Banquet for Recipients:
A banquet will be held in the fall to honor the recipients and acknowledge their contribution to the weather community.
Stay on the lookout for more information and be sure to get your nominations in by July 29th!