The summer of 2012 has been one for the record books in the lower 48 states. On the heels of the country’s warmest-ever spring, several record-breaking June and July heat waves kept the Southwest, Midwest and Atlantic Coast sweltering. July went on to become the all-time warmest month on record for the country. In fact, 2012 to-date has been the hottest year for the U.S. since instrument records began in 1895, and the summer was the third warmest summer on record. The record-breaking heat has affected nearly every part of the country at some point this year, and so far there have been more than 28,000 daily high-temperature records broken or tied. This begs the question: which state was the biggest record-breaker in 2012? Or put another way: Which state had the most extreme heat?
6. North Dakota - Illinois (tie)
Extreme heat is closely tied to climate change, and this summer’s heat extremes left a global-warming signature in the data, particularly in the ratio of record-high to record-low temperatures.
Photo Credit: John Vlahakis