Sweltering may have reached a new record last month, as Oklahoma racked up the country's highest monthly average temperature ever. That's the highest average temperature, for any month, for any state, associate Oklahoma state climatologist Gary McManus said. According to automated weather recording instruments, the state's average for July was 89.1 degrees. That tops an average of 88.1 set in July 1954, McManus said.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today reported that last month was the fourth hottest July on record for the United States overall, and that Texas and Oklahoma had their warmest months on record. Nationwide, in the past 30 days 3,709 high temperature records have been set or tied. And, worse, there have been 7,410 records for overnight warmth broken or tied, meaning less chance to recover from the sweltering daytime readings. "This has been a devastating year," National Weather Service director Jack Hayes said. (Read more heat wave stories.)