Nights provided no relief from the heat this summer: While days were certainly hot across the US, it was the endless parade of sultry, swampy nights that set a record.
The summer nights of 2016 were the hottest in the last 121 years, failing to cool as much as normal due to humidity, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Temperatures don't drop at night when the air is humid.
Every state in the contiguous USA experienced above average temperatures between June and August, with California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island recording their warmest summer ever. The month of August was the 17th warmest month on record, and with precipitation that was 0.85 inches above average, the second wettest month on record. The unusually devastating flooding in West Virginia in June, Ellicott City, Md., in July and Louisiana in August are all related to the persistent flow of warm, moist air, Crouch says. And this year, all 48 states in the contiguous US and Alaska recorded above-average temperatures, with California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island experiencing their warmest summers ever.
Several big cities, including New Orleans; Detroit; Cleveland; Las Vegas; Columbia, South Carolina; and Portland, Maine, also endured their hottest summers.
Eight states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast experienced a record warm August, NOAA said. Those included New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
So far for 2016, the U.S. is experiencing its third-warmest year on record.