Highest U.S. Temperatures on Record by State
By Paul Homewood
I have occasionally posted about the State Climate Extremes Committee in the US, which verifies and maintains data on record meteorological observations on a State by State basis.
Unlike the Met Office, the SCEC is extremely diligent in checking new claims for record temperatures, daily rainfall and so on, including site visits and rigorous checking. Details of how they operate is here.
One particular requirement is this:
One wonders whether the SCEC would approve a rainfall record half way up a mountain! (Or for that matter a record low temperature). We actually do not have to wonder, because the list of records shows this not to be the case. Whilst there are some records in highland areas, these all appear to be in habited locations.
Below is the distribution of record high temperatures, and I think most of us are familiar with the preponderance of records in the 1930s. Remember, these numbers include ties, so from a statistical point of view should be evenly distributed across time. (Ties, by the way, on the same day are not counted).
Handily, Electroverse have written a transcript of these records:
The hottest day ever recorded in Alabama was the 112F (44.4C) back on September 6, 1925, in Centreville (about 50 miles south of Birmingham).
June 27, 1915 saw 100F (37.8C) engulf Fort Yukon, located north of the Arctic Circle.
128F (53.3C) hit Lake Havasu City, located on the western edge of Arizona, on June 29, 1994.
Ozark, located along the Arkansas River, recorded 120F (48.9C) on August 10, 1936.
Back on July 10, 1913, Greenland Ranch, now Furnace Creek Ranch, in California’s Death Valley peaked at a scalding 134F (56.7C) — a temp that to this day remains the United States’ hottest on record.
Colorado reached 114F (45.6F) twice — once on July 1, 1933, in Las Animas, and again in Sedgwick on July 11, 1954.
Connecticut has touched 106F (41.1C) twice — in August, 1916 in Torrington, and in July, 1995 in Danbury.
Millsboro hit a high of 110F (43.3C) on July 21, 1930.
On June 29, 1931, Monticello in Northern Florida reached 109F (42.8C).
Georgia’s witnessed 112F (44.4C) twice — once in Greenville in August of 1983, and once in Louisville in July 1952.
The highest temp in Hawaii is the 100F (37.8C) in Pahala in April, 1931.
Idaho reached 118F (47.8C) on July 28, 1934, in Orofino.
Eastern St. Louis touched 117F (47.2F) on July 14, 1954.
116F (46.7C) was registered on July 14, 1936, in St. Joseph County.
The hottest temperature ever recorded in Iowa was in Keokuk — the 118F (47.8C) set back on July 20, 1934.
Kansas has hit 121F (49.4C) twice, both times in 1936 — on July 18 in Fredonia, and six days later in Alton.
Greensburg hit 114F (45.6C) on July 28, 1930.
Louisiana’s hottest day was August 10, 1936 — Plain Dealing reached 114F (45.6C).
North Bridgton hit 105F (40.6C) twice in the same week — first, Independence Day in 1911, and then 6 days later.
Maryland has seen 109F on four separate occasions — twice in August 1918 in Cumberland, once in Frederick in July 1936, and once way back on July 3, 1898, in Boettcherville.
Chester touched 107F (41.7C) on August 2, 1975.
Stanwood was hit by a toasty 112F (44.4F) on July 13, 1936.
115F (46.1C) scorched Beardsley in western Minnesota on July 29, 1917.
On July 29, 1930, Holly Springs also reached 115F (46.1F).
Warsaw was hit by an all-time high of 118F (47.8C) on July 14, 1954.
117F (47.2C) was hit on two occasions in Montana — once in Glendive in July 1983, and once near Medicine Lake in July 1937.
Three places in Nebraska have hit 118F (47.8C) — Geneva on July 15, 1934, and both Hartington and Minden during the same week in July 1936.
Laughlin, Nevada saw 125F (51.7C) on June 29, 1994.
On Independence Day in 1911, Nashua reached 106F (41.1C).
Old Bridge hit 110F (43.3C) on July 10, 1936.
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant recorded the hottest day in New Mexico’s history — the 122F (50C) on June 27, 1994.
Troy reached 108F (42.2C) on July 22, 1926.
Fayetteville topped-out at 110F (43.3C) on August 21, 1983.
Steele reached a scorching 121F (49.4C) on July 6, 1936.
Gallipolis, located on the Ohio River, reached 113F (45C) on July 21, 1934.
120F (48.9C) has been reached four times Oklahoma, all in the year 1936 — once in Poteau, twice in Altus, and once in Alva.
1898 is the record-holder for Oregon. The mercury hit 119F (48.3C) twice that year— in Prineville, and in downtown Pendleton.
For two days in a row, July 9 and 10, 1936, Phoenixville hit 111F (43.9C).
Providence hit 104F (40C) on August 2, 1975.
The South Carolina capitol reached 113F (45C) on June 29, 2012.
SD has hit 120F (48.9C) twice — once on July 5, 1936 in Gann Valley, and again on July 15, 2006 in Fort Pierre.
Perryville on the Tennesee River hit 113F (45C) twice in 1930.
The lone star state has touched 120F (48.9C) twice — once on August 12, 1936, in Seymour, and once on June 28, 1994, in Monahans.
St. George hit 115F (46.1C) on July 5, 1985.
The town of Vernon reached 107F (41.7C) on July 7, 1912.
Virginia has hit 100F (37.8C) three times — twice in the first week of July 1900 in Columbia, and once on July 15, 1954, in Balcony Falls, Glasgow.
Washington State has reached 118F (47.8C) twice —once on Ice Harbor Dam near Ash on August 5, 1961, and once in Wahluke on July 24, 1928.
West Virginia hit an all-time high of 112F (44.4C) on two occasions — in Moorefield on August 4, 1930 and in Martinsburg on July 10, 1936.
Wisconsin Dells on the Wisconsin River hit a high of 114F (45.6C) on July 13, 1936.
115F (46.1C) was reached twice in Wyoming, once in Basin on August 8, 1983 and once on the Diversion Dam by Wind River Reservation on July 15, 1988.
This raw data speaks for itself — the United States was hotter in the past.
According to NOAA’s own data, of the 50 U.S. state all-time record high temperatures, 23 were set during the 1930s, while 36 occurred prior to 1960.