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Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 09/13/2011

Second hottest summer on record in U.S.; Texas continues sizzling

Dallas sets record for most 100+ days

Summer temperature rankings across the U.S. compared to normal. (NOAA)
As the eastern two-thirds of the country awaits its first real taste of autumn air, the news from NOAA is that the summer was the second hottest on record in the U.S. The average summertime temperature was 74.5 degrees F, 2.4 degrees above average. Meanwhile, records for heat continue to fall in Texas.

Some facts about the U.S. hot summer:

* Texas had the warmest summer on record of any state. Oklahoma had the second warmest summer on record of any state (and its hottest summer on record).
* New Mexico and Louisiana also had their warmest summers on record.
* Fifteen states had a summer average temperature among their top ten warmest. Washington, D.C. had its second hottest summer on record (2010 was hottest)

* As the searing heat dried out the soil, Texas had its driest summer on record, with a state-wide average of 2.44 inches or rain, 5.29 inches below average.
* The U.S. Climate Extremes Index, a measure of the percent area of the country experiencing extreme climate conditions, ranked third highest high on record since 1910.

Years with most 100+ days in Dallas (NWS)
Amazingly, record heat continues in Texas. In Dallas, the high passed 100 today for a record-setting 70th time in a calendar year. Houston hit 102, passing the century mark after September 12 for the first time on record. Houston Chronicle SciGuy Eric Berger reports the city thus recorded both its earliest (6/5) and latest 102-degree day in a calendar year. And, in­cred­ibly, Wichita Falls, Texas hit 100 for the 100th time today; its 100+ count is 22 above the next highest year, 1980.

Some relief is on the way in these cities, with forecast highs in the 70s and 80s in Wichita Falls (they’ll need parkas) and Dallas, respectively, by Thursday, and the low 90s in Houston by the weekend.

By  |  02:00 PM ET, 09/13/2011

Categories:  U.S. Weather, Latest

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