Climate Change

July 2022 marks the 3rd hottest on record for the US

Precipitation was below average across much of the country’s west, central plains and southern parts

By Arya Rohini
Published: Tuesday 09 August 2022
The first seven months of 2022 saw an average precipitation of 16.58 inches, marking it the driest ever recorded.Photo: iStock

The United States (US) witnessed its third-hottest July on record in 2022, according to the country’s weather forecaster National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The average temperature across the US crossed 24.6 degrees Celcius (°C), making July the third-hottest in the country’s 128-year climate record. 

Texas reported its hottest July ever, according to the analysis. In addition to the record warmth in Texas, California and Florida saw their sixth-warmest July on record, NOAA added.

Only July 1936 and July 2012 had been hotter than the past month.

The first seven months of 2022 saw average precipitation of 16.58 inches (1.51 inches below average), marking it the driest ever recorded.

Precipitation was below average across much of the country’s west, central plains and southern parts. California had its driest January-July on record, while Nevada and Texas saw their second driest months.

Heatwaves had gripped the US in July, with some parts recording temperatures beyond 38°C. Parts of southwestern, south-central and eastern US had been particularly impacted, according to the National Weather Service. The federal agency forecasts weather in the US.

Widespread high temperatures, ranging from 32°C-38°C, will cover most of the country from July 21-22, said experts. 

Catastrophic flooding 

On July 26, several regions in and around the city of St Louis in Missouri received above-average rainfall.

A stalled weather system combined with tropical moisture resulted in high precipitation that rivalled the records set by the hurricane Galveston in 1915.

St Louis’ Lambert International Airport reported rainfall of 8.64 inches and St Peters, Missouri, measured 12.34 inches of rain from this event. The extreme rainfall caused flash flooding, damaging homes and businesses extensively.

Four-to-eight inches of rain was widespread across eastern Kentucky and the Kentucky river crested to an all-time high.

Heavy rain, enhanced by the hilly terrain, trapped many residents in their homes. The flooding resulted in at least 37 fatalities.

Some 51.4 per cent of the contiguous US was drought-hit, according to a report by the US Drought Monitor. Droughts intensified across the northeast US, with flash droughts rapidly expanding in the southern and central plains of the country, the report noted.

June 2022, too, was a warm month for the US. The average temperature across the country was 21.5°C. This makes it the 15th-warmest June in 128 years, according to NOAA. 

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