LUBBOCK (AP) – Texas just finished the hottest June through August on record in the U.S., the National Weather Service said Thursday.
Weather service meteorologist Victor Murphy told The Associated Press that Texas’ 86.8 average beat out Oklahoma’s 85.2 degrees in 1934.
That Dust Bowl year is now third on the list for the three-month span, behind No. 2 Oklahoma’s heat wave this June through August (86.5 degrees).
Both states and others in the nation’s southern tier have baked in triple-digit heat this summer. Texas had its hottest June on record, the fifth warmest month overall, and July was the warmest month ever.
Oklahoma’s July was the country’s highest monthly average temperature ever, at 89.1 degrees.
Louisiana’s heat this June through August puts it in the fourth spot all-time — 84.5 degrees.
The average figures are taken from the entire 24-hour cycle of the day, not just from the daily highs.
Texas hasn’t just been hot. It’s in the midst of its worst drought since the 1950s and enduring its driest single year going back to 1895.
The heat and lack of rainfall have clobbered agriculture. An early estimate shows crop and livestock losses at $5.2 billion. That figure was expected to rise.
Grasses, vegetation and trees around the state remain tinderbox dry and wildfires have destroyed more than 3.5 million acres since last November, about when the drought started. Just this week, hundreds of homes were destroyed when wildfires raged everywhere from North Texas to southeast of Austin.
The U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday shows that not a speck of Texas is out of drought, and more than 81 percent is in the worst category.
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