June 2021 Was America’s Hottest June On Record

June 2021, which saw record-breaking temperatures across the U.S., was the hottest June on record in the country, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Friday.

“Exceptional heat waves from coast to coast helped push June 2021 to the No. 1 spot on the list of hottest Junes on record for the U.S.,” the agency said on its website.

Eight states — Arizona, California, Idaho, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Utah — logged their hottest June ever, NOAA said, while the contiguous U.S. as a whole recorded an average June temperature of more than 4 degrees above average at 72.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

At the end of June, almost half of the contiguous U.S. was considered in drought, NOAA noted.

The Pacific Northwest and parts of Canada endured a deadly heat wave at the end of the month that’s estimated to have killed hundreds. Scientists said in a new study this week that without climate change, the heat wave — which they described as a “once-in-a-millennium” event — would not have been possible.

If the Earth continues to warm at its current rate, such extreme heat “would go from essentially virtually impossible to relatively commonplace,” study co-author and climate scientist Gabriel Vecchi told The Associated Press. “That is a huge change.”

NOAA also said Friday that the U.S. had experienced eight weather and climate disasters with damages exceeding $1 billion in the first half of 2021.

These disasters included tornadoes in the Southeast in March and severe storms that pummeled Texas and Oklahoma in April, as well as the ongoing heat waves and drought impacting the western United States.

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