July is always hot, but if it seems like last month was even more uncomfortable than usual, you’re right. In fact, it’s now in the record books as the warmest month in history.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration reports the average temperature in the continental US was 77.6 degrees last month, besting the previous high mark set in 1936 by two-tenths of a degree.

It’s certainly in keeping with a trend — the past 12 months have been the warmest of any such period on record, and the first seven months of this year are the hottest since NOAA record-keeping began in 1895. In addition, the drier-than-average weather has also left many states with serious drought problems.

That, in turn, has wreaked havoc on the farming industry, wilting corn and soybean crops and leading the US Department of Agriculture to designate more than half of all American counties as disaster zones.


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