exact information published by the National Weather Service (for populated places). Unfortunately, it’s published one day at a time with only the previous couple of days of national highs and lows listed. Also, for whatever reason, the NWS only publishes this information for the continental U.S., no Alaska or Hawaii (or for that matter, no Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, etc.). Based on the lower 48’s extreme temperatures, Hawaii may occasionally have the nation’s warmest weather, but Alaska would almost certainly claim the coldest temperatures on most days (October to April anyway).
I patiently compiled the daily U.S. high and low temperatures (and the corresponding location) over the last year (January 22, 2011 to January 21, 2012). Some would call this obsessive or silly or strange, to which I can offer no really good rejoinder. But I did it, and crunching the numbers I found some interesting things to note (all temperature values in degrees Fahrenheit):
Extreme Temperature Facts
|Bullhead City - likely on a hot day|
Let me digress to discuss record high temperatures. The highest recorded temperature in North America, and the second highest ever recorded on Earth, is 134 degrees at Furnace Creek in Death Valley, California on July 10, 1913. That was nearly a century ago, and I have no idea who was reading that temperature, how the thermometer was calibrated, or whether it was even set-up right. Call me a skeptic, but 134 degrees in the shade seems rather high even for a record high temperature. Similarly, the highest ever recorded temperature on Earth – 136 degrees – was recorded in the Sahara at Aziziya, Libya on September 13, 1922. This 90-year-old recording is in dispute. If it is indeed inaccurate, what is the real highest temperature recorded in modern times?