The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released its "State of the Climate" update for July, and, no surprise, reported that blistering heat torched large parts of the country. The average temperature of 77 was the fourth-warmest since 1895. But July was not just scorching hot. According to NOAA's Climate Extremes Index, which examines the percentage of the United States impacted by extreme weather conditions, 37 percent of the country contended with extreme weather, be it heat, not enough rain, or too much. Some highlights:
, Oklahoma had the hottest month on record in any state, averaging 88.9 degrees. The entire state was rated to have moderate to exceptional drought conditions.
. The high temperature in Dallas exceeded 100 on 30 days in July.
. Forty-one of the 48 contiguous states had temperatures above average, much above average or record-warmest. Central Florida was in the "much above average" category.
. Precipitation overall was 2.46 inches, 0.32 inches below average, with large regional variability.
. Dubuque, Iowa, had its wettest month ever, with 16.01 inches of rain, and its wettest July day ever, with 7.47 inches on the 27th.