July 4th Extremes
If there’s one thing that won’t change about this year’s July 4th celebrations, it’s the heat. Over the past year, there were 49 all-time record highs (according to NCEI) across the U.S., compared with just 2 record lows. This week we zoom in to look at just the records set on July 4th—showing which Independence Days were the hottest, the coolest and wettest in your area.
July is also getting warmer across the U.S. Of the 242 cities analyzed, 70% (170) recorded an increase of at least 1℉ in average temperatures since 1970, with 44% (106) registering an increase of 2℉ or more. The greatest increases are concentrated in the western United States.
In a warming climate, seemingly-small increases in average temperature lead to big increases in extremes. Record high temperatures have been outpacing record lows at an increasing rate across the U.S.
For the rest of the summer, temperatures are expected to be hotter than normal for much of the country, and scientists are confident that 2020 will be among the hottest years globally—even vying with 2016 for the hottest year ever recorded.