A scorching July contributed to the third hottest summer on record for the contiguous United States. Most of the U.S. was also drier than average. Rains from Isaac did little to relieve drought.

Temperature anomaly map

Record and near-record breaking temperatures dominated the eastern two-thirds of the nation and contributed to the warmest March in the contiguous United States since records began in 1895. The average temperature was 8.6 degrees above the 20th century average for March. In the past 117 years, only one month (January 2006) has ever been so much warmer than its average temperature.

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