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Texas sets hottest June-August record

Associated Press / September 9, 2011

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LUBBOCK, Texas - The state of Texas just finished the hottest June through August on record in the United States, the National Weather Service said yesterday.

Weather service meteorologist Victor Murphy said Texas averaged 86.8 degrees to beat out the previous mark of 85.2 set by Oklahoma in 1934.

That Dust Bowl year is now third on the list for the three-month span, behind No. 2 Oklahoma’s heat wave this June through August (86.5 degrees).

Both states and others in the nation’s southern tier have baked in triple-digit heat this summer.

Texas had its hottest June on record, the fifth warmest month overall, and July was the warmest month ever.

Oklahoma’s July was the country’s highest monthly average temperature ever, at 89.1 degrees.

Louisiana’s heat this June through August puts it in the fourth spot all-time - 84.5 degrees.

The average figures are taken from the entire 24-hour cycle of the day, not just from daily highs.

The reason for all the hot, dry weather lies thousands of miles away in the Pacific Ocean. The La Nina phenomenon is associated with cooler sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific. It brings dry conditions to the southern US states.

Unfortunately, the forecast shows the likelihood of La Nina reemerging.

Texas has not just been hot this summer. It is in the midst of its worst drought since the 1950s and enduring its driest single year going back to 1895.

The heat and lack of rainfall have clobbered agriculture. An early estimate shows crop and livestock losses at $5.2 billion.

That figure was expected to rise. The drought and scorching temperatures have burned grazing pasture and rangeland, forcing ranchers to severely cull herds.

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