The first eight months of this year are so far the hottest on record in the 48 lower states, said a report from the U.S. National Climate Data Center Monday.
It was also the third hottest summer on record since recordkeeping began in 1895, the agency said.
“The January-August period was the warmest first eight months of any year on record for the contiguous United States,” the center said. The average national temperature of 58.7 degrees Fahrenheit was 4 degrees above the average temperature throughout the 20th century.
The previous hottest January-August period was in 2006, but 2012’s temperatures were 1 degree Fahrenheit above the average six years ago, the report sad.
The eight-month span also doubled as the 14th driest period in the contiguous United States, researchers said.
The center did not specify if human-caused climate change was the reason for the high average temperatures. Climate scientists blame the elevation in temperatures on man-made phenomenon.
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