Green Right Now Reports

July 2012 was the hottest ever on record for the contiguous United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

It averaged 77.6 degrees Fahrenheit across the nation, with brutal daytime highs and unforgiving nighttime lows calculated together for a 24-hour average temp.

Record heat blanketed the upper half of the U.S. in July.

That was 3.3 degrees above the 20th Century average and .2 degrees above the previous record hottest July in 1936, NOAA calculated.

The past month was part of the warmest 12-month period since recordkeeping began in 1895.

The current drought, which covered nearly 63 percent of the country by the end of July, has exacerbated the heatwave, contributing dry air to the overheated states, particularly in the country’s heartland.

The worst of the drought and the heat dealt a double punch to the center of the nation, with the heatwave stretching from the parched Plains states across the U.S. midsection to the Eastern Seaboard.

July temperatures were among the 10 top warmest for 32 states. Virginia experienced its hottest July ever, which was 4 degrees above its 20th Century average, according to NOAA.

Corn and soybeans crops have been devastated by the extreme summer weather, with the federal government figuring that the Primary Corn and Soybean Agricultural Belt “experienced its eighth driest July, third driest June-July, and sixth driest April-July (growing season) in the 1895-2012 record.”