July was the Warmest Month in the 135-Year History of Record-Keeping

Tuesday, August 25, 2015
A resident of Bandar Mahshahr, Iran, seeks relief from July's 165°F scorcher (photo: Capital Weather Gang/Twitter)

July, which historically is a hot month around the globe, managed this year to break a number of temperature records, according to U.S. scientists.


During the entire month of July, the planet experienced the warmest monthly temperature on record, going back to 1880. The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) reported the global thermometer reached an average of 61.86°F, which was 0.14°F higher than the previous record set in 1998.


July also had an average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces of 1.46°F above the 20th century average. Ocean surface temperatures also recorded an all-time high.


“The July globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.35°F (0.75°C) above the 20th century average,” the NCEI reported. “This was the highest temperature for any month in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record set in July 2014 by 0.13°F (0.07°C). The global value was driven by record warmth across large expanses of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.”


The agency noted that the average temperature for Africa was the second highest for any July on record, while many places across Europe experienced heat waves and record-breaking temperatures this summer. The standout was Austria, which recorded its hottest July since national records began in 1767. The average temperature was 5.0°F higher than the 1981–2010 average, beating the previous record of +4.9°F set in 2006. France experienced its third warmest July in the 116 years since it began temperature record-keeping.


One city broke world records this July. A high-pressure dome over the Middle East resulted in “what may be one of the most extreme heat indices ever recorded in the world on July 31st,” according to NCEI. Media reports claimed that Bandar Mahshahr—a leading port city in southwest Iran, valued for exporting the country’s gas and oil refinery products— weathered an unprecedented temperature of 165°F. The record-breaking scorcher prompted the Iranian government to declare a four-day national holiday so people would stay indoors rather than step out into the heat to go to work.

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Danny Biederman


To Learn More:

Global Summary Information - July 2015 (National Centers for Environmental Information)

Maps and Time Series (National Centers for Environmental Information)

All-Time Highest Temperature Recorded in Antarctica (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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