For most folks, summertime is synonymous with heat, humidity, and excessive utility bills. And if it has felt a little hotter under the collar than usual lately, you’re not imagining it. Global temperatures during July 2021 took things up a notch, making it now the world’s hottest month ever recorded, according to new global data released by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).
“July is typically the world’s warmest month of the year, but July 2021 outdid itself as the hottest July and month ever recorded,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad confirms.
Official Heat Specs for July 2021
- Around the globe: The combined land and ocean-surface temperature was 1.67°F above the 20th-century average of 60.4°F, making it the hottest July since records began 142 years ago. It was 0.02 of a degree higher than the previous record set in July 2016, which was then tied in 2019 and 2020.
- The Northern Hemisphere: The land-surface only temperature was the highest ever recorded for July, at “an unprecedented” 2.77°F above average, surpassing the previous record set in 2012.
With last month’s data in the books, 2021 is pacing to rank among the world’s 10-warmest years on record, according to NCEI’s Global Annual Temperature Rankings Outlook.
On a similar note, the tropics were busy heating up last month. Elsa, the Atlantic hurricane season’s earliest fifth-named storm, formed on July 1 and made landfall in the Florida Panhandle less than a week later. August so far has produced three more named storms (Fred, Grace, and Henri). Fred and Henri made impacts in the U.S. as tropical storms. Grace reached major status (Category 3) before making its final landfall in Central Mexico.
Historically, mid-September is the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season.
The Eastern North and Western Pacific basins each logged three named storms during July. Overall, global tropical cyclone activity this year so far has been above normal for the number of named storms.