The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday that July was 0.95 degrees Celsius (1.71 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the 20th century average of 15.8 C (60.4 F) for the month.
Because July is generally the warmest month on the calendar, meteorologists say this means it also set a new all-time monthly record for the past 140 years.
Last month’s temperatures narrowly topped the previous July record, set in 2016, by 0.03 C (0.05 F).
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The results had been expected after several European countries including France, Belgium and Germany reported that July smashed previous national temperature records. The Swedish hamlet of Markusvinsa recorded a sizzling 34.8 C (94.6 F), the highest temperature measured north of the Arctic Circle.
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According to NOAA’s records, 9 of the 10 hottest Julys on record have occurred since 2005 and last month was the 43rd consecutive July above the 20th-century average.
The record temperatures notched up in July were accompanied with other major landmarks. Average Arctic sea ice, for example, was almost 20% below average in July, less even than the previous historic low of July 2012.
The July peaks came hot on the heels of a sizzling June, which ended up being the hottest June recorded over the past 140 years.
The year to date is also 0.95 C (1.71 F) above the long-term average, still slightly behind 2016 and on a par with 2017, NOAA said.
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Meteorologists expect 2019 won’t beat the current record for warmest year, set in 2016.