by Max Brantley
This is how bad it is. I took my afternoon walk yesterday and thought, well, it's hot, but it's been worse. True. It was only 102.
This just in: National Weather Service says July was the hottest month on record for the lower 48 states. Records go back 117 years, to 1895.
Worse than the Dust Bowl years.
HOWEVER: John Robinson of the local Weather Service office says July was NOT a record in Little Rock. (But close enough to keep a handkerchief handy.)
The sizzling summer of 1980 was the hottest, with an average temperature (highs and lows averaged together) of 88.1 degrees; 2012 was in 2nd place with 87.3 degrees.
In regards to high temperatures, 1980 was again on top with an average high of 101.65. This year was in 2nd place with 99.07 degrees.
Regarding the warmest low temperatures on record in July, 1998 was in 1st place with an average low of 76.45 degrees. Second place went to 2011 with 76.07, in 3rd place was 2010 with 76.00, and this year came in 4th with 75.61 degrees.
We won't know the averages for the entire state until the National Climatic Data Center averages everything up, and that will probably be two to three months from now.