On Aug. 16, 2020, California’s Death Valley reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit, according to an automated measuring system there, representing one of the highest temperatures ever recorded on the planet. The world record, also recorded at Death Valley, was 134 degrees in July 1913.
More than 210 degrees Fahrenheit separates the highest and the lowest temperatures on record in the United States, the third-largest country in the world. As some states are infamous for having blistering hot summers, others become inundated by winter storms and frigid cold. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that the summer of 2020 was the hottest on record in the Northern Hemisphere and the second-hottest summer globally.
Stacker consulted 2019 data from the NOAA’s State Climate Extremes Committee (SCEC) to create this slideshow illustrating the hottest and coldest temperatures ever recorded in each state. Each slide also reveals the all-time highest 24-hour precipitation record and all-time highest 24-hour snowfall.
You can find the national list here.
Missouri by the numbers
– All-time highest temperature: 118° F (Warsaw 1 on July 14, 1954)
– All-time lowest temperature: -40° F (Warsaw 1 on Feb. 13, 1905)
– All-time highest 24-hour precipitation: 18.18 inches (Edgerton on July 20, 1965)
– All-time highest 24-hour snowfall: 24 inches (Jackson on Feb. 25, 1979)
Warsaw is one of two cities in the United States that holds the record for both the highest and lowest temperatures recorded in a state (the other is Millsboro, Delaware). During the 1965 flood in Edgerton, four people died and 729 residences were damaged or completely destroyed. Approximately 433,000 acres of agricultural land flooded during the deluge. The total damages the floods inflicted on properties cost Missouri $24,292,900.
Illinois by the numbers
– All-time highest temperature: 117° F (East St. Louis on July 14, 1954)
– All-time lowest temperature: -38° F (Mount Carroll on Jan. 31, 2019)
– All-time highest 24-hour precipitation: 16.91 inches (Aurora on July 18, 1996)
– All-time highest 24-hour snowfall: 36 inches (Astoria on Feb. 28, 1900)
East St. Louis recorded the state’s most sweltering temperature on July 14, 1954. While the residents of East St. Louis first woke up to stifling 100-degree heat; by late afternoon, the temperature soared to 117 degrees. Residents in St. Louis recalled July 14, 1954, as the day “they were just cooked.”
Arkansas by the numbers
– All-time highest temperature: 120° F (Ozark on Aug.10, 1936)
– All-time lowest temperature: -29° F (Gravette on Feb.13, 1905)
– All-time highest 24-hour precipitation: 14.06 inches (Big Fork 1 SSE on Dec. 3, 1982)
– All-time highest 24-hour snowfall: 25 inches (Corning on Jan. 22, 1918)
“The Great Heat Wave of 1936” affected around 15 states during its three-week run that brought temperatures above 100 degrees. Still, Ozark topped the charts by reaching 120 degrees. Also known as the “1936 North American Heat Wave,” it exacerbated the levels of human suffering during the ongoing Great Depression. Little Rock in Arkansas had to endure its hottest summer in 2010 between June and August when the temperature went above 90 degrees for two months.