DALLAS (STACKER) — On July 9, 2021, 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 contiguous U.S. had its warmest meteorological summer (June-August) on record in 2021, according to NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.
Stacker consulted 2021 data from the NOAA’s State Climate Extremes Committee (SCEC) to illustrate 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.
Keep reading to find out your state’s record, or see the national list here.
Texas by the numbers
– All-time highest temperature: 120° F (Seymour 3NW on Aug.12, 1936)
– All-time lowest temperature: -23° F (Tulia Near on Feb.12, 1899)
– All-time highest 24-hour precipitation: 42 inches (Alvin on July 25–26, 1979)
– All-time highest 24-hour snowfall: 26 inches (Hillsboro on Dec. 20–21, 1929)
The sweltering heat wave of 1936 claimed the lives of 5,000 people across the U.S. but didn’t receive widespread coverage by leading newspapers at the time. During the 2019 heat wave in the state, Galveston’s temperature stayed at 100 degrees for 40 hours. The heat felt even more stifling due to high humidity levels.
Continue below to see the most extreme temperatures in the history of other states in your region.
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.
Louisiana by the numbers
– All-time highest temperature: 114° F (Plain Dealing on Aug. 10, 1936)
– All-time lowest temperature: -16° F (Minden on Feb. 13, 1899)
– All-time highest 24-hour precipitation: 22 inches (Hackberry 8 SSW on Aug. 28–29, 1962)
– All-time highest 24-hour snowfall: 13 inches (Colfax on Feb. 13, 1960)
Hackberry, a community in Cameron Parish, witnessed the state’s heaviest rainfall between Aug. 28 and 29 in 1962. A tropical depression that had first formed in the western Gulf of Mexico eventually struck the Texas and Louisiana border two days later before finally subsiding on Aug. 30, 1962. In August 2016, the state of Louisiana suffered from devastating flooding. More than 100,000 houses were destroyed, and over 10,000 people had to move to shelters.