What is the Hottest Year in United States Weather History?

by Joe Dorish 6 months ago in america

The Answer Will Likely Surprise and Shock You

What is the Hottest Year in United States Weather History?

For those who are interested in the weather, do you know what is the hottest year in United States history? By hottest year I mean the year in which the most record hottest temperatures were set in states and cities across the United States.

Looking over the data from the National Weather Service of hottest ever temperature records for states and cities in the United States one year stands head and shoulders above all others. No less than 15 states and well over 40 cities in the country set their still standing hottest ever temperature records during the same year.

The other years listed also have multiple states and cities recording their still standing record hottest ever temperatures but each year is far less than the top year. For the hottest years in United States weather history I'm listing all the states and cities which saw record hottest temperatures occurring during that year.

Some states and cities may appear in more than one year because those states and cities have had the same record hottest temperature occur in multiple years. Interestingly, four states (Maine, Illinois, Hawaii and Oklahoma) have set their record coldest temperature over the last 10 years but only one state (South Carolina) has set its record hottest temperature over the last 24 years.

What is the Hottest Year in United States Weather History?

1. 1936 - 15 states and 46 cities set record hottest temperatures still standing

States - Arkansas (120), Indiana (116), Kansas (121 reached twice), Louisiana (114), Maryland (109), Michigan (112), Nebraska (118 reached twice), New Jersey (110), North Dakota (121), Oklahoma (120 reached 4 times), Pennsylvania (111 reached twice), South Dakota (120), Texas (120), West Virginia (112), Wisconsin (114)

Cities - Baltimore (107), Bismarck (114), Bloomington (110), Charlottesville (107), Columbus (106), Des Moines (110), Dubuque (110), Duluth (106), Fargo (114), Fort Wayne (106), Grand Rapids (108), Green Bay (104), Hattiesburg (106), Hot Springs (115), Indianapolis (106), Iowa City (109), Kansas City (113), Lexington (108), Lihue (91), Lincoln (115), Louisville (107), Lynchburg (106), Madison (107), Mesa Verde NP (102), Minneapolis (108), Moab (113), Moline (111), New York City (106), Oklahoma City (113), Omaha (114), Oshkosh (107), Peoria (113), Roanoke (105), Rochester (MN) (108), Rochester (NY) (102), Sioux Falls (110), State College (102), Syracuse (102), Toledo (105), Texarkana (113), Trenton (106), Topeka (114), Tulsa (115), Wichita (114), Williamsport (106), Youngstown (103)

The 46 cities above are from 27 different states covering a huge part of the United States. There is no doubt that the hottest year in United States weather history is 1936,

From the east coast stretching all the way to Hawaii, an amazing number of record hottest temperature records still standing were all set in 1936. If 15 states and over 40 cities all broke their record hottest temperature record today we would all end up having to deal with a ton of legislation congress would pass to try and address the situation.

2. 1930 - 5 states and 9 cities set record hottest temperatures still standing

States - Delaware (110), Kentucky (114), Mississippi (115), Tennessee (130), West Virginia (112)

Cities - Washington DC (106), Birmingham (107), Tuscaloosa (108), Jackson (107), Louisville (107), Charlottsville (107), Roanoke (105), Evansville (111), Huntsville (111)

An impressive number of records were set in 1930 but the numbers pale in comparison to 1936. Most of the states and cities that set records in 1930 are in the south.

3. 1934 - 4 states and 10 cities set record hottest temperatures still standing

States - Idaho (118), Iowa (119), Nebraska (118), Ohio (113)

Cities - Wheeling (104), Columbus (106), Cincinnati (108), Fort Wayne (106), South Bend (109), Detroit (105), Anne Arbor (105), Milwaukee (105), Chicago (105), Indianapolis (106)

The year 1934 is very close to 1930. The major difference is most of the records set in 1934 were in the Midwest instead of the south.

4. 1994 - 4 states and 5 cities set record hottest temperature records still standing

States - Arizona (128), Nevada (125), New Mexico (122), Texas (120)

Cities - Albuquerque (107), Roswell (114), Laughlin (125), Barstow (118), Honolulu (95)

In 1994, most of the hottest temperature records broken occurred primarily in the west. Particularly in the Southwest.

Other Notable Recent Hottest Years in United States Weather History


A number of southern cities like Atlanta and Athens, Georgia and Columbia South Carolina set new all-time record high temperatures in 2012.


San Francisco set a new all-time hottest temperature record at 106 and Las Vegas tied its all-time record of 117 degrees.

Joe Dorish
Joe Dorish
Read next: Camping > Hotels
Joe Dorish

Joe Dorish is a native New Yorker who has traveled to all 50 states and beyond.

See all posts by Joe Dorish