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Climate and Environment

Yes, This Summer Has Been Hotter Than Normal

A pedestrian uses an umbrella on a hot sunny morning in Los Angeles, Oct. 24, 2017. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)
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If this summer has felt warmer than normal, that's because it has been.

This July was the 11th hottest on record for the U.S., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Here in California, temperatures have been about two degrees hotter than average, making this the 19th warmest start to a summer on record. Drought conditions, particularly in the northern part of the state, have slightly worsened over the past few months, due to high heat following a less than stellar rainy season.

(Courtesy National Weather Service)
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In July, we saw heat waves cook SoCal's valley and desert areas with triple-digit scorchers. Death Valley hit 128 degrees, one of the hottest days ever recorded on planet Earth.

Hotter temperatures lead to an increase in heat-related deaths, especially among marginalized populations.

High temperatures also increase our wildfire risk, in part, because they dry vegetation to dangerously low moisture levels. High heat has been a contributing factor to the above-average number of fires we've seen across the state this year, including the 29,000-acre Apple Fire still burning in Riverside County.