According to Climate Central, there is now more CO2 in the atmosphere than at any point in at least the last two million years. And, the United States is heating up just like the rest of the world.
The country has warmed 1.3°F to 1.9°F since 1895, which seems like a small amount. But, it’s all pretty much concentrated out in the Southwestern part of the country. This means that places like Death Valley and other desert cities just keep getting hotter and hotter.
So, if you’re not a fan of heat then you’ll definitely want to ensure you familiarise yourself with the seven hottest cities in the US before travelling. It’ll help you avoid any super sweltering days this summer.
Hottest Cities In The US
According to climate data from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, Phoenix is the hottest city in the United States right now. The city has 169 days a year where the temperature reaches over 90°F. And, the highest temperature on record to date was a sweltering 122°F. That’s insanely hot! Phoenix heat levels shot up to 122 degrees on June 26, 1990, to mark the all-time record high temperature set at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.
So, why does Phoenix get so hot? It’s due to the mountains that surround the valley, which blocks rain and clouds and allows heat to build up under high air pressure. Another reason is is its proximity to the equator (2,300 miles from the equator). Phoenix is also an Urban Heat Island (UHI), which is an area that has consistently higher temperatures than surrounding areas because of buildings that retain heat, and a lot of concrete and asphalt.
The hottest months in Phoenix are May to September, so plan your visit another time if you can’t handle the sweltering heat of the desert city.
Where to stay in Phoenix?
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Another city in Arizona took the No. 2 spot on the national list of the hottest cities in the US. Tucson’s temperature reaches over 90°F at least 147 days per year, which means that you can expect nearly four full months of sweltering heat each year. The normal mid-summer daily high? 100.2°F.
Surprisingly, Tucson is often hotter than Phoenix in the winter months. There are an average of 58 days during the year when Tucson’s record temperature high is greater than Phoenix’s, and nearly all of those days occur in late fall or early winter. National Weather Service Meteorologist Paul Iñiguez explains: “During the winter, they’re (Tucson) further south, so they’re getting a little stronger sunshine when the sun is at its weakest.”
Where to stay in Tucson?
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Las Vegas is smack dab in the middle of the desert, so it comes as no surprise that it’s one of the hottest cities in the US. It tied with Tucson in terms of the highest recorded temperature to date. Both cities reached 117°F at one point. But, the normal summer temperature is much higher here, reaching 104.1°F on average. Not only that, Las Vegas is the fastest-warming city in the United States, according to Climate Central, an organisation that studies climate change.
Las Vegas’ rapid urbanisation has turned the city into an Urban Heat Island, trapping heat between the concrete buildings and asphalt.
Where to stay in Las Vegas?
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How to get to Las Vegas?
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Ah, Texas. It’s a massive state and a beautiful one. But, it’s darn hot, y’all. Four Texas cities took the final four spots of our top seven list. Del Rio comes in at No. 4, with 134 days per year seeing temperatures over 90°F. As if that weren’t enough, the year-round average temperature is 81.6°F. It’s not sweltering but that’s still fairly warm.
In 2019, Del Rio recorded the highest April temperature since 1984, coming in at 107 degrees. While other parts of Texas are more of a dry heat, Del Rio is often humid, making it feel extra H.O.T.
Located on the western Gulf Coast in South Texas, Brownsville lies adjacent to the Mexican border. So, this city is pretty far south. While it’s not the southernmost city in the United States, temperatures still get pretty high, especially during the summer. The average mid-summer high temperature is 94.4°F. July and August are the hottest months, so avoid visiting then if you want to steer clear of the heat. On average, there are 223 sunny days per year in Brownsville. The US average is 205 sunny days.
Brownsville has had some record-breaking highs of its own: in June 2019, the “feels like” unofficial peak heat index reached 128 degrees at Brownsville.
Numerous tourists and even Texas locals head to San Antonio each summer to tour The Alamo. And, they’re met with insane heat. The average mid-summer high temperature here reaches up to nearly 98°F each day, with the average year-round high sitting at right about 83.5°F. It never really gets cold here.
In recent years, San Antonio has experienced increasingly warmer temperatures, with the summer season lasting for longer. This is due to a high pressure system that has lingered in central Texas in the summer, keeping cold air from flowing into the region.
Where to stay in San Antonio?
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Texas’ capital city is hot! Head to Austin during the summer and you’ll be “hotter’n blue blazes.” The city records 114 days per year with a temperature above 90°F, making it easily one of the hottest cities in the country. From June to September, the highs barely, if ever, make it below the 90s. And from April to October, Austin’s temperature usually never goes lower than 40 °F.
Austin has about 22 more days that feel like 90 degrees or higher each year than it did before 1979.
How to get to Austin?
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