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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Oklahoma, Texas set heat records in July

Oklahoma, Texas set heat records in July /August 9, 2011 By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID , AP

In this Sunday Aug. 7, 2011 photo, the skeletal remains of a fresh water crab is seen on the cracked, dry bed of Lake E.V. Spence in Robert Lee, Texas. The drought that has turned Texas and parts of the Plains into a parched moonscape of cracked earth could persist into next year, prolonging the misery of farmers and ranchers who have endured a dry spell that is now expected to be the state's worst since the 1950s. 

(AP) -- Sweltering may have reached a new record last month, as Oklahoma racked up the country's highest monthly average temperature ever.

That's the highest average temperature, for any month, for any state, associate Oklahoma state climatologist Gary McManus said.

According to automated weather recording instruments, the state's average for July was 89.1 degrees. That tops an average of 88.1 set in July 1954, McManus said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Monday reported that last month was the fourth hottest July on record for the U.S. and that Texas and Oklahoma had their warmest months on record.

"We've been beating temperature records left and right, from the 1930s Dust Bowl drought and the 1950s drought," said McManus, who admitted that's not the kind of record you put on a Chamber of Commerce promotion.

And it's not like Oklahoma is alone in this.

Nationwide, in the past 30 days 3,709 high temperature records have been set or tied.

And, worse, there have been 7,410 records for overnight warmth broken or tied, meaning less chance to recover from the sweltering daytime readings.

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