July 2012 was Not the Hottest Month in U.S. History

Back in August 2012, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published this gem, which is remarkably still available online:

"The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during July was 77.6°F, 3.3°F above the 20th century average, marking the warmest July and all-time warmest month on record for the nation in a period of record that dates back to 1895. The previous warmest July for the nation was July 1936, when the average U.S. temperature was 77.4°F."

To say this press release caused widespread climate hysteria is an understatement. Just Google "July Hottest Month on Record in US" to see the worldwide fallout. Headline stories in every conceivable major media outlet around the globe: NY Times, Washington Post, Forbes, National Geographic, Wall Street Journal, the BBC, Reuters, the Associated Press, NBC, CTV, CNN, various government websites, USA Today, NPR, Bloomberg, US News & World Report, CBS, LA Times, Voice of America, China Daily, the Huffington Post, the Financial Times, the Daily Mail, the prestigious scientific journal Nature, and on and on the list could go.

Well, apparently NOAA has revised its climate data since August 2012. July 2012 is no longer the hottest month on record in the database. July 1936 has apparently regained its number one hottest ever rank. You can see the data for yourself here, which is a direct link off the original August 2012 NOAA press release. For the record, a screen capture is given below of the top two ranking, in case NOAA changes the dataset once again.

So, in line with Swift's quote above, we see the truth limping in later.

At the peak of the hysteria, The Weather Channel also claimed that April 2012 was the third warmest April on record. Now that ranking has apparently slipped to fourth. May 2012 was claimed to be the second hottest May on record. Now that is a third place.

There are 85 million Google hits for "July Hottest Month on Record in US." Now it appears that all of these articles actually claiming that July 2012 was the hottest month on record in the United States are entirely wrong, including NOAA's own original press release that remains online -- even though its claims are contradicted by its own data. What should happen to all these articles? They should be formally retracted, especially this one over at www.climate.gov.

In the writing style of the press release hysterifiers at NOAA: Too Bad. It. Just. Ain't ... True.

The satisfying irony in a smug government website with the subtitle of "science & information for a climate-smart nation" having junk climate science stories headlining on it.

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