One often-repeated claim is that global temperatures are not warming because they were higher in the 1930s. Aside from the fact that this is a U.S.-centric argument based on the extreme temperatures in the Midwest and Southern Plains during the Dust Bowl years, it simply isn't true. This fact is being hammered home even more vigorously with the record-setting heat wave of 2011. July is closing out with all-time record hot monthly temperatures from Austin to Washington, as well as many points in between.
One location in the heart of the Dust Bowl, Oklahoma City, is finishing its hottest month on record. According to preliminary data from the National Weather Service, the July average temperature through the 30th of 89.2° is enough to ensure that the month will exceed the previous all-time hottest month of August 1936, which had an average of 88.7°. This is also well above the previous hottest July average of 88.3°, which was set in 1934 and tied in 1980.
Wichita Falls is also completing its hottest July on record.
Here's the preliminary report from NWS:
THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES FOR MONTH OF JULY 2011 ARE EXPECTED TO BE
THE WARMEST ON RECORD FOR ANY JULY FOR BOTH OKLAHOMA CITY AND
WICHITA FALLS. ALTHOUGH THE RECORDS WILL NOT BECOME OFFICIAL UNTIL
THE END OF THE CALENDAR DAY... NO CHANGE IS EXPECTED IN THE COMPUTED
AVERAGES FOR THIS MONTH AS TEMPERATURES ARE NOT FORECAST TO COOL
ENOUGH TO AFFECT THE VALUES.
AT OKLAHOMA CITY, THE WARMEST AVERAGE TEMPERATURE ON RECORD FOR JULY
WAS 88.3 DEGREES, WHICH OCCURRED BACK IN 1980 AND 1934. THE AVERAGE
TEMPERATURE FOR JULY 2011 IS EXPECTED TO BE 89.2 DEGREES... WHICH
WILL BREAK THE RECORD FOR THE WARMEST JULY ON RECORD.
AT WICHITA FALLS,THE WARMEST AVERAGE TEMPERATURE ON RECORD FOR JULY
WAS 91.9 DEGREES, WHICH OCCURRED BACK IN 1980. THE AVERAGE
TEMPERATURE FOR JULY 2011 IS EXPECTED TO BE 92.9 DEGREES... WHICH
WILL BREAK THE RECORD FOR THE WARMEST JULY ON RECORD. IN ADDITION,
THE TOTAL RAINFALL AMOUNT FOR JULY 2011 WAS A TRACE, WHICH IS RANKED
AS THE SECOND DRIEST JULY ON RECORD. THE DRIEST JULY ON RECORD WAS
ZERO RAINFALL, WHICH OCCURRED BACK IN 2003.
BOTH CITIES HAVE BROKEN OR TIED MANY DAILY WARMEST HIGH AND LOW
TEMPERATURES AS WELL.