(Shutterstock Photo)
(Shutterstock Photo)

Arizona gets HOT in the summer—but it doesn’t actually own the record for highest temperature ever recorded in the US. And the Grand Canyon State isn’t as far off from the lowest US temperature ever recorded as one may think.

More than 210 degrees Fahrenheit separates the highest and the lowest temperatures on record in the United States, the third-largest country in the world. As some states are infamous for having blistering hot summers, others become inundated by winter storms and frigid cold. 

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The contiguous US had its warmest meteorological summer (June-August) on record in 2021, according to NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. 

Stacker consulted 2021 data from the NOAA’s State Climate Extremes Committee (SCEC) to illustrate the hottest and coldest temperatures ever recorded in each state.

Here are some states’ most extreme temperature and precipitation records.

Alaska: All-Time Lowest Temperature in the US

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– All-time highest temperature: 100° F (Fort Yukon on June 27, 1915)
– All-time lowest temperature: -80° F (Prospect Creek on Jan. 23, 1971)
– All-time highest 24-hour precipitation: 15.05 inches (Seward Airport on Oct. 10, 1986)
– All-time highest 24-hour snowfall: 78 inches (Mile 47 Camp on Feb. 9, 1963)

Prospect Creek recorded the coldest-ever US temperature of -80 degrees in 1971. On Oct. 10, 1986, Seward witnessed the highest rainfall as compared to any other parts of Alaska due to an unrelenting rainstorm. The highways and the railroads took a massive hit during the three-day rainstorm, and the region was declared as a “federal disaster area.” In October 2018, the city of Seward was forced to announce an emergency declaration after facing the wrath of heavy flooding yet again. Nearly 5 inches of rain were recorded following several days of heavy rainfall that caused debris to block several roads.

California: All-Time Highest Temperature in the US

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 – All-time highest temperature: 134° F (Greenland Ranch on July 10, 1913)
– All-time lowest temperature: -45° F (Boca on Jan. 20, 1937)
– All-time highest 24-hour precipitation: 25.83 inches (Hoegees Fc 60 A on Jan. 22–23, 1943)
– All-time highest 24-hour snowfall: 67 inches (Echo Summit Sierra at Tahoe on Jan. 5, 1982)

Death Valley’s Greenland Ranch holds the record for the highest temperature ever recorded at 134 in 1913. But On Jan. 20, 1937, Boca—a former reservoir located in Nevada County—recorded a mind-numbingly cold temperature of -45 degrees. In February 2019, news reports observed that June Mountain in the Sierra Nevada, located east of Yosemite National Park, reported 72 inches of snow in 24 hours, but it was not officially recorded.

Where Arizona Lands

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– All-time highest temperature: 128° F (Lake Havasu City on June 29, 1994)
– All-time lowest temperature: -40° F (Hawley Lake on Jan. 7, 1971)
– All-time highest 24-hour precipitation: 11.4 inches (Workman Creek 1 on Sept. 4–5, 1970)
– All-time highest 24-hour snowfall: 38 inches (Heber (Black Mesa) Ranger Station on Dec. 14, 1967)

Heber Black Mesa Ranger Station is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Phoenix and is a ranger district on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. On Dec. 14, 1967, this part of Arizona suffered from an unexpected natural disaster in the form of a non-stop snowfall that lasted eight days and came to be known as The Blizzard of 1967.

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