U.S. States by Hottest Recorded Temperature

Name the U.S. states that have the highest ever recorded temperatures.
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Quiz by Jarl5
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Last updated: July 8, 2022
First submittedJuly 11, 2017
Times taken35,928
Average score70.0%
Rating4.33
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°F
State
°C
130
California
54.4
128
Arizona
53.3
125
Nevada
51.7
122
New Mexico
50.0
121
Kansas
49.4
°F
State
°C
120
North Dakota
48.9
120
Arkansas
48.9
120
Oklahoma
48.9
120
South Dakota
48.9
120
Texas
48.9
+15
Level ∞
Sep 18, 2020
On August 16, 2020 Death Valley reached a temperature of 54.4° Celsius, the hottest temperature ever recorded (with proper equipment and procedures) anywhere on Earth.

Edit: This record was tied on July 9, 2021.

+3
Level 73
Jul 17, 2017
Check out my quiz on the most climatologically diverse states. There's one for countries too.
+1
Level 75
Jul 18, 2017
I am so confused I cant type punctuation
+6
Level 66
Jul 18, 2017
You don't need to. JetPunk accepts things without uppercase letters or punctuation.
+1
Level 54
Aug 25, 2021
More specifically, it doesn't regard punctuation at all, so you could type in oH,....io for Ohio and it would work.
+4
Level 23
Jul 18, 2017
No hawaii?No Florida? i am shock
+14
Level 73
Jul 18, 2017
Surprisingly, Hawaii is one of only two states (Alaska the other) that has never reached 100 degrees
+10
Level 58
Oct 1, 2020
Depending on which source you use, even Alaska has reached 100 degrees!
+11
Level 63
Jul 24, 2017
Not really all that surprising. The ocean has a very large mediating effect because the ocean temperature is highly resistant to temperature fluctuation (water has a very high heat capacity). Thus temperature near a coast is always more mild that the temperature several 10s of miles inland.
+1
Level 55
Oct 1, 2020
i thought colorado would be on the list, because of the great sand dunes. turns out it got the same temp as Washington
+3
Level 66
Aug 22, 2021
The great sand dunes are at a very high elevation so aren't actually all that hot
+5
Level 66
Jul 18, 2017
Hello to everyone from the front page! Thanks for taking the time to play my quiz today. If you want, feel free to check out some of my other quizzes, there are some good ones out there including a coldest version of this quiz. Have a great day!
+1
Level 26
Jul 18, 2017
that so easy
+1
Level 66
Jul 18, 2017
Wow, you must know your geography!
+2
Level 77
Jul 20, 2017
Nice quiz, Jarl5. We just returned from a three-week driving trip of the western states which made this one easier for me.
+2
Level 66
Jul 21, 2017
Thanks! Sounds like fun.
+3
Level 64
Dec 27, 2017
It's amazing the effect the ocean has on weather. Florida, the southernmost mainland state, isn't actually that hot because of the weather. Yet, South Dakota, approximately the same Latitude as Southern Russia, is on this list!
+3
Level 36
Jun 13, 2018
I've lived in several states, including some of the ones on this list, and Florida felt the hottest. That humidity changes everything.
+3
Level 58
Dec 29, 2019
I thought Utah would be here
+1
Level 46
Oct 1, 2020
How is Florida not in here?
+2
Level 73
Oct 1, 2020
The ocean is a very good regulator of temperature. Overall in Florida it is very hot but never to the point of the temperatures in this quiz - in fact, Colorado has more 100°+ days than Florida on average. And because of the high level of humidity, it seems significantly hotter than in places like Arizona, where the air is dry (this is because when it is humid it is more difficult for sweat to evaporate and cool you down) even if the weather in Florida is 10 or 15 degrees "cooler."
+2
Level 54
Oct 1, 2020
Sooo the 134 degree weather in 1913 in Death Valley is considered dubious?
+2
Level ∞
Aug 15, 2021
Yes. Here's some more info.

https://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/an-investigation-of-death-valleys-134f-world-temperature-record.html

+1
Level 67
Oct 2, 2020
The source given is an absolute mess of data --- very few citations, very few dates, no sorting. One cannot verify the vast majority of their stats without going through considerable effort.
+1
Level ∞
Aug 15, 2021
Yes, I agree. The original source was bad. The new source is better. In fact, I was so frustrated with the lack of good sources so I made my own at Extreme Weather Watch.
+1
Level 78
Aug 16, 2021
It would be sort of cool (no pun intended) if the answer grid also displayed the year of that record. (If the info is available.) It would interesting to see how old or recent the record was.
+1
Level 56
Oct 5, 2020
Wow. This seems very bizarre. I am shocked North Carolina didn't make the list, as it has extremely hot summers that will melt your face off. Shocked to see South Dakota or Nebraska up here over NC. Perhaps it is simply because NC has the sweltering humid heat, that is so hot that it is hard to breathe, but doesn't register as high as the dry heat of places like Arizona.
+2
Level 92
Aug 16, 2021
Summers in the midwest are extremely humid. I've lived in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and New York. The worst heat I have experienced was Wisconsin and New York when it was humid. The heat in North Carolina feels hotter because the suns rays are more direct.

The high temperatures in the Dakotas, for instance, relate to the jet stream, which can dip down far south and bring hot air north in the middle of the country. As hot as it can get in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida, being on the coast and not being as affected by the jet stream help to keep the temperature more "mild".

The record high for North Carolina is 110 degrees and was set in 1983.

+1
Level 55
Aug 16, 2021
Florida gets way hotter than NC, as well as SC, GA, and pretty much all of the south lol
+3
Level 80
Aug 16, 2021
How is it the North Dakota and South Dakota have had such high temperatures?
+1
Level 67
Aug 16, 2021
Would also like to know this?
+2
Level 55
Aug 16, 2021
I think it's a combination of the topography and the elevation. What I mean by this is that it's super flat, but also super high up, so, I don't know if that has any effect. I'm probably wrong though.
+4
Level ∞
Aug 16, 2021
Inland places have more extreme climate than coastal ones. That's why the state with the lowest all-time high temperature is actually Hawaii.
+2
Level 87
Aug 16, 2021
South Dakota native here. For the record, the climate and geography of the Dakotas is quite varied, and I'd dispute Trombone's assertion that it's "super flat and super high up". The eastern part of the Dakotas are certainly pretty flat, but the western part is definitely not.

SD's high temp record was from the hilly northwest part of the state, but only ~2300 ft elevation. 2006 was a really hot and dry drought year.

I looked up Steele, ND which is where their record is from. ~1800 ft elevation, south central part of the state, pretty flat. Record set in 1936, so likely another drought year during the depression/dust bowl era.

I'll admit that I share your surprise that both of the Dakotas have higher record temps than Texas.

+1
Level ∞
Aug 16, 2021
Working on my new site, Extreme Weather Watch, I've learned that the Dust Bowl was insane. All-time record high temperatures from the heat waves of 1934 and 1936 still stand in many places today, even places relatively far removed from the Great Plains such as New York City
+1
Level 83
Aug 22, 2021
The North Dakota record came in 1936, during the Dust Bowl, a very anomalous year with severe droughts that affected the mid-west and turned some of the normally green swaths of prairies and farmland into desert.
+1
Level 37
Aug 16, 2021
Suprised to see the Dakotas here tbh
+1
Level 81
Aug 16, 2021
I like how the third hottest is in a state with a name that literally translates as 'snowy'.
+2
Level 76
Aug 17, 2021
So North and South Dakota are among both the hottest and coldest states?
+1
Level 59
Aug 22, 2021
IKR
+2
Level 46
Aug 19, 2021
I live in a city in Los Angeles called Woodland Hills. The temperature in September 2020 reached 121 degrees F! Broke the record for hottest recorded temperature ever in Los Angeles
+1
Level 73
Aug 22, 2021
As of this summer, British Columbia would be fifth on this list.
+1
Level 59
Aug 22, 2021
Yeah because British Columbia is a U.S. state
+1
Level 76
Dec 23, 2021
hence tshalla's use of the word "would" presumably.
+1
Level 59
Aug 22, 2021
North Dakota and South Dakota huh interesting
+1
Level 65
Jul 8, 2022
1936 was brutal.
+1
Level 66
Aug 31, 2021
Surprised that the Dakotas made the list, for being so far north.

Oklahoma and even Kansas make sense to me, but I would have thought that Nebraska or Iowa got hotter temps that SD or ND. Must have been a freak weather pattern since it's the hottest recorded temps and not the hottest average temps.

+1
Level 71
May 18, 2022
The temperature swings in North Dakota are so wide that the state uses concrete for their highways rather than asphalt since the asphalt can't handle it. It makes a lot of sense that the Dakotas would have a higher high temperature than the humid southeast states.
+1
Level 71
May 18, 2022
This list is a good illustration that higher mean =/= higher variance.
+1
Level 65
Jul 8, 2022
The linked source page at ExtremeWeatherWatch rounds down to the nearest degree. If I recall, that page used to display one decimal place. This is important because it puts Arkansas's 120.9° and North Dakota's 120.4° ahead of the several 120.0°.
+1
Level ∞
Jul 8, 2022
Sorry there was a problem in the linked source due to translation between Celsius and Fahrenheit. It has been fixed.