On July 9, 2021, California’s Death Valley reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit, according to an automated measuring system there, representing one of the highest temperatures ever recorded on the planet. The world record, also recorded at Death Valley, was 134 degrees in July 1913.
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. The contiguous U.S. 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. Each slide also reveals the all-time highest 24-hour precipitation record and all-time highest 24-hour snowfall.
Keep reading to find out your state’s record, or see the national list here.
Oklahoma by the numbers
– All-time highest temperature: 120° F (Poteau on Aug. 10, 1936)
– All-time lowest temperature: -31° F (Nowata on Feb. 10, 2011)
– All-time highest 24-hour precipitation: 15.68 inches (Enid on Oct. 11, 1973)
– All-time highest 24-hour snowfall: 27 inches (Spavinaw on Feb. 9–10, 2011)
The deadly 1973 flood in Oklahoma had started with relentless rainfall and ended only after killing nine people. According to The Oklahoman, in a desperate attempt to flee from the surging water levels, residents had cut holes through their walls to climb up on rooftops. Several others tried to take shelter in their attics as their houses started filling up with water.
Continue below to see the most extreme temperatures in the history of other states in your region.
Arkansas by the numbers
– All-time highest temperature: 120° F (Ozark on Aug.10, 1936)
– All-time lowest temperature: -29° F (Gravette on Feb.13, 1905)
– All-time highest 24-hour precipitation: 14.06 inches (Big Fork 1 SSE on Dec. 3, 1982)
– All-time highest 24-hour snowfall: 25 inches (Corning on Jan. 22, 1918)
“The Great Heat Wave of 1936” affected around 15 states during its three-week run that brought temperatures above 100 degrees. Still, Ozark topped the charts by reaching 120 degrees. Also known as the “1936 North American Heat Wave,” it exacerbated the levels of human suffering during the ongoing Great Depression. Little Rock in Arkansas had to endure its hottest summer in 2010 between June and August when the temperature went above 90 degrees for two months.
Colorado by the numbers
– All-time highest temperature: 115° F (John Martin Reservoir on July 20, 2019)
– All-time lowest temperature: -61° F (Maybell on Feb. 1, 1985)
– All-time highest 24-hour precipitation: 11.85 inches (USGS Rod & Gun (Ft. Carson) on Sept.12, 2013)
– All-time highest 24-hour snowfall: 75.8 inches (Silver Lake on April 14–15, 1921)
During the 2013 floods that took place across Colorado, the highest precipitation levels were recorded on Sept. 12, 2013, at Fort Carson, a United States Army installation located in El Paso County. In September 2019, smaller rainstorms that affected Denver resulting in flash floods and mudslides.