Weather experts: U.S. summer hottest in past 75 years

(CNN) -- The summer of 2011 was the second hottest on record for the United States, and the hottest in 75 years, government weather experts said Thursday.
Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas experienced their warmest summers ever, with several states seeing an average of more than 86 degrees, scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. For meteorological purposes, summer consists of the months of June, July and August. At least 22 people died as a result of the heat wave that swept the nation earlier this summer, according to the National Weather Service. For 15 states, the average temperature ranked among their top 10 warmest, while overall, 46 of the lower 48 states saw average to above-average temperatures. Oregon and Washington were the only exceptions. Texas had the distinction of experiencing the warmest summer on record of any state in America, with an average of 86.8 degrees. Dallas residents sweltered for 40 consecutive days of grueling 100-plus degree temperatures. Oklahoma, at 86.5, also topped the previous record, of 85.2 degrees, set in Oklahoma in 1934, amid what became known as the Dust Bowl. CONTINUE

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