California temperatures hottest, driest in 120 years

Photo by peasap via Flickr Creative Commons

If you've felt like it's been extra hot - you're right.

Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Thursday confirmed California has had the hottest year since they started keeping records 120 years ago, in 1895.

"For the first eight months of 2014, California has been record warm," said Jake Crouch, a NOAA climate scientist.

Crouch said the 62.6 degree average temperature this year beat the previous record, set in 1934, by a full degree.

"That may not sound like much," he said. "But when we usually talk about year over year temperatures, we are talking about fractions of a degree. And so the fact that we are more than one degree above the previous record is quite a large jump.”

In Los Angeles, the average temperature this year is 65.5 degrees, more than 3 degrees warmer than average. The only year to date hotter was in 1959. Fresno, Sacramento and San Francisco all have had record high average temperatures for the first eight months of the year.

The state is also the driest it's ever been since they started keeping records.

"If we look at the past 36 months, California is record dry for that period," Crouch said. "The state racked up such a huge precipitation deficit it would take to a lot of rain and snow to make that deficit up and get California out of drought."

NOAA reported 95 percent of California is in severe drought conditions and nearly 60 percent of the state is listed as D4, the worst exceptional drought conditions possible.​

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