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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

America’s Hottest Cities

America’s Hottest Cities

Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn’t it a pity
Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city
All around, people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head

Unless you live in the Arctic Circle, chances are you can relate to the lyrics to the Lovin’ Spoonful’s 1966 hit, Summer in the City. Who hasn’t had the experience of feeling wrung out on a brutally hot July afternoon?

Some of us have it worse than others, though. When it comes to unrelenting heat, two major U.S. rise to the top of the heap.

When it comes to punishing temperatures, it’s hard to beat Phoenix, Arizona. With an average of 107 days per year that reach 100° F or more, the desert city sees more, by far, of extreme heat than any other U.S. city. No other city even comes close. Here’s a look at the top ten cities, ranked by the number of days that reach temperatures of 100 °F or higher.

Cities the Most Days at 100 °F or Higher

City Days a Year
Phoenix, Arizona 107
Las Vegas, Nevada 70
Riverside, California 24
Dallas, Texas 17
Austin, Texas 16
Sacramento, California 11
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 11
San Antonio, Texas 8
Salt Lake City, Utah 5
Houston, Texas 4
Kansas City, Missouri 3

 

With so many unimaginably hot days, one might assume that Phoenix would also have the highest average temperature in the country. While Phoenix boasts some of the hottest temperatures in the nation, Miami, Florida, actually has a higher mean temperature. Though Miami doesn’t regularly see temperatures above 100° – the southern Florida city doesn’t even crack the top ten on that list – it does stay hotter year-round than Phoenix, making it a few degrees warmer, on average.

Cities With the Warmest Daily Average Temperatures

Daily Average °F
Miami, Florida 77
Phoenix, Arizona 75
Tampa, Florida 73
Orlando, Florida 73
Houston, Texas 70
New Orleans, Louisiana 70
San Antonio, Texas 70
Austin, Texas 69
Las Vegas, Nevada 69
Jacksonville, Florida 69

 

So, where would you rather live – in a dry city with more than 100 extremely hot days in a year, or in a humid tropical city with consistently hot weather throughout the year?

Data courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Climatic Data Center.

29 comments

1 Adam { 08.16.14 at 1:23 pm }

I have lived in houston texas my whole life and traveled all around america visting these other citys. With my line of work i am required to work in the brutal temps of summer. I worked in pheonix for about a week in mid july, it was horrible, But managable if in the shade or covered area. Houston is about double that. Find shade it wont help. Not only will the sun beat and burn your skin but humidity will drain the life out of you. Add the fact there is almost never a breeze, its a recipe for disaster.

2 Gburns { 07.08.14 at 12:01 am }

I live in phoenix az now for 8 long years. We moved from NJ to get away from the winters – I hate the freezing rain, snow, ice and having to wear five pounds of clothes – however, I hate the heat here, we do get humidity here in phoenix, we have it now (50 percent) on top of 107 temps today’s – today is 5 degrees cooler than the last few weeks but, with the humidity it feels like 120. This will last until it turns cooler maybe November? It is oppressive when you factor in the pollen and major pollution – it will choke the life out of you.

When it gets this bad most people will do all errands in the evening – way too daunting to go out in the heat. When it’s this hot – weekends the roads are pretty empty. I want to move to maybe San DIego – I miss rainy days and livable temps at least half the year – it hasn’t rained here in five months – can not handle the constant hot sun here. For the last 3 years we have hardly had a real phoenix winter – phoenix is not what it’s touted to be – it is a living he’ll most of the year and, since we moved here I have felt unwell 90 percent of the 8 years due to pollen allergies and the bad air which I never had in jersey. Don’t ever move here – go to Nevada instead – wish we stuck with our original destination Nevada.

3 justin { 06.17.14 at 7:05 pm }

you must be crazy.. dallas has averaged more than 57 consecutive days over 100 degrees for the last 7 years I have lived here.thats not including the non consecutive ones (over 100 days over 100 degrees is common). not to mention the heat index.. its usally about 70% humidity. you must be talking about the summer months alone. our 100 degree days start at the end of march and run through the end of October.

4 lunalaguna { 06.17.14 at 4:36 pm }

I live in Sacramento, and yes the summers are awful here, almost desert like in July and August. This spring we’ve already had a few 100+ degree days. Luckily we do get some coastal influence from the delta, but it comes and goes. However, the cities at the northern end of the valley get even hotter if you can believe it, with little to no coastal influence. Redding, Red Bluff and Oroville are among the worst.The other three seasons here are great, but the summers are a real bummer. I’d much rather live on or near the coast and plan on moving someday.

5 Darius Fosca { 04.23.14 at 2:06 am }

Did someone pay you to leave out Tucson,Az. I have lived here since 2006 and I would rate it hotter than even Las Vegas. I have seen 100 degrees by early April!

6 CD { 12.10.13 at 2:13 pm }

I’d rather live in neither…but right now I’m planning to move from one “Hot Average Top10″ to another, lol

7 jb { 07.09.13 at 10:32 am }

New Orleans hasn’t been mentioned, and I don’t understand. It’s horrendous in the summer. If you go outside for FIVE minutes in August, you have sweat POURING off your face, dripping into your eyes, the sun stings all your exposed skin, you’re utterly exhausted all the damn time, like you’re walking through bath water. It’s hotter than Vegas Miami KC Phoenix, every city I’ve ever been to.

8 Joe { 07.08.13 at 2:53 am }

I moved to Phoenix 34 years ago, and it is the most over-rated place I’ve ever seen on earth. It is totally phony. It is hot and dusty and horribly polluted. Every other person who moves here gets asthma. There are endless “health providers,” because the place is enough to make anyone sick. The body needs water and does not do well on high ozone layers and dust storms. Come to Phoenix if you want wrinkled and dried out skin, hair that feels like straw, eyes that “poke” all the time from the constant dust and pollution. People in Phoenix in general are people who can’t afford California, so they try to pretend it’s some sort of paradise. It’s too hot to go out to do anything for 5 months of the year, with temperatures over 100 from late May until well into October (the summers having many, many days over 110 and up to over 120, with nights a refreshing 95 – 105 from July into September). The hypocrisy of this place is the only thing worse than the weather. How I long for green, moisture in the air, clouds, rain, and real four seasons. I’ve lived in NY, Toronto, Wisconsin, Texas, Alaska, and San Francisco. They are all a far cry better than Phoenix. Phoenix is also full of crime (even if it’s with a tie and sport coat crime).

9 LeahStorm { 06.23.13 at 10:57 pm }

I live in Tucson. Phoenix is only ever 3-8 degrees hotter than Tucson. I’m sure we should be on this list. It’s pretty much like we say. “Tucson is Hell, and Phoenix is hotter than Hell.”

10 David { 09.13.12 at 1:14 pm }

Memphis does make the list of the top 13 hottest of the 51 major (1 million + metro area population) cities with the hottest average summer temps, although I don’t see it here. As a lifelong resident, I can tell you that the summers here are consistantly very hot and humid. 100s aren’t that common, but 90s with high humidity are almost a daily occurance throughout the entire season.

11 meg johnson { 07.25.12 at 10:30 pm }

i am surprised to see that saint louis missouri is not on the hottest list. this year we are already at 16 days over 100 degrees, and the summer is not over, last year was similar,
whats up?

12 daisygirl48161 { 07.15.12 at 6:50 pm }

I am with Amanda. I live in Michigan and love nothing better than a cold snowy winter! I cannot stand the heat and humidity at all and it seems like its getting worse every year here! Plus, we have had no rain here in my town. Just incessant heat and no relief! I am counting the days to Autumn (hoping we actually have an Autumn this year!) And also hoping for a snowy and cold winter seeing as we didn’t have one of those this past year as well!

13 shantimattie { 07.13.12 at 2:35 pm }

I grew up in Upstate New York,four seasons,cold winters and hot humid and rainy summers. Now in Santa Cruz Ca where your wouldn’t know summer existed if it weren’t for the hundreds of people joining us to get cool temps. Anything below 30 we whine and over 80 we whine again! Personally,I enjoy the warm summer nights,now it goes down to 50 and we awake to thick for. Guess I can be thank-ful,but nothing like jumping into a lake or swimming pool at night and temps in the 80′s or 90′s! We have more sun here in the winter months. This year hardly any rain.

14 Jaime McLeod { 07.13.12 at 10:27 am }

Glenn Barrett – St. George is not large enough to rate on these lists. All of the cities listed are major cities.

15 Elaine { 07.13.12 at 9:10 am }

Give me heat and no humidity any day! Raised in CA, live in the South. Heat is much easier than heat coupled wtih that high dew point.

16 Brenda { 07.13.12 at 8:03 am }

I live in Virginia where we get all four seasons thankfully! I love it where summer lasts from June-September instead of year round warmth but summers here are still hot! 90s and uncomfortable humidity, not like Florida or Arizona but hot to be this far north but we dont get out of summer until late September, September is still plenty warm! New England gets to escape it a little before the mid atlantic states though. Now we gotta wait on the next season. I like fall when the leaves change and fall in October, the air is nice and chilly and its just beautiful. I hope we dont have a hard time getting out of summer this year (unlike last year)

17 judy evans { 07.12.12 at 5:08 pm }

i was born in philly and moved to phoenix, arizona as soon as i heard about it! i have lived here now for 40 years. when i got here i thought i had died and went to heaven! it is the most beautiful and cleanest city in the world; i have traveled all over our country and the world and there isn’t anyplace i would rather live. i guess i should not be telling you all about it, with population explosion and all. lol.

18 Linnea Wharton { 07.12.12 at 11:16 am }

I live in PA and even though we didn’t make the list the humidity we get accompanied with the heat makes it unbearable here in the summer. I would rather have heat no humidity. The humidity always makes the heat worse.

19 Steve { 07.12.12 at 9:10 am }

I live In Lake Havasu City Arizona, which is between Las Vegas and Phoenix, on the Colorado River, just had a temp of 125 degrees on July 10th!

20 DesertRat { 07.11.12 at 6:54 pm }

I lived in the Mid-west for the first 25 yrs of my life and left it for Phoenix Az. Living in Phoenix for over 33 yrs. I have to say it has changed with the growth but all in all it is a great place to live if you like the sun to shine every day. If you don’t see the sunshine for three days in a row it seems like for ever! You live in the Valley of the Sun for the winters not the heat of the summer. And it is a great state to explore the outdoors!! Lots of beautiful places to go, Lakes, Tall pines, Ski in the winter and hike and golf too! Its the greatest place for a little bit of everything.

21 William { 07.11.12 at 6:12 pm }

I was born and raised in Louisville, Ky
The summer temps in the past few years have been brutal.
High humidity in the Ohio River Valley.
I believe Louisville was recently voted Hottest City to live in now..

22 Harry { 07.11.12 at 2:27 pm }

I live in SC, and we’ve been having some hot days here. The humidity is so thick some days you can cut it with a knife. I grew up here, and we never had an air conditioner in our home. We had some window fans, but that was it. It was hot and humid then too, but we were used to it. But I can tell the climate here has definitely changed here over the last 10 years. Last year it hardly got below the 40′s during the winter. Violent storms have gotten more numerous in the last few years also.

23 Garth { 07.11.12 at 1:56 pm }

I was born and raised in Saskatchewan and now live in tropical north Queensland, Australia. While I do not miss the very cold, dry winters of Saskatchewan, the summers there are very, very nice; relatively dry and warm. The winters here in Far North Queensland are somewhat similar to the summers of western Canada, with cool nights and warm days and relatively low humidity. I do know that low humidity is the key to comfort! Most of the year here (September to April) is rather uncomfortable due to the humidity, hence we rely on air conditioning. Most of the year is warm to hot with high humidity and we are happy to live in these conditions – no need to wear anything more than shorts and a t-shirt year round! I do not even know where my blue jeans live!

24 Glen Barrett { 07.11.12 at 1:51 pm }

Somehow St.George Utah has been left out. We have many 100 plus days here every year

25 Kathleen2011 { 07.11.12 at 12:41 pm }

I live in Phoenix, AZ. It is indeed – HOT – and Phoenicians joke about living on the face of the sun, or that our teflon shields are up and fully operational. All kidding aside, I lived in Western PA for 36 years. I have lived in Phoenix for 15 years. The blessings of living in Phoenix are the beautiful blue skies and sunshine (which is absent the majority of the time in PA), no humidity, and the other times of the year that Phoenix is not extreme. We live in a resort destination…people love to come here and get away from the cold, shoveling snow, and get some sunshine. I might wear a jacket a few days a year. We just put on sandals and go. No multiple layers of coats. When it is brutally hot, we have ways of coping with it, but basically, would you go outside to play when it’s 20 below zero? We don’t go out to play when it’s 105, either, but our total number of those days is always less than those brutally cold days in PA, and we never have to shovel sunshine.

26 tandyann { 07.11.12 at 12:40 pm }

I like the article but does the site look at cities with less than 50,000? In the valley where I live, population almost 100,000, we can count on an average of about 5 days in July with 100+ temperatures and August can have 15 days in the 100′s. So far we have had 2 days of that temperature and more called for this week. Humidity is not always a factor.

27 CHAK { 07.11.12 at 11:38 am }

Summers in Washington DC, Philly, and even NYC are brutal with temps in the 90′s and sky-high humidity. Those cities may not rank overall, but summer-wise, UGH!!

28 AMANDA { 07.11.12 at 9:06 am }

I live in Minnesota and it gets SO humid! If I wanted to live in a tropical rainforest, I would. Either you suffer with a dewpoint in the 80′s and heat index of 110. Or you have an actual temp of 110. Either is horrible to me. I live in Minnesota for the cold and blizzards. I would take -20 and 2 feet of snow over a temperature above 80. :)

29 nicolemtracy { 07.09.12 at 12:46 pm }

Woot! Yay for Salt Lake making the list. UHG THE SUMMERS!!! T_T

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