The first seven months of this year have been the warmest on record for California, according to the National Weather Service.
Forecasters averaged high and low temperatures from January to July for the entire state this year and recorded an average temperature of 60.2 degrees, said Paul Iniguez, National Weather Service Hanford’s science and operation officer.
“It’s quite a bit warmer than the previous record,” he said.
The temperature beats the record temperature of 59.3 degrees set in 1934 by nearly a full a degree, he said.
The drought over the past three years has surpassed previous records because of warmer temperatures and lack of rain and snow.
The drought in the 1970s has long been considered one of the state’s worst since records began in 1895.
But even the average temperature at 57 degrees during the period was below the current high, adding more stress to people, wildlife and the agricultural industry, he said.
Statewide temperatures in 2014 also beat out extreme heat recorded in 2006, Iniguez said.
California, he said, has just been consistently warm.
According to U.S. Drought Monitor Map released last week, more than half of California was experiencing an “exceptional” drought, breaking records for the state since regular drought reports began in the late 1990s.