Less than two weeks into summer, and it looks like July temperatures will be well above average across much of the country, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration projections. Heat advisories have been in effect across the Plains and Midwest, the National Weather Service announced July 5.
In 2021, a heat wave in Washington killed 112 people, a grim record for the state. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 600 people die from extreme heat in the U.S. every year. And according to NOAA, temperatures worldwide continue to increase. Even if carbon emissions decline significantly by 2050, global temperatures will still increase by at least 2.4°F or by as much as 5.9°F.
While states that offer warmer climates have been attracting Americans from colder-weather states, excessive heat has been a problem in many Sun Belt states. (These are the cities that Americans are flocking to.)
To determine the 50 warmest cities in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed climate data from the National Centers for Environmental Information of the NOAA. Cities were ranked based on the average year-round temperature from 1991 to 2020. We aggregated temperature and precipitation data from weather stations in the Global Historical Climatology Network. Only cities with at least 150,000 residents were considered. Population data came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey and are five-year estimates.
Over 25% of the warmest cities in the U.S. are in Texas, with Brownsville ranking the highest at No. 5. Eight cities on our list are in Florida and five in North Carolina. Arizona, Alabama, and Virginia have four cities on the list each.
The most populous city on our list is No. 14, Houston, with a total population over 2 million. The average annual temperature is 70.7°F, and summer temperatures reach an average of 84.4°F. Houston also has a higher average annual precipitation than any other Texan city on the list, at 55.1 inches. Other well-populated cities on our list include Dallas, San Antonio, and Phoenix.
Warmer weather and minimal rainfall can be a challenging combination that can lead to drought. The cities on our list with the lowest annual precipitation are all in Nevada, including No. 17, Paradise; No. 19, North Las Vegas; and No. 20, Enterprise. The state has experienced severe drought for a number of years, and to date, 2022 was the third driest in 128 years. (This is the state where temperature is rising the fastest.)
The No. 1 warmest city is Pembroke Pines, Florida, with an average annual temperature of 77.3°F and an average summer temperature of 84.0°F. The city is located near the southeast coast of Florida, and Climate Central ranks it as one of the top five cities vulnerable to coastal flooding by 2050. It receives an average of 62.0 inches of precipitation annually.