Last month was the hottest month in the continental U.S. since the late 19th century, which book-ended the warmest 52-week period in the 48 states, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Bloomberg reports the federal division noted the average temperature from August of last year to this past July was 56.1 degrees, 0.07 of a degree warmer than the record established from July 2011 to this past June. The first seven months of this year have been the hottest start of the year, according to records dating from 1895.
"The primary corn and soybean agriculture belt, hard-hit by drought, experienced its eighth-driest July, third-driest June-July, and sixth-driest April-July growing season in the 1895-2012 record," according to NOAA.
The price of natural gas futures dropped to their lowest in 10 years this past April after a warmer-than-usual winter. But the heat since April has pushed up the commodity by more than 50 percent due to increased use of air conditioning.
Farmer's Guardian reports NOAA said that 63 percent of the continental U.S. has been impacted by drought of the sort that has damaged corn, soybeans and wheat yields in the Midwest.
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