USAFacts, a not-for-profit, nonpartisan civic initiative that makes it easy for all Americans to access and understand government data, today launched its Climate in the US experience, which showcases facts on localized climate fluctuations and the historical frequency of severe weather. The data-driven platform is debuting as extreme weather events like flooding, heavy rainfall, droughts, heatwaves, and deep freezes continue to impact most of American population and dominate headlines. USAFacts will update the data monthly, with more storm data and facts on individual counties coming to the interactive tool later this fall.
“USAFacts’ new climate experience builds upon our promise to bring trusted, nonpartisan data to address the most important issues facing our country,” said Poppy MacDonald, president of USAFacts. “At USAFacts, Americans can easily access over 100 years of national, state, and local climate data to see patterns and anomalies impacting their communities. Amid ongoing conversations about climate change, our goal is to empower people to make their own conclusions about the changes in their environment and how it affects their lives.”
The USAFacts monthly climate data offers a broad look at climate patterns nationwide with comparisons to local-level data. Readers can track if temperature, precipitation, or a combination of both is within or outside of historical monthly averages dating back to 1895 and explore how their weather has shifted over time. They can also effortlessly access the data to learn about and analyze climate trends to see which states, counties, and demographics are most affected.
According to this new tool, in June 2021, 231 million people experienced generally normal temperature. However, 97 million people lived in hotter climates, reflecting the heatwave that stretched across the American West in late June. These observations come from data by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a scientific agency within the US Commerce Department that monitors oceans, major waterways, and the atmosphere.
Additional insights include:
- The last time in recent history when every US county experienced relatively normal temperatures compared to the 20th century average was December 1962.
- In the last six years, half of US states had monthly county-level temperatures higher than anything seen since 1895, when the US started collecting this data.
- 42.1% of counties have experienced months with record-high precipitation since 2000.
- Florida is experiencing more monthly extremes than other state, with 40 out of 67 counties having more than 20% of its months in the past decade categorized as abnormal. Florida’s Hillsborough County had the most extreme weather months in the contiguous US, experiencing extreme averages in 40% of months since 2011. Hayes County in Nebraska had the fewest months with extreme monthly averages: 6%.
- Native Americans and Native Alaskans are nearly two times more likely to live in areas experiencing abnormal climates. They’re 2.3 times more likely to be in colder than in normal climates and 1.7 times likelier to be in hotter climates.
Since 2017, USAFacts has provided Americans with valuable government data that has traditionally been hard, if not impossible, to come by and understand. By synthesizing federal, state, and county records, the organization offers information related to issues and topics that are top-of-mind for citizens: COVID-19 metrics and data, jobs and employment, education, healthcare, immigration, and race in America, among others.
To learn more about USAFacts and to access US Climate History tool, visit USAFacts’ website.