On July 9, 2021, California’s Death Valley reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit, according to an automated measuring system there, representing one of the highest temperatures ever recorded on the planet. The world record, also recorded at Death Valley, was 134 degrees in July 1913.
More than 210 degrees Fahrenheit separates the highest and the lowest temperatures on record in the United States, the third-largest country in the world. As some states are infamous for having blistering hot summers, others become inundated by winter storms and frigid cold. The contiguous U.S. had its warmest meteorological summer (June-August) on record in 2021, according to NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.
Stacker consulted 2021 data from the NOAA's State Climate Extremes Committee (SCEC) to illustrate the hottest and coldest temperatures ever recorded in each state. Each slide also reveals the all-time highest 24-hour precipitation record and all-time highest 24-hour snowfall.
Keep reading to find out your state's record, or see the national list here.
Nebraska by the numbers
- All-time highest temperature: 118° F (Geneva on July 15, 1934)
- All-time lowest temperature: -47° F (Oshkosh on Dec. 22, 1989)
- All-time highest 24-hour precipitation: 13.15 inches (York on July 8–9, 1950)
- All-time highest 24-hour snowfall: 27 inches (Dalton on Dec.21, 2006)
Before the unforgiving heat wave hit Geneva, Nebraska, in July 1934, the state was already struggling due to a severe drought that had worsened living conditions for farmers and other residents. During "The Heat Wave of 1934," people slept outdoors to escape from the terrible heat in their own houses.
Continue below to see the most extreme temperatures in the history of other states in your region.
Colorado by the numbers
- All-time highest temperature: 115° F (John Martin Reservoir on July 20, 2019)
- All-time lowest temperature: -61° F (Maybell on Feb. 1, 1985)
- All-time highest 24-hour precipitation: 11.85 inches (USGS Rod & Gun (Ft. Carson) on Sept.12, 2013)
- All-time highest 24-hour snowfall: 75.8 inches (Silver Lake on April 14–15, 1921)
During the 2013 floods that took place across Colorado, the highest precipitation levels were recorded on Sept. 12, 2013, at Fort Carson, a United States Army installation located in El Paso County. In September 2019, smaller rainstorms affected Denver that resulted in flash floods and mudslides.
Iowa by the numbers
- All-time highest temperature: 118° F (Keokuk No 2 on July 20, 1934)
- All-time lowest temperature: -47° F (Elkader 6 SSW on Feb. 3, 1996)
- All-time highest 24-hour precipitation: 13.18 inches (Atlantic 1 NE on June 14, 1998)
- All-time highest 24-hour snowfall: 24 inches (Lenox on April 20, 1918)
The Nishnabotna River that runs along Atlantic in Iowa's Cass County experienced intense flooding on June 14, 1998, after heavy rainfall and a severe thunderstorm. Many bridges were either damaged or completely destroyed, and all highways and roads had to be closed once the flooding started intensifying. More recently, in October 2020, western Iowa suffered from repeated flooding that forced the closure of Interstate 29 and Interstate 680.