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Hot as Hell

Now you can track daily records across the nation

Chart from The PBS News Hour tracks temperature records on a daily basis

Temperatures in more than 16 states were expected to climb over 110 degrees today, and with little relief in sight.

The National Weather Service issued excessive heat warnings for much of the southern Central Plains including parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Arizona.

Using data from the National Climatic Data Center, the PBS NewsHour is tracking the number of high temperature records set each day, winter as well as summer, across the United States. The chart compares daily temperatures with previous record highs.

Some record highs

Record highs were set on Tuesday with Dallas hitting 110 degrees, Little Rock reaching 106 degrees and Memphis sweating at 101 degrees. Record-setting temperatures were also recorded in Kansas City, Missouri, according to NWS.

Wichita, Kan. had reached 108 degrees by late afternoon. And Kansas has recorded its fifth hottest July on record, with an average statewide combined day and night temperature of 84.7 degrees – 5.8 degrees higher than normal. South central Kansas hit a record average temperature of 88.5 degrees – 7 degrees above average – beating the previous record of 87.8 degrees, set during the Dust Bowl days of 1934.

The hottest temperature in the state for July was recorded July 31 at Medicine Lodge in south central Kansas, with a reading of 116 degrees, breaking the record of 114 degrees set in 1985.

On July 22, thermometers in Newark, N.J., hit a staggering 108 degrees, the highest temperature ever recorded in that region.

On July 27, Joplin, Mo., broke a 60-year-old record at 105 degrees, scorching an area already recovering from spring’s deadly tornadoes.

The National Weather Service has had to recalculate what defines “normal” temperatures across the United States, revising the average upwards by half a degree to create a “new normal.

NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center shows that more records (5,420) were broken in 2007 than in any other year of the past decade. But 2011 is closing in, and may soon hold the record-setting record. Also, keep in mind that some records set in 2007 were broken in later years by even-hotter temperatures.