It's summer. Remember when you couldn't wait for it to get here to deliver you from that miserable rainy/snowy/freezing winter and that awful rainy/pollen-filled/chilly spring?
But now that summer's finally come? Wow. It's hot outside.
Any summer vacationer knows there are places best avoided in July. Phoenix. Las Vegas. New Orleans. The entire state of Texas.
But where do you go in the middle of summer to cool off?
As this chart shows — it's based on statistics reported to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's National Climatic Data Center — you don't have many choices. It's hot all over in July.
In fact, it can get as hot in Minneapolis in July as in Los Angeles (both have an average July high temperature of 83). Richmond, Virginia, and Tampa, Florida, both average a high of 90 in July — and Tampa is a 790-mile drive pretty much straight south of Richmond.
So if you're looking to cool off, you might find relief in Seattle or San Diego, or maybe Portland or San Francisco.
But other than the West Coast, in July, it's hot. Even in places that you might not expect it to be ...
This western Tennessee city sits on the east bank of the Mississippi, but its muggy summers come via humid air rising from the Gulf of Mexico. The average July high for Memphis is 92. Add 69 percent average relative humidity, and it's downright sticky.
You would think Salt Lake City wouldn't be a sweaty place in July, but you'd be wrong. (Photo: Garrett/flickr)
Salt Lake City, Utah
For a place that gets almost 50 inches of snow a year (twice the national average), the summers there swelter. Stuck in a valley, with an average high temperature of 93 in July, SLC gets a break with relatively cool nights. But daytime? Sweaty.
The average July daytime high is 95 degrees in this metro area about 60 miles east of L.A. The humidity isn't bad — much of the Inland Empire is considered right at or near the Mojave Desert — so nights are cooler. Still, 95 is a hint to stay indoors during the day.
It's North Florida, right? It should be a little cooler, right? Well, it still sits on the Atlantic but the coastal breezes don't help much. Its average relative humidity in July is 78 percent, higher than Tampa, which pushes Jax near the Top 10 in this Sizzling Cities list.
Those places are bad enough in July. But there are other cities you want no part of!
An average high in July of 106 degrees Fahrenheit, and nights well into the 80s. It's a dry heat, you say? Any Valley of the Sun resident will tell you that when it's 106, it's just plain hot.
With an average high of 104, Sin City is sizzling in July. (It is, you know, surrounded by hundreds of miles of desert.) Again, dry. But hot as a hair dryer in the red.
Shade can only provide so much relief from the heat on Dallas's Continental Pedestrian Bridge. (Photo: Luis Tamayo/flickr)
Anywhere in Texas
Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio, Houston, Austin. They all make the Sizzling Cities list. Dallas had 71 100-degree days in 2011. Austin had 90. Unbearable.
Well, of course. As the southernmost big city in the continental U.S., it's No. 7 on the above list, thanks to 91-degree highs and 75 percent humidity in July.
Anyone who's sweated out a line at Disney World knows that an average July high of 92 (with 78 percent humidity) is no joke. And more thunderstorms than most.
With a relative humidity of 79 percent in July, and an average of 56 days each summer over 90 degrees, nothing is easy about a Big Easy summer.