Texas sets record for hottest summer on record in U.S.

Officials with the National Weather Service announced on Thursday that June, July and August in Texas were the hottest summer on record for any U.S. state.

Texas averaged 86.8 degrees Fahrenheit over the three months, National Weather Service meteorologist Victor Murphy told The Associated Press, beating out Oklahoma's 85.2 degree average in 1934.

In fact, Oklahoma's Dust Bowl-era summer is now third on the list of hottest state summers. Oklahoma averaged 86.5 degrees in June, July, and August, making its summer the second-hottest on record.

And Lousiana's 84.5 degree average this summer puts it at fourth all-time.

Reuters explains that Texas is not generally known as one of the country's hottest states:

There are several areas in the country which routinely record hotter daily temperatures than Texas, such as southern Arizona and southeastern California. But those states also have higher elevations that bring down the statewide average.

The 12 months ending August 31 were also the driest 12 months in Texas history. Last week, the U.S. Drought Monitor released a map of Texas that showed 81.08 percent of the state in exceptional drought.

The heat and dry conditions have contributed to one of the worst wildfire outbreaks in Texas history. More than 180 fires have sprung up across the state in the past week, and over 1,000 homes have been destroyed. 

"In a bit of cruel irony, it was the strong and persistent winds of (Tropical storm) Lee, which just missed the mark of the drought's epicenter in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, that fanned the large number of fire outbreaks in Texas," the U.S. Drought Monitor said in a report released Thursday.