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Average Temperatures By State

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America's Climate Tapestry

The United States, with its broad geographical span and varied topography, presents a rich tapestry of climate zones. From the sub-arctic chill of Alaska to scorching desert temperatures in the Southwest, the nation's weather patterns are as diverse as its landscapes. The interplay of geographical location, altitude, coastal influences, and latitude creates unique climatic footprints across the states, impacting everything from lifestyle choices to economic pursuits. This article investigates these distinct climate differences across the U.S. 

The provided dataset details the average annual temperature for each state, listed from the highest to the lowest. Notably, two conspicuous factors seem to influence the distribution: latitude and proximity to the coast. Thus, we see the warmest states clustered in the South and Southeast regions, while northern inland states generally exhibit cooler temperatures.

Key findings from the dataset are: 

  • Florida, with an average annual temperature of 71.5°F, is the hottest state in the U.S.
  • The coldest state is predictably Alaska, with an average temperature of 28.1°F, owing to its extreme northern latitude and subarctic to arctic climate.
  • A clear North-South gradient emerges from the dataset. The states' average temperatures generally decrease as one travels from southern states like Louisiana, Texas, and Georgia towards the northern states such as North Dakota, Minnesota, and Maine.
  • States located in the heartland with higher latitudes, away from maritime influences, like North Dakota or Minnesota, record colder averages in comparison to coastal states at similar or higher latitudes, such as Oregon or Washington.
  • Notably, despite its size, California's annual average temperature is quite uniform at 59.1°F, reflecting the state's Mediterranean-like climate in coastal regions while moderating the desert and mountain top influences.

By State

Full Data Set

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Methodology