This June, July and August made for the third hottest summer period ever, the National Climatic Data Center reported this week.
And the first eight months of 2012 were the hottest ever recorded in the continental United States.
The three hottest summers on record were 1998, 2010 and 2012, according to a USA Today report.
The hot summer took a toll with extensive drought over much of the United States - and intense heat that killed an elderly couple in the Lehigh Valley in July.
The nation as a whole is averaging 4 degrees Fahrenheit above average for the year. That's a full degree higher than the same period in 2006, the second hottest January-August on record, CNN noted in its report on the new climate data.
Above-average temperatures could linger into October, according to weather.com.