10 Hottest Cities In The US

By Jason Shvili on December 1 2020 in Environment

Miami's world famous beaches and crystalline waters beckon to residents and visitors alike in the hottest U.S. city.
  • Phoenix, AZ is the hottest city in the US.
  • Seven of the ten hottest cities in the US are located in the state of Texas.
  • All of the hottest cities in the US average more than a hundred days of temperatures greater than or equal to 90 degrees Fahrenheit per year.

In some US cities, the heat is so extreme, it can even put people’s lives in danger very quickly if they do not take the proper steps to cool off. In the southern US, there are cities in which temperatures are hot almost year-round. It is no coincidence that these cities are located in areas with a desert climate and very little precipitation. If you don’t like the heat, then you better avoid these cities, the hottest cities in the US.

  1. Phoenix, AZ
  2. Tucson, AZ
  3. Las Vegas, NV
  4. Del Rio, TX
  5. Brownsville, TX
  6. San Antonio, TX
  7. Austin, TX
  8. San Angelo, TX
  9. Corpus Christi, TX
  10. Waco, TX

1. Phoenix, AZ 

Welcome to America’s hottest city. Phoenix is the capital of the State of Arizona, one of the dryest states in the US. About half of Arizona can be described as semi-arid, while one-third of it is arid. The remainder of the state is considered humid. Whereas winter in many American cities is cold and unpleasant, you will probably find Phoenix to be quite comfortable during the winter months. In January, the city achieves a maximum mean temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 Celsius). But you may not want to stick around in Phoenix for the summer, when it sometimes feels like you could fry an egg on your head. The record temperature set in Phoenix stands at 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 Celsius). In fact, the temperature in Phoenix is regularly above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) for almost half the year.

2. Tucson, AZ

The second-hottest city in the US is also located in Arizona, and the highest temperature recorded in Tucson is 117 degrees Fahrenheit (47 Celsius). Tucson is located on a hilly plain in what is known as the Sonoran Desert, alongside the Santa Cruz River, and is bordered by Santa Catalina and other mountains. The city has a showcase of Arizona’s desert plant and animal life in the form of the Arizona-Sonora Museum, located in the foothills of the Tucson Mountains.

3. Las Vegas, NV

With a reputation as America’s gambling mecca, Las Vegas is the economic center of the State of Nevada, not to mention the third hottest city in the US. The city has posted a record temperature of 117 degrees Fahrenheit (47 Celsius), which ties the record set in Tucson, though as can be observed from the chart, Tucson has 147 days in which the temperature meets or exceeds 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius), compared to 135 in Las Vegas. The city was once home to grassy meadows, which inspired the city’s name, which means "the meadows" in Spanish.

4. Del Rio, TX

Del Rio, a city of more than 49,400 people, is located in the State of Texas, on the Rio Grande, which serves as the border between the U.S. and Mexico in that area. The mercury in the city has risen to as high as 112 degrees Fahrenheit (44 Celsius). Del Rio’s location in the Rio Grande Valley in the southerly part of Texas has given the city temperatures in excess of 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) on a regular basis. And although winter-like weather can occur in parts of Texas, it is extremely rare in the region where Del Rio is located.

5. Brownsville, TX

Brownsville, Texas. Image credit: Roberto Galan/Shutterstock

Brownsville is located in the very southern tip of Texas, along the border with Mexico, and close to the Gulf Coast. The city’s proximity to the Gulf Coast may explain why Brownsville is cooler than Del Rio despite the latter being further south, as the Gulf of Mexico can generate significant currents and winds, and is often a hotspot for hurricanes. The record temperature in Brownsville is a sweltering 106 degrees Fahrenheit (41 Celsius). Brownsville averages 125 days of temperatures at or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius).

6. San Antonio, TX 

San Antonio is a city in south-central Texas. The highest recorded temperature in San Antonio is 111 degrees Fahrenheit (44 Celsius), which is actually higher than Brownsville, though the city is ranked below Brownsville because temperatures of 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) and above occur less frequently, 116 days per year, compared to Brownsville’s 125 days per year. August is normally the hottest month of the year in San Antonio, with average temperatures hovering at around 97 degrees Fahrenheit (36 Celsius).

7. Austin, TX

Austin, Texas. Image credit: El Nariz/Shutterstock

Austin is the capital of the State of Texas. It is located about 80 miles (129 km) north of San Antonio. During the summer, the average temperature in the Texas capital is a very hot 97 degrees Fahrenheit (36 Celsius). The record for the highest temperature in Austin, however, is 112 degrees Fahrenheit (44.5 Celsius). And if that isn’t hot enough for you, take note that the weather in Austin can get quite humid, making it feel even hotter. 

8. San Angelo, TX

San Angelo, a city of 100,000 people in west-central Texas, is statistically tied with Austin on our list of the hottest cities in the US. Summers are long, hot, and humid in San Angelo, while winters are short, cold, dry, and windy. Hence, unlike some towns and cities in the Lone Star State, San Angelo does have temperatures that would be considered winter-like by people living in the northern US. The lowest average temperature in San Angelo is around 35 degrees Fahrenheit (2 Celsius), while the highest is 95 Fahrenheit (35 Celsius). However, the record temperature in the city has been recorded at 111 degrees Fahrenheit (44 Celsius), and the mercury is at or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) for an average of 114 days.

9. Corpus Christi, TX

Corpus Christi, Texas. Image credit: Roschetzky Photography/Shutterstock

Corpus Christi is located in southern Texas, on the Gulf Coast. Average temperatures in the city range from 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celsius) to 93 degrees Fahrenheit. The record temperature for Corpus Christi has been set at 109 degrees Fahrenheit (43 Celsius). Although there is certainly no shortage of sunlight in Corpus Christi, it is normally partly cloudy throughout the year.

10. Waco, TX

Waco is located in central Texas, not too far south of Dallas. It is another city where humidity can make it feel a lot hotter than it actually is. The average temperature during the year can be as low as 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4 Celsius) and as high as 97 degrees Fahrenheit (36 Celsius). The record for the hottest temperature in Waco is 114 degrees Fahrenheit (45.5 Celsius).

How To Beat The Heat

People who live in America’s hottest cities might tell you that the heat is not an issue for them, or is simply a minor inconvenience. But of course, too much heat for too long can be a serious health hazard. In Phoenix, for example, about 2,000 people end up in the hospital with heat-related ailments each summer and about 100 die from heat-related causes. Beating the heat isn’t that hard. Notice the signs of heat-related illness, such as heat cramps or heat exhaustion. Find a place indoors to cool off if you’re too hot. And most important of all, stay hydrated.

10 Hottest Cities In The US

RankCityStateDays per year with 90 F+ temp.Highest temp. on record (1941-2018)
1PhoenixArizona169122.0 F
2TucsonArizona147117.0 F
3Las VegasNevada135117.0 F
4Del RioTexas134112.0 F
5BrownsvilleTexas125106.0 F
6San AntonioTexas116111.0 F
7AustinTexas114112.0 F
7San AngeloTexas114111.0 F
9Corpus ChristiTexas112109.0 F
10WacoTexas111114.0 F

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