More than 40,000 high temperature records have been broken in the U.S. so far this year. With that kind of heat, you'd think the Earth was close enough to the sun to hold hands.
But actually, it's quite the opposite. This week, the Earth is at its farthest point from the sun than it will be all year.
This seeming paradox occurs when our planet comes to a point in its orbit called the "aphelion," the spot Earth reaches on its elliptical orbit when it is farthest from the sun.
At midnight EDT on July 5, the Earth will be about 1.5 million miles farther than it usually is from the sun.
The reasoning behind this paradox has to do with the Earth's tilt, not its distance, said AccuWeather Meteorologist Mark Paquette.
"It's a misunderstood phenomenon," Paquette said. "Most people [in the Northern Hemisphere] think, 'OK, it's summer. The Earth must be closest to the sun,' when really it's the exact opposite."
The U.S. can blame the Earth's 23.5-degree tilt for this month's intense heat waves. During summer, the Northern Hemisphere tilts toward the sun. Even though the planet is farther from the sun, continents in its direct rays will receive three times as much heat as they do in winter months, when the Earth is closest to the sun.
This "tilted" concept occurs again in January during the perihelion, when Earth is closer to the sun by more than 3 million miles than it is at the aphelion.
During the perihelion in the Northern Hemisphere's winter, the planet receives 7 percent more sunshine, but because our hemisphere tilts away from the sun, we have colder temperatures and snowy weather while regions in the Southern Hemisphere enjoy their summer.
A developing tropical storm, moving just north of the large islands of the Caribbean, will take aim at the Bahamas and southern Florida into this weekend.
Regions dealing with Zika-carrying mosquitoes could have another threat to monitor as tropical activity picks up this season.
Following a tropical storm threat in the Bahamas and Florida into this weekend, an uptick in tropical systems will continue for the next six to eight weeks.
On the heels of deadly Typhoon Mindulle, Japan is bracing for another threat from Typhoon Lionrock next week.
A deadly earthquake struck central Italy at 3:36 a.m. local time on Wednesday with tremors felt as far away as the capital city of Rome.
Washington, D.C. (1814)
Tornado struck part of Washington, D.C., killing many British soldiers who were burning the capitol.
South Carolina (1885)
Hurricane struck SC; $1.3 million damage at Charleston with many fatalities.
10 degrees in Bowen, coldest August temperature ever in United States.