From: Andy Soos, ENN
Published July 10, 2012 09:31 AM

State of the Weather

It is summer time in the US and, of course, it is warm. But how bad or good is it compared to the past and what bodes for the future? The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during June was 71.2°F, which is 2.0°F above the 20th century average. The June temperatures contributed to a record-warm first half of the year and the warmest 12-month period the nation has experienced since recordkeeping began in 1895. The nation, as a whole, experienced its tenth driest June on record, with a nationally-averaged precipitation total of 2.27 inches, 0.62 inch below average.

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It was not hotter everywhere.  Based on preliminary data, temperatures in the Northeast averaged 65.4 degrees F (18.6 degrees C), which was normal.  For the first time since October, mean temperatures in June were below average across most of the Southeast region. 

Rainfall varied significantly depending on where you lived.  Overall the northeast was normal.  With 176 percent of normal, Maine had it’s 4th wettest June in 118 years, while West Virginia experienced its 11 driest June since 1895. Maine was one of four states with above normal rainfall totals - New Hampshire, New Jersey and Rhode Island were the other three. Departures in the dry states ranged from 62 percent of normal in West Virginia to 97 percent of normal in Connecticut and Vermont.

It is in the west where local wild fires have been d=fueld by dry conditins where it is particularly hot and dry. The largest temperature departures occurred in an area encompassing the panhandle of Nebraska, eastern Wyoming, eastern Colorado, and northwestern Kansas where the departures from normal temperature ranged from 6.0-10.0 degrees F (3.3-5.6 degrees C) above normal. The only areas in the Region to have lower than normal temperatures were northwest Wyoming and a few pockets of North Dakota. The warm pattern caused many locations across the Region to be ranked in the top 10 warmest Junes on record. Colorado Springs, Colorado had its warmest June on record with an average temperature of 73.2 degrees F which was 8.1 degrees F above normal. 

Precipitation was significantly lacking in all but a few isolated areas of the High Plains Region this month. Most of Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas received less than 50 percent of normal precipitation. There were even large areas of the Region that received less than 5 percent of normal precipitation, including western and central Wyoming, northwest Colorado, and central Nebraska.

According to the U.S. Seasonal Drought outlook released on June 21st, drought conditions were expected to improve only in eastern North Dakota and the far northwest corner of South Dakota. Current areas of drought in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and Wyoming were expected to persist, while drought was expected to develop in eastern Nebraska and southern South Dakota.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, as of July 3, 56.0 percent of the contiguous U.S. experienced drought conditions, marking the largest percentage of the nation experiencing drought conditions in the 12-year record of the U.S. Drought Monitor. Drought conditions improved across Florida, due to the rains from Tropical Storm Debby. Drought conditions worsened across much of the West, Central Plains, and the Ohio Valley, causing significant impacts on agriculture in those regions.

Now for a different point of view consider Alaska where it has been wet and cold.    There wet and cold records were set.

For further weather results see NOAA.

Bad Weather image via Wikipedia.

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