NCDC Releases June 2012 U.S. Monthly Climate Report: U.S. Experiences Warm and Dry June; Drought Expands to 56% of Lower 48

NOAA map by climate.gov team, based on NCDC climate division data.

The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during June was 71.2°F, 2.0°F above the 20th century average, ranking as the 14th warmest June on record. Scorching temperatures during the second half of the month broke or tied over 170 all-time temperature records in cities across America. June temperatures also 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.

Warmer-than-average temperatures anchored across the Intermountain West and much of the Great Plains during June. Colorado had its warmest June on record, with a statewide temperature 6.4°F above average. Seven additional states in the region had a top ten warm June. However, cooler-than-average temperatures were present for the Pacific Northwest, where Washington had its seventh coolest June on record. Cool conditions were also present for the Southeast, despite record warm temperatures towards the end of the month.

Precipitation totals across the country were mixed during June. The Lower 48 experienced their tenth driest June on record, with a nationally averaged precipitation total of 2.27 inches, 0.62 inch below average. Record and near-record dry conditions were present across the Intermountain West, while Tropical Storm Debby dropped record precipitation across Florida.

Drier-than-average conditions were present from the West, through the Plains, into the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic. Wyoming had its driest June on record, with a precipitation total 1.27 inches below average. Eleven additional states from Nevada to Kentucky had June precipitation totals ranking among their ten driest.

This monthly analysis from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides government, business, and community leaders so they can make informed decisions. Read the full report at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/summary-info/national/2012/6.