Climate of 2008
June in Historical Perspective

National Climatic Data Center
15 July 2008

Contents of this Report:

Selected Global Significant Events for June 2008

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Major Highlights

NOAA: Warm June for U.S. with Wet and Dry Extremes,
Eighth Warmest June on Record for Globe

June 2008 was the 27th warmest June for the contiguous United States, based on records dating back to 1895, according to an analysis by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. The average June temperature, 70.4°F, was 1.1 degrees above the 20th century mean, based on preliminary data. The combined average global land and ocean surface temperatures for June 2008 ranked eighth warmest for June since worldwide records began in 1880, according to an analysis by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. Also, globally it was the ninth warmest January - June period on record.

U.S. Temperature Highlights

June temperatures were warmer than average across the southern and eastern states, and cooler than average across the Northwest and northern Plains.

New Jersey and Rhode Island ranked second warmest and Delaware ranked third warmest, based on statewide data going back to 1895. Nine states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, and North and South Carolina) were much warmer than average, and 23 were warmer than average.

Seven states (Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, and North and South Dakota) were cooler than average.

Unusually warm June temperatures translated into a higher temperature-related residential energy demand. Based on NOAA's Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index, contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand was approximately 7.5 percent above average in June.

U.S. Precipitation Highlights

Rainfall patterns across the country in June consisted of both extremely wet and extremely dry conditions. Heavy rain and flooding occurred in the Midwest, while parts of the Southeast, southern Plains, and West were dry.

Five states (Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, and Vermont) were much wetter than average for June, with Iowa ranking second wettest on record.

Persistent heavy rain across the Midwest triggered flooding along the Cedar River in Iowa, and many tributaries to the Mississippi River in eastern Iowa and southern Wisconsin. Flooding also occurred along the Mississippi River in parts of western Illinois and eastern Missouri. By the end of June, 26 percent of the contiguous U.S. was classified in moderate-to-extreme "wet spell" conditions, based on the Palmer Index.

Over the past six months, Iowa, Ohio, and Missouri had the wettest January-June on record. Iowa had its wettest April-June period on record with an average of 20.4 inches of precipitation - 8.7 inches above average.

Five states (California, Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas) were much drier than average, with California having the fourth driest June on record and North Carolina ranking eighth driest.

Continued lack of rainfall across much of the Southeast and parts of the southern Plains and West worsened drought conditions. Twenty-eight percent of the contiguous U.S. was classified in moderate-to-exceptional drought at the end of June compared to 22 percent a month ago, based on the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Western Wildfires

Dry conditions set the stage for increased fire potential across the western U.S. By the end of June, many large wildfires were raging in northern California and Arizona, largely due to lightning strikes. As of June 30, more than 2.1 million acres have burned so far this year in the United States, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Already, January - June 2008 ranks third behind the same periods for 2006 and 2002 in the amount of burnt acreage.

Global Highlights

The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for June 2008 was 60.8°F (16.0°C), which is 0.9°F (0.5°C) above the 20th century mean of 59.9°F (15.5°C).

Separately, the global land surface temperature was 57.2°F (14.0°C), which is 1.3°F (0.7°C) above the 20th century mean of 55.9°F (13.3°C).

The global ocean surface temperature was 62.2°F (16.8°C), which is 0.7°F (0.4°C) above the 20th century mean of 61.5°F (16.4°C).

For the January - June period, the combined global land and ocean surface temperature was 57.1°F (13.9°C), which is 0.8°F (0.4°C) about the 20th century mean of 56.3°F (13.5°C).

Other Highlights

Northern Hemisphere Arctic sea ice extent for June 2008 ranked third lowest for June since records began in 1979. Southern Hemisphere Antarctic sea ice extent for June 2008 was above the 1979-2000 mean, ranking as the second largest June extent.

El Niño-Southern Oscillation conditions transitioned to a neutral phase during June.

Torrential rains lashed southern China from June 7-18. These were followed by more heavy rain from typhoon Fengshen late in the month. The downpours caused widespread floods and affected more than five million people. June 2008 was the wettest month ever for Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and Macao based on records that began in 1884.

Report Index

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to the top Global Analysis

to the top Global Hazards and Significant Events

to the top National and Regional Overview

to the top United States Drought

to the top U.S. Pre-Instrumental Perspective

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