Climate of 2009
June in Historical Perspective

National Climatic Data Center
16 July 2009

Contents of this Report:

Selected Global Significant Events for June 2009


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2008 Annual Report is available here.

Major Highlights

NOAA: June Temperature Near-Average for the U.S.;
Global Temperature Ranked 2nd Warmest on Record for June;
Ocean Surface Temperatures Warmest on Record for June

The June 2009 temperature and precipitation for the contiguous United States were near the long-term average, based on records going back to 1895, according to an analysis by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.

The average June 2009 temperature of 69.5°F was 0.2°F above the 20th Century average. Precipitation across the contiguous United States in June 2009 averaged 2.90 inches, which is 0.01 inch above the long-term value.

The world's ocean surface temperature was the warmest on record for June, breaking the previous high mark set in 2005, according to a preliminary analysis by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. Additionally, the combined average global land and ocean surface temperature for June was second-warmest on record. The global records began in 1880.

U.S. Temperature Highlights

Above-normal temperatures in the South, Southeast, and parts of the Northwest U.S. were countered with below-average temperatures in the Northeast and areas in the Southwest and North Central regions. These broad differences offset to create a nationally-averaged temperature that was near normal.

Florida experienced its fourth-warmest June of the 115 on record. On the cooler side were Massachusetts and Rhode Island, which experienced their ninth- and tenth-coolest June, respectively.

Halfway through 2009, the year-to-date (January-June) contiguous U.S. ranked 25th warmest of 115 such periods on record. New Mexico and Texas observed their eighth- and tenth-warmest such periods. For the second consecutive month, North Dakota was the only state to report a year-to-date average temperature substantially below normal.

Based on NOAA's Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index (REDTI), the temperature-related energy demand for the contiguous U.S. was about 2 percent above average in June.

U.S. Precipitation Highlights

For the contiguous U.S. as a whole, precipitation was near normal. Below normal precipitation in the southern and northern tier states was counter-balanced by above-normal amounts in the Northeast, West, and parts of the Southwest and West North Central regions.

The West region experienced its seventh-wettest, and the Northeast its tenth-wettest June in 115 years of record-keeping. Above-normal precipitation also fell in the Northwest, Southwest, and Central regions. In contrast, the South and Southeast regions observed drier-than-normal conditions during the month.

Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana each experienced their sixth-driest June on record. Several states finished with top-ten-wet June precipitation: Delaware (5th-wettest), Idaho (5th), New Jersey (6th), Maine (7th), Nevada (7th), and California (8th).

By the end of June, moderate-to-exceptional drought covered 13 percent of the contiguous United States, based on the U.S. Drought Monitor. This is one percentage point less than the end of May. Drought conditions slightly worsened in the Mississippi Valley, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Improvements were seen in the southeastern Rockies and southern High Plains. Drought remained unchanged in the West.

About 20 percent of the contiguous United States had moderately-to-extremely wet conditions at the end of June, according to the Palmer Index (a well-known index that measures both drought intensity and wet spell intensity).

Other U.S. Highlights

There were no tornado related fatalities during June, the third June of the last four without a tornado-related death (seven such fatalities occurred in June 2008). As of June 1, the number of confirmed tornadoes (823) for the 2009 year-to-date period is just below the 2004-2008 average.

California's Climate Division 7 (Southeast Desert Basin) reported a record-wet average of 0.99 inches precipitation during June. In direct contrast, Southwest Arizona's Climate Division 5, which borders California Climate Division 7, recorded 0.0 inches of precipitation, based on preliminary data.

In the U.S. High Plains, hundreds of thousands of acres of crops were adversely affected by flooding and hail. Wheat was hit especially hard as it approached harvest in many areas; some fields were complete losses. In Nebraska alone, preliminary estimates indicate that over 150,000 acres of crops were damaged by severe weather, with losses exceeding 10 million dollars.

In contrast to heavy fire activity in early 2009, the 6,864 wildfires across the nation during June was the fewest number of fires for the month over the past ten years. The 525,937 acres burned during the month was 435,409 acres below the 2000-2009 average and is 8th lowest during that period. The 1,903,247 acres burned since January was near the 2000-2009 average of 1,927,474 acres.

Global Climate Statistics

The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for June 2009 was the second warmest on record, behind 2005, with 1.12°F (0.62°C) above the 20th century average of 59.9°F (15.5°C).

Separately, the global ocean surface temperature for June 2009 was the warmest on record, 1.06°F (0.59°C) above the 20th century average of 61.5°F (16.4°C).

Each hemisphere broke its June record for warmest ocean surface temperature. In the Northern Hemisphere, the warm anomaly of 1.17°F (0.65°C) surpassed the previous record of 1.12°F (0.62°C), set in 2005. The Southern Hemisphere's increase of 0.99°F (0.55°C) exceeded the old record of 0.92 degree F (0.51°C), set in 1998.

The global land surface temperature for June 2009 was 1.26°F (0.70°C) above the 20th century average of 55.9°F (13.3°C), and ranked as the sixth-warmest June on record.

Notable Developments and Events

El Niño is back after six straight months of increased sea-surface temperature anomalies. June sea surface temperatures in the region were more than 0.9°F (0.5°C) above average.

Terrestrial warmth was most notable in Africa. Considerable warmth also occurred in Siberia and in the lands around the Black and Mediterranean Seas. Cooler-than-average land locations included the U.S. Northern Plains, the Canadian Prairie Provinces, and central Asia.

Arctic sea ice covered an average of 4.4 million square miles (11.5 million square kilometers) during June, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. This is 5.6 percent below the 1979-2000 average extent. By contrast, the 2007 record for the least Arctic sea ice extent was 5.5 percent below average. Antarctic sea ice extent in June was 3.9 percent above the 1979-2000 average.

Heavy rain fell over central Europe during the month, triggering mudslides and floods. Thirteen fatalities were reported. According to reports, this was central Europe's worst natural disaster since the 2002 floods that claimed 17 lives and caused nearly $3 billion in damages.

Report Index
Global Analysis

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Global Hazards and Significant Events

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National and Regional Overview

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United States Drought

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