Entire Report - June 2012


National Overview

NCDC transitioned to the nClimDiv dataset on Thursday, March 13, 2014. This was coincident with the release of the February 2014 monthly monitoring report. For details on this transition, please visit our public FTP site and our U.S. Climate Divisional Database site.

Maps and Graphics

Temperature and Precipitation Ranks
U.S. Percentage Areas
More Information

National Overview:



June Extreme Weather/Climate Events

Supplemental June and January-June Information


  • Climate Highlights — June
  • 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. Scorching temperatures during the second half of the month led many cities to set all-time temperature records.
  • Precipitation totals across the country were mixed during June. 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. Record and near-record dry conditions were present across the Intermountain West, while Tropical Storm Debby dropped record precipitation across Florida.
  • Warmer-than-average temperatures were 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.
  • Cooler-than-average temperatures were present for the Pacific Northwest, where Washington had its seventh coolest June on record. Cooler-than-average conditions were also present for the Southeast, despite record warm temperatures towards the end of the month.
  • Record-breaking temperatures occurred across a large portion of the nation during the second half of June. Over 170 all-time warm temperature records were broken or tied during the month. Temperatures in South Carolina (113°F) and Georgia (112°F) are currently under review by the U.S. State Climate Extremes Committee as possible all-time statewide temperature records.
  • Precipitation patterns were mixed across the country. 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 of 0.45 inch, which is 1.27 inches below average. Eleven additional states from Nevada to Kentucky had June precipitation totals ranking among their ten driest.
  • 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.
  • Tropical Storm Debby brought copious precipitation to Florida during June as it slowly traversed the state. Florida’s monthly statewide precipitation total of 13.16 inches was 6.17 inches above average, ranking as the wettest June on record for the state. Parts of the Northeast, as well as the Pacific Northwest, were wetter than average. Maine, Oregon, and Washington each had a top ten wet June.
  • Several large wildfires raged across the West in June, destroying hundreds of homes and causing the evacuation of tens of thousands of residences. The very dry, warm, and windy weather created ideal wildfire conditions. Nationwide, wildfires scorched over 1.3 million acres, the second most on record during June.
  • A list of select June temperature and precipitation records can be found here.
  • Climate Highlights — Year-to-Date (January-June)
  • The January-June period was the warmest first half of any year on record for the contiguous United States. The national temperature of 52.9°F was 4.5°F above average. Most of the contiguous U.S. was record and near-record warm for the six-month period, except the Pacific Northwest. Twenty-eight states east of the Rockies were record warm and an additional 15 states were top ten warm.
  • The first six months of 2012 were also drier than average for much of the contiguous U.S., with a nationally-averaged precipitation total 1.62 inches below average. Drier-than-average conditions stretched from the West, through the Central Plains, into the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic. Fourteen states in total had precipitation totals for the six-month period among their ten driest.
  • Wetter-than-average conditions were present for the Northwest and Upper Midwest, where Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington had six-month precipitation totals among their ten wettest.
  • The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI), an index that tracks the highest and lowest 10 percent of extremes in temperature, precipitation, drought and tropical cyclones across the contiguous U.S., was a record-large 44 percent during the January-June period, over twice the average value. Extremes in warm daytime temperatures (83 percent) and warm nighttime temperatures (70 percent) covered large areas of the nation, contributing to the record high value.
  • Climate Highlights — 12-month period (July 2011-June 2012)
  • The July 2011-June 2012 period was the warmest 12-month period of any 12-months on record for the contiguous U.S., narrowly surpassing the record broken last month for the June 2011-May 2012 period by 0.05°F. The nationally-averaged temperature of 56.0°F was 3.2°F above the long term average. Every state across the contiguous U.S. had warmer than average temperatures for the period, except Washington, which was near normal.

Alaska Temperature and Precipitation:

  • Alaska had its 41st coolest June since records began in 1918, with a temperature 0.2°F (0.1°C) below the 1971–2000 average.
  • Alaska had its 41st warmest April-June since records began in 1918, with a temperature near the 1971–2000 average.
  • Alaska had its 16th coolest January-June since records began in 1918, with a temperature 2.7 °F (1.5°C) below the 1971–2000 average.
  • Alaska had its 20th wettest June since records began in 1918, with an anomaly that was 12.4 percent above the 1971–2000 average.
  • Alaska had its 29th wettest April-June since records began in 1918, with an anomaly that was 8.2 percent above the 1971–2000 average.
  • Alaska had its 33rd wettest January-June since records began in 1918, with an anomaly that was 11.1 percent above the 1971–2000 average.

For additional details about recent temperatures and precipitation across the U.S., see the Regional Highlights section below and visit the Climate Summary page". For information on local temperature and precipitation records during the month, please visit NCDC's Records page. For details and graphics on weather events across the U.S. and the globe please visit NCDC's Global Hazards page.


Regional Highlights:

These regional summaries were provided by the six Regional Climate Centers and reflect conditions in their respective regions. These six regions differ spatially from the nine climatic regions of the National Climatic Data Center.

  • Northeast Region: (Information provided by the Northeast Regional Climate Center)
  • Based on preliminary data, temperatures in the Northeast averaged 65.4 degrees F (18.6 degrees C), which was normal. This has the potential to end the 14-month run of warmer than normal temperatures; more will be known when the final data are in. Only four states had temperatures that averaged above normal: Delaware and Vermont, +0.6 degrees F (0.33 degrees C); New York, +0.4 degrees F (0.22 degrees C); and Pennsylvania, +0.2 degrees F (0.11 degrees C). Negative departures ranged from 0.1 degrees F (0.06 degrees C) cooler than normal in New Jersey to 1.9 degrees F (1.06 degrees C) below normal in Rhode Island. A warm spell at the end of June sent temperatures into the 90’s and low 100’s (32 to 41 degrees C) in the southern half of the region, breaking maximum temperature records at ten of the first order stations on the 29th and 30th. The highest reading among these stations was 104 degrees F (40.0 degrees C), recorded at Washington National, DC on the 29th. This topped the previous daily record of 101 degrees F (38.3 degrees C) set on the 29th in 1934 as well as the monthly record of 102 degrees F (38.9 degrees C), set on June 9 in 1874 and 2011. Temperatures for the period January through June averaged 4.0 degrees F (2.22 degrees C) above normal in the Northeast, making this the warmest January through June since 1895. In addition, it was the warmest first six months of the year in eleven of the Northeast states - West Virginia had its second warmest January through June in 118 years.
  • Precipitation during June averaged 98 percent of normal overall, however, like last month, rainfall was not evenly distributed throughout the Northeast. 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. A look at the first six months of 2012 has Delaware with only 53 percent of the January through June precipitation total and Maine, 112 percent. Maine was the only state in the Northeast to average wetter-than-normal during this period. It was the driest January through June since 1895 in Delaware and the 5th driest in Maryland. As of June 26, the U.S. Drought Monitor indicated a few areas of abnormally dry conditions, including most of West Virginia, and parts of northern New York and Vermont. Moderate drought (D1) conditions were expanded during the month to include a larger area around the Chesapeake Bay in eastern Maryland.
  • A fast moving and long-lasting line of severe thunderstorms known as a derecho left a path of destruction from Illinois to the mid-Atlantic region on the 29th. Wind gusts as high as 70 mph (31 m/s) caused extensive damage to trees and power lines, cutting power to millions just before the start of July 4th holiday celebrations and vacations. Due to the vast amount of damage, complete power restoration was expected to take up to a week, with additional crews coming in from as far away as Canada. Food was spoiled, businesses lost revenue and health concerns mounted as temperatures remained above normal. At least 6 people three in New Jersey, two in Maryland and one in Washington, DC - lost their lives during the storm and several injuries were reported.
  • For more information, please go to the Northeast Regional Climate Center Home Page.
  • Midwest Region: (Information provided by the Midwest Regional Climate Center)
  • June temperatures were slightly above normal for most of the Midwest. The southeast parts of the Midwest were near normal and areas to the west and north ranged up to 4 degrees F (2 C) above normal. A heat wave in the High Plains regions moved east into the Midwest in the last week of June. Temperatures above 100 degrees F (38 C) spread across a wide swath of the southern Midwest with most of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio having at least one day above that threshold. A few dozen stations recorded all-time highs and many more recorded the warmest temperatures in several decades. Paducah, Kentucky hit 108 degrees F (42 C) which was the warmest day since 1942. St. Louis, Missouri reached 108 degrees F (42 C) and Indianapolis reached 104 degrees F (40 C), their warmest readings since 1954.
  • June precipitation was above normal for the upper Midwest but well below normal for the southern two-thirds of the region. Rainfall totals were less than half of normal June totals for most of the southern two-thirds of the Midwest and between 10 and 25 percent of normal in scattered pockets of several states. Rains in the upper Midwest fell throughout the month with the heaviest downpours in a 24-hour period on the 19th and 20th. Six to ten inches (15 to 25 cm) of rain fell in the Duluth, Minnesota area leading to major flooding and flash flooding.
  • Flood damage in Duluth, Minnesota from the rains of the 19th and 20th buckled pavement, washed out roads, and created sinkholes. Rivers in the area quickly rose to major flood levels and remained high in the following week. A highway in Clark County, Wisconsin was washed out early on the 21st leading to three fatalities when two vehicles drove into the chasm.
  • Drought conditions have expanded and intensified in the Midwest in June. Midwest areas in drought quadrupled during the month and areas in Severe Drought increased from less than 2 percent to more than 15 percent of the region. Extreme Drought was introduced to over 5 percent of the Midwest in June. Farmer reports of pasture conditions and row crop conditions deteriorated as the month progressed with many areas in the southern Midwest reporting the poorest June conditions since 1988.
  • Heating degree days for the July to June season were among the three lowest years in all nine Midwest states using data that extends back to 1895. Preliminary numbers rank five states (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin) with the least heating degree days on record. Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio ranked second and Kentucky ranked third over the same period.
  • A line of severe storms on the 29th moved from eastern Iowa to the east-southeast spreading to Ohio and Kentucky before continuing all the way to the east coast. Hundreds of thousands of Midwest customers and were without power for days with very warm temperatures in the area. Winds greater than 90 miles per hour (40 meters per second) were reported in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky.
  • For details on the weather and climate events of the Midwest, see the weekly summaries in the Midwest Climate Watch page.
  • Southeast Region: (Information provided by the Southeast Regional Climate Center)
  • For the first time since October, mean temperatures in June were below average across most of the Southeast region. The greatest departures were found across central and eastern portions of Georgia and the Carolinas, where monthly temperatures were between 2 and 3 degrees F (1.1 to 1.6 degrees C) below average. In contrast, temperatures were generally above average across Alabama, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Most notably, San Juan, PR recorded its warmest month ever with a mean temperature of 85.7 degrees F (29.8 degrees C), breaking the previous record of 85.4 degrees F (29.7 degrees C) set back in June of 1983. The persistence of heat was also remarkable, as June marked the first time on record that the temperature reached or exceeded 90 degrees F (32.2 degrees C) every day of the month at San Juan. Although temperatures for the month were generally below average across the Southeast mainland, June ended with a heat wave of historic proportions. Over 30 all-time daily maximum temperature records were tied or broken across the region from the 29th to the 30th of the month. These included all-time records for Athens, GA (109 degrees F (42.8 degrees C) on the 29th), Raleigh-Durham, NC (tied 105 degrees F (40.6 degrees C) on both days), Charlotte, NC (tied 104 degrees F (40 degrees C) on both days), Columbia, SC (109 degrees F (42.8 degrees C) on both days), Atlanta, GA (106 degrees F (41.1 degrees C) on the 30th), Macon, GA (tied 108 degrees F (42.2 degrees C) on the 30th), and Columbus, GA (108 degrees F (42.2 degrees C) on the 30th). A preliminary state record temperature for South Carolina of 113 degrees F (45 degrees C) was set in Johnston and at the Columbia University of South Carolina station on the 29th of the month. This record is currently being reviewed by the South Carolina State Climate Office and NCDC and would break the old record of 111 degrees F (43.9 degrees C) last set back in 1954.
  • Monthly precipitation was below normal across much of the Southeast in June, except across parts of northern Florida and the northern Gulf Coast, where two separate weather systems contributed to monthly rainfall totals between 200 and 600 percent of normal. Rainfall totals exceeded 20 inches (508 mm) across parts of southern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle from the 7th to the 11th of the month as a large plume of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico interacted with an upper-level disturbance over the region. Flooding was particularly severe in Pensacola, FL, where 13.13 inches (333.5 mm) of rain fell on the 9th of the month. This ranked as the second wettest 24-hour rainfall total ever observed in Pensacola in a record extending back to 1879. Between the 23rd and 26th of the month, Tropical Storm Debby dumped between 10 and 30 inches (254 and 762 mm) of rain across a large portion of the Florida Panhandle from near Apalachicola to Jacksonville. Rainfall totals of up to 10 inches (254 mm) were reported as far south as Tampa Bay, which recorded its wettest June on record, and as far north as southeastern Georgia. Conversely, much of the Southeast was dry in June, with monthly precipitation totals between 25 and 75 percent of normal. The driest locations were found across central Alabama, eastern North Carolina, and across much of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where monthly precipitation was less than 25 percent of normal. San Juan, PR, which recorded its warmest month on record, also recorded its driest June on record with 0.16 inches (4.1 mm) of rainfall, while Saint Thomas, USVI recorded its second driest June on record with just 0.08 inches (2 mm) of rainfall.
  • There were 915 reports of severe weather across the Southeast in June, including 26 confirmed tornadoes. Twenty one of these occurred on the 23rd and 24th of the month in association with Tropical Storm Debby. Most of the tornadoes were spawned across south Florida and were weak (EF-0 and EF-1), while four of the 21 tornadoes were not given an EF rating. Two of the tornadoes were rated EF-2, one of which tore through a mobile home park near Venus in Highlands County. A woman in the park died after being thrown over 200 yards (183 m) from her home while holding on to her baby. The baby survived with only minor injuries. On the 1st of the month, a line of strong storms spawned two tornadoes in southeastern Virginia, including an EF-0 near the town of Petersburg and an EF-1 that caused damage to a yacht club and several boats in the town of Hampton. On the 10th of the month, an EF-1 tornado touched down in Geneva County, AL, while the next day another EF-1 tornado uprooted and snapped several hundred trees in Jasper County, SC near Hilton Head Island. In Goochland County, VA, an EF-0 was confirmed in a remote area north of Richmond on the 25th of the month. A derecho, or line of fast moving thunderstorms, tracked from the Midwest through the Appalachians and across Virginia during the evening of the 29th and early morning hours of the 30th. Winds in excess of 70 mph (31.3 m/s) were reported across much of Virginia, leaving millions without power. This presented a dangerous situation as the region was already experiencing a major heat wave. The winds from the storm extended into northern portions of North Carolina, where more power outages were reported. A total of seven deaths were confirmed from this event across Virginia and Washington D.C.
  • Tropical Storm Debby formed in the Gulf of Mexico on the 23rd of the month, making it the earliest fourth named tropical cyclone to form in the Atlantic basin since 1851. She later made landfall on the 26th of the month along Florida’s Big Bend near Cedar Key. Debby’s slow movement and tropical storm winds (some exceeding 70 mph) resulted in major flooding from heavy rain and storm surge (up to six feet in some locations) as well as extensive beach and dune erosion. Several condos, homes, and hotels, as well as some bridges and roads along Florida’s Gulf Coast were damaged or flooded. In Wakulla County, 39 homes were destroyed and another 300 were damaged due to flooding. Some rivers across north-central Florida exceeded their flood stage by over 20 feet (6.1 m), forcing mandatory evacuations in several communities. In addition, several oil production platforms and drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico were damaged. Nine deaths have been confirmed from Debby, most of which resulted from drowning and tornadoes.
  • The rainfall for Debby helped eliminate drought conditions across Florida, particularly in the Panhandle region which had been under extreme drought conditions for several months. Some improvement was also noted across central and eastern sections of the Carolinas. By the end of June, about 50 percent of the Southeast was in drought (according to the U.S. Drought Monitor), down from about 75 percent at the beginning of the month. Corn planted early in the season showed signs of damage due to the dry weather across Florida prior to Debby, while in Georgia, corn yields were estimated to be down 10 to 15 percent due to increased cloud cover and less solar radiation during the month. The hot weather at the end of the month contributed to poor air quality across much of the Southeast, particularly across parts of Georgia (including metropolitan Atlanta) where code purple advisories were issued for ozone. At these levels, which have not been reached in the Atlanta area since 2007, even healthy individuals may experience serious health effects.
  • For more information, please go to the Southeast Regional Climate Center Home Page.
  • High Plains Region: (Information provided by the High Plains Regional Climate Center)
  • June 2012 was hot and dry across the High Plains Region. 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 (22.9 degrees C) which was 8.1 degrees F (4.5 degrees C) above normal. This crushed the old record of 70.8 degrees F (21.6 degrees C) which occurred in 2002 (period of record 1894-2012). Interestingly, each of the past three years in Colorado Springs have been ranked in the top 10 warmest Junes on record - 2012 was ranked warmest, 2011 was ranked 3rd warmest, and 2010 was ranked 7th warmest. In addition to monthly records, hundreds of daily records were set across the Region. This was especially the case the last week of the month as temperatures skyrocketed. Many locations in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and Wyoming set or tied their all-time record highs (for any day of the year). With one of the highest temperatures in the Region, McCook, Nebraska set a new all-time record high with 115 degrees F (46.1 degrees C) on June 26th. The old record of 114 degrees F (45.6 degrees C) was set on July 20, 1932 (period of record 1909-2012). Another location that set its all-time record high was Colorado Springs, Colorado. Colorado Springs hit 100 degrees F (37.8 degrees C) on both the 23rd and 24th, which tied the record at the time. But, two days later, on the 26th, a new all-time record high was established when the temperature got to 101 degrees F (38.3 degrees C). The impressive part is that within 4 days (June 23-26), the temperature was at or above 100 degrees F (37.8 degrees C) 3 times, yet previously, Colorado Springs had only hit 100 degrees F (37.8 degrees C) 4 other times since records began in 1894. When taking a look at 2012 so far, June was just one more month of continued warmth. Most of the Region has had warmer than normal temperatures each month this year and this has caused many locations to have their warmest first half of a year ever. One example was Omaha, Nebraska which had its warmest January-June on record with an average temperature of 53.6 degrees F (12.0 degrees C). The old record of 51.9 degrees F (11.1 degrees C) was set in 1921 (period of record 1871-2012). The continued hot and dry conditions have taken their toll on pastureland across Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, producers in those states had to relocate or reduce their livestock herds due to poor pastureland conditions. Row crops were also starting to show signs of stress from the hot and dry weather. Although severe weather was not widespread this month, hail damage to crops was reported in the Dakotas and Wyoming. On June 7th, a tornado, hail, and high winds affected approximately 20,000 acres in southeastern Wyoming. In addition, the hot and dry weather also created dangerous fire conditions.
  • 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. Unfortunately, only isolated areas scattered across the Region received near normal precipitation. One of the few locations to receive higher than normal precipitation was Seward, Nebraska which set a new record for the highest one-day precipitation total in June. On June 15th, an incredible 4.55 inches (116 mm) fell in Seward which smashed the old daily record of 3.40 inches (86 mm) set in 1982. This amount also beat the old June record of 3.75 inches (95 mm) set on June 25, 1989. To put this one-day precipitation total in perspective, the normal precipitation for the entire month of June in Seward is 4.42 inches (112 mm). By the end of the month, the total June precipitation was 5.74 inches (146 mm), which ranked as the 25th wettest June on record (period of record 1893-2012). The majority of locations in the Region received little to no precipitation this month and this dearth of precipitation caused many locations to be ranked in the top 10 driest Junes on record. Pueblo, Colorado had its 3rd driest June on record with only 0.07 inches (2 mm) of precipitation (period of record 1888-2012). This small amount of precipitation was 1.29 inches (33 mm) below normal, or 5 percent of normal precipitation. Pueblo’s driest June on record occurred in 1990, when no measurable precipitation fell. So far, 2012 has also been a dry year for Pueblo, which has only received 2.53 inches (64 mm) of liquid precipitation (January 1 to June 30). That makes this period the 9th driest on record in Pueblo. Another very dry location in the Region was Scottsbluff, Nebraska. The January 1 to June 30 precipitation total of 3.92 inches (100 mm) ranks as the 2nd driest on record (period of record 1893-2012). The driest on record occurred only 10 years ago, when 2.50 inches (64 mm) fell in 2002.
  • There were major changes to the U.S. Drought Monitor this month as hot and dry conditions prevailed over the majority of the Region. Drought conditions developed or worsened in each state in the Region over the past month. At the end of the month nearly 84 percent of the Region had a D0-D4 designation (abnormally dry to exceptional drought conditions), while at the end of last month the figure was 66 percent. The expansion of the D2-D4 range (severe to exceptional drought conditions) was quite impressive as it jumped from 8 percent coverage at the end of May to 47 percent coverage at the end of June. The entire state of Colorado has D1 designation (moderate drought conditions) or higher, and by the end of the month nearly 46 percent of the state was experiencing D3 (extreme drought conditions). D3 conditions also expanded into southwestern Wyoming and western Kansas. 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.
  • The hot and dry weather this month created dangerous fire weather conditions in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Although some fires started early in June, the record-setting heat, lack of rainfall, and windy conditions during the last week of the month contributed to the explosiveness of many fires. It was during this time that much of Colorado had multiple days at or above 100 degrees F (37.8 degrees C). While many of the fires were caused by lightning, the causes of others are still under investigation. Unfortunately, the fires have been incredibly destructive as hundreds of thousands of acres have burned and at this point, countless structures have been affected as conditions at the end of the month were still too dangerous to perform damage assessments in some areas. The fires have had impacts in many different sectors ranging from tourism, to water resources, to energy. Even 4th of July celebrations are expected to be impacted as many communities have cancelled 4th of July fireworks shows, according to 9NEWS in Denver. As many of these fires continue to burn and new fires start, the final toll of these fires is yet to be determined.
  • For more information, please go to the High Plains Regional Climate Center Home Page.
  • Southern Region: (Information provided by the Southern Regional Climate Center)
  • For the most part, June was a relatively average month where temperatures are concerned. Both Tennessee and Mississippi experienced a slightly cooler than normal month, while Louisiana and Arkansas experienced a slightly warmer than normal month. In these four states, temperature averages for the month typically fell within 2 degrees F (1.11degrees C) of normal. This was also the case for eastern Oklahoma and Eastern Texas, which experienced a slightly warmer than normal month. In western Texas and western Oklahoma, however; temperature departures were a bit higher, ranging from 2 to 6 degrees F (1.11 to 3.33 degrees C) above normal. One state ranking worth mentioning is for Texas, which experienced its thirteenth warmest June on record (1895-2012) with an average temperature of 82.40 degrees F (28.00 degrees C). The other state averages ranking outside of the top twenty five. Their averages are: 77.80 degrees F (25.44 degrees C) for Arkansas, 80.40 degrees F (26.89 degrees C) for Louisiana, 78.00 degrees F (25.56 degrees C) for Mississippi, 78.60 degrees F (25.89 degrees C) for Oklahoma, and 73.80 degrees F (23.22 degrees C) for Tennessee.
  • With a few small exceptions, June was a relatively dry month with much of the region receiving less than average precipitation totals. The driest area of the region proved to be southern and south eastern Texas, where a majority of stations received only 0 to 25 percent of normal precipitation. This was also the case for much of central Tennessee, western Arkansas, north central Louisiana, and south central Mississippi. Average precipitation totals for all states were below the 1895-2012 average. For Tennessee, it was their sixth driest June on record (1895-2012). The average precipitation total for Tennessee was a mere 1.91 inches (48.51 mm). Arkansas received 2.02 inches (51.31 mm) of precipitation for the month, which was their seventeenth driest June on record (1895-2012). Other state precipitation totals include: Louisiana with 4.50 inches (114.30 mm), Mississippi with 3.25 inches (82.55 mm), Oklahoma with 2.75 inches (69.85 mm), and Texas with 2.00 inches (50.80 mm).
  • With all six states receiving less than normal precipitation in June, drought conditions throughout the Southern Region have deteriorated. Much of Tennessee is now experiencing a severe (D2) drought. In Arkansas, conditions have worsened from moderate to severe drought, with pockets of extreme drought in all areas of the state. Central Texas has also been downgraded from no drought and moderate (D1) drought to moderate (D1) and severe drought (D2). In Louisiana, northern parishes are now experiencing moderate (D1) drought as well. This is also the case for eastern Tennessee and much of central and eastern Oklahoma.
  • Texas farmers harvested their summer crops in early June, and they generally received a better yield than expected, even in West Texas where rain was scarce. Livestock was reported to be in fair condition as well, according to the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. Ranchers noted healthy grasslands provided food for cattle while the spring rains refilled stock tanks. However, the looming hot and dry summer conditions have begun to worry farmers and ranchers. (Information provided by the Texas State Climate Office)
  • In Texas, severe storms caused extensive damage across Texas during June. Towns in the Lower Rio Grande valley endured minor floods after strong storms dumped over 2.5 inches (63.50 mm) of rain in an hour. In the greater Houston area, there were several reports of tornados and supercells with lightning and strong winds. Those alone caused minimal damage, but accompanying hailstorms managed to cause several million dollars of damage in Houston. In the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, small but severe supercells produced baseball-sized hail over north Dallas during rush hour. After the damage had been assessed, officials estimated the cost of damages to be over $1.5 billion. Across much of the state, severe storms tormented cities during the first half of June. (Information provided by the Texas State Climate Office)
  • In Texas, extreme heat claimed its first life in the last week of June as temperatures climbed above 100 degrees F (37.78 degrees C); the middle-aged man died of a severe heat stroke. The high temperatures also caused numerous problems with roads and pipes across the state. (Information provided by the Texas State Climate Office)
  • Three people were reported killed from a tornado in Crosby County, Texas. The twister touched down on June 4, 2012. It was reported to be of EF-2 strength.
  • Storms on June 11, 2012 resulted in dozens of hail reports which spanned from Northern Arkansas and Northern Tennessee, to eastern Texas and as far south as southern Mississippi. Hail stone sizes varied from nickel to baseball size.
  • For more information, please go to the Southern Regional Climate Center Home Page.
  • Western Region: (Information provided by the Western Regional Climate Center)
  • The Southwest experienced record heat and numerous destructive blazes this month. Utah, Montana, Colorado, Idaho and Wyoming were among the most affected by large fires ignited and record temperatures. In contrast, the Pacific Northwest experienced anomalously cool and wet conditions. Fire activity has been below recent averages in acreage (85-90 percent) and number (about two-thirds), but the fires that have occurred were in populated areas with valuable property.
  • Locations throughout Colorado saw record-breaking heat due to a large area of high pressure persisting over the state throughout the second half of the month. Denver reached 105 F (40.5 C) on June 25 and 26, tying the all-time (since 1872) annual maximum previously reached in July 2005 and August 1878. Denver saw six days over the century mark for the month of June, breaking the previous record of three days set in 1990. Colorado Springs also notched its all-time annual record high at 101 F (38.3 C) on June 26; records at that location date back to 1895. Monthly average temperatures at Denver (75 F, 23.8 C), Colorado Springs, (73.2 F, 22.8 C), and Pueblo (77 F, 25 C) set new June records at their respective locations. Cheyenne, Wyoming experienced its second warmest average June temperature on record at 67.9 F (19.9 C), only 0.1 F (0.05 C) behind the record of 68 F (20 C) set in 2006; records at Cheyenne began in 1872. Further south, Phoenix, Arizona recorded a monthly average of 93.8 F (34.3 C), their second warmest June in a record dating back to 1895.
  • The Northwest and coastal California remained cool this month, with average temperatures 2-4 F (1-2 C) below normal. An active storm pattern helped to keep the Pacific Northwest temperate, while the marine stratus known as the “June Gloom” set in along the California coast for over half the month at some locations. The airport at Santa Barbara, California, reported 19 days with fog this month.
  • Following a somewhat dry May, June 2012 saw many daily precipitation records throughout Oregon, Eastern Washington, and the Idaho panhandle. Medford, Oregon recorded its 7th wettest June since records began in 1911 with 2.36 in (59.9 mm). June totals at Medford helped to bring the water year total to near normal after a 6 in (152.4 mm) deficit persisted through much of the winter. Further east, Walla Walla, Washington received 3.5 in (89 mm) for the month, setting the record for June precipitation. The previous record was 3.09 in (78.5 mm) in 1984; records at Walla Walla date back to 1916. Abundant June precipitation helped to further alleviate the drought conditions present in eastern portions of Oregon and Washington the first few months of the year.
  • Dry and windy conditions dominated the Southwest, allowing for severe fire weather to persist throughout the month. June is normally the driest month in the desert Southwest, and many locations in Southern California, Nevada, Utah, and western Arizona received no measurable precipitation for the month. Salt Lake City received only a trace of precipitation, the third driest June in a record dating back to 1928. Localized thunderstorms brought a few days of light moisture to New Mexico, Southern Arizona, and Colorado throughout the month. Further west, drought conditions continue to worsen in Hawaii, with leeward locations most affected. Lihue, Kauai received only 0.45 in (11.43 mm) this June, the third driest June on the stations record that began in 1950. Kona, Hawaii received 0.21 in (5.3 mm), 21% of normal for June.
  • June (all month): Fires throughout West: Critical fire conditions (low relative humidity, high wind, drought conditions) were in place for most of June in the Southwest and Inland Northwest allowing wildfires to develop and spread rapidly. New Mexico: The Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire, New Mexico’s largest fire on record, continued to burn through the month of June. The fire was ignited by lightning on May 16 and has since burned 297,845 acres (120,533 hectares) and is now 87% contained.
  • New Mexico: The Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire, New Mexico’s largest fire on record, continued to burn through the month of June. The fire was ignited by lightning on May 16 and has since burned 297,845 acres (120,533 hectares) and is now 87% contained.
  • Colorado: Colorado experienced its most destructive fire in history this month, the Waldo Canyon fire. The fire has destroyed 346 homes, burned 17,920 acres (7,251 hectares) and is 70% contained. The fire began June 23, and cause is still under investigation. The High Park Fire, 15 miles east of Fort Collins, consumed 259 homes and 87,284 acres (35,322 hectares). This incident is now 100% contained.
  • Montana: On June 26, lightning ignited the Dahl Fire 12 miles east of Roundup, Montana. The fire has since burned 22,045 acres (8,921 hectares) and is near contained.
  • Utah: The human-caused Clay Springs fire, 4 miles south of Oak City, ignited on June 27 and has since burned 102,699 acres (41,560 hectares). 125 structures are threatened, and the incident is only 48% contained. The Wood Hollow Fire began on June 24 one mile south of Fountain Green, Utah. The fire has engulfed 43,387 acres (17,558 hectares), 52 homes, 108 outbuildings, and killed one person.
  • For more information, please go to the Western Regional Climate Center Home Page.

See NCDC's Monthly Records web-page for weather and climate records for the most recent month. For additional national, regional, and statewide data and graphics from 1895-present, for any period, please visit the Climate at a Glance page.


PLEASE NOTE: All of the temperature and precipitation ranks and values are based on preliminary data. The ranks will change when the final data are processed, but will not be replaced on these pages. Graphics based on final data are provided on the Temperature and Precipitation Maps page and the Climate at a Glance page as they become available.

Global Analysis

Contents of this Section:


June 2012 Selected Climate Anomalies and Events MapJune 2012 Selected Climate
Anomalies and Events Map

Global Highlights

  • The average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for June 2012 was 0.63°C (1.13°F) above the 20th century average of 15.5°C (59.9°F). This is the fourth warmest June since records began in 1880.

  • The Northern Hemisphere land surface temperature for June 2012 was the all-time warmest June on record, at 1.30°C (2.34°F) above average.

  • The globally-averaged land surface temperature for June 2012 was also the all-time warmest June on record, at 1.07°C (1.93°F) above average.

  • ENSO-neutral conditions continued in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean during June 2012 as sea surface temperature anomalies continued to rise. The June worldwide ocean surface temperatures ranked as the 10th warmest June on record.

  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for January–June 2012 was the 11th warmest on record, at 0.52°C (0.94°F) above the 20th century average.


==global-temps-errata==

Please Note: The data presented in this report are preliminary. Ranks and anomalies may change as more complete data are received and processed. Effective with the July 2010 State of the Climate Report, NCDC transitioned to the new version (version 3b) of the extended reconstructed sea surface temperature (ERSST) dataset. ERSST.v3b is an improved extended SST reconstruction over version 2. For more information about the differences between ERSST.v3b and ERSST.v2 and to access the most current data, please visit NCDC's Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page.


Introduction

Temperature anomalies for June 2012 are shown on the dot maps below. The dot maps on the left provide a spatial representation of anomalies calculated from the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) dataset of land surface stations using a 1961–1990 base period. The dot maps on the right are a product of a merged land surface and sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly analysis developed by Smith et al. (2008). For the merged land surface and SST analysis, temperature anomalies with respect to the 1971–2000 average for land and ocean are analyzed separately and then merged to form the global analysis. For more information, please visit NCDC's Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page.

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Temperatures

In the atmosphere, 500-millibar height pressure anomalies correlate well with temperatures at the Earth's surface. The average position of the upper-level ridges of high pressure and troughs of low pressure—depicted by positive and negative 500-millibar height anomalies on the June 2012 height and anomaly mapJune 2012 map—is generally reflected by areas of positive and negative temperature anomalies at the surface, respectively.

June

The average global temperature across land and oceans during June 2012 was 0.63°C (1.13°F) above the 20th century average of 15.5°C (59.9°F) and ranked as the fourth warmest June since records began in 1880. June 2012 also marks the 36th consecutive June and 328th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average June temperature was June 1976 and the last below-average temperature for any month was February 1985. It was the second warmest June in the Northern Hemisphere, behind only the record warmth of 2010. The Southern Hemisphere had its 12th warmest June on record.

The global land surface temperature for June was 1.07°C (1.93°F) above the 20th century average of 13.3°C (55.9°F), the warmest June on record. This is the second month in a row that the global land temperature was the warmest on record for that month.

The Northern Hemisphere average land temperature, where the majority of Earth's land is located, was record warmest for June. This makes three months in a row — April, May, and June — in which record-high monthly land temperature records were set. Most areas experienced much higher-than-average monthly temperatures, including most of North America and Eurasia, and northern Africa. Only northern and western Europe, and the northwestern United States were notably cooler than average.

  • Austria recorded its highest ever June temperature of 37.7°C (99.9°F) on June 30th in two locations — the capital city of Vienna and in German-Altenburg, Nope. This bests the previous record of 37.2°C (98.9°F) set on June 22nd, 2000 in both Lutmannburg, Burganland and Langenlebarn, Nope. The monthly temperature averaged across Austria was the sixth warmest June since national records began 250 years ago.

  • Norway experienced its 25th coolest June since records began in 1900, at 1.2°C (2.2°F) below average. Parts of eastern Norway observed temperatures that were 2–3°C (3.6–4.5°F) below their local monthly averages.

  • The monthly temperature during June in the United Kingdom was 0.3°C (0.5°F) below the 1971–2000 average, making this the coolest June since 1991.

The Southern Hemisphere land temperature was the 20th warmest on record.

  • Australia remained cooler than average during June. The average daytime (maximum) temperature was 0.27°C (0.49°F) below the 1961–1990 average, while the nighttime (minimum) temperature had a greater departure, 0.94°C (1.69°F) below average.

Across the world's oceans, the June average global sea surface temperature was 0.47°C (0.85°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.5°F), the 10th warmest June on record. Ocean temperatures were notably below average in the northeastern Pacific Ocean and much higher than average in the northeast Atlantic and in the Labrador Sea near Greenland. The region of the equatorial Pacific Ocean where ENSO conditions are measured also trended higher than average in June. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center issued an El Niño watch, and stated that there is an increased chance for El Niño beginning in July–September 2012.

June Anomaly Rank
(out of 133 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +1.07 ± 0.13 +1.93 ± 0.23 Warmest 1st 2012 +1.07 +1.93
Coolest 133rd 1907 -0.60 -1.08
Ocean +0.47 ± 0.04 +0.85 ± 0.07 Warmest 10th 1998 +0.59 +1.06
Coolest 124th 1909, 1911 -0.50 -0.90
Ties: 2011
Land and Ocean +0.63 ± 0.07 +1.13 ± 0.13 Warmest 4th 2010 +0.67 +1.21
Coolest 130th 1911 -0.44 -0.79
Northern Hemisphere
Land +1.30 ± 0.14 +2.34 ± 0.25 Warmest 1st 2012 +1.30 +2.34
Coolest 133rd 1907 -0.66 -1.19
Ocean +0.46 ± 0.04 +0.83 ± 0.07 Warmest 11th 2009 +0.62 +1.12
Coolest 123rd 1910 -0.53 -0.95
Ties: 2001, 2011
Land and Ocean +0.78 ± 0.10 +1.40 ± 0.18 Warmest 2nd 2010 +0.80 +1.44
Coolest 132nd 1913 -0.47 -0.85
Southern Hemisphere
Land +0.47 ± 0.11 +0.85 ± 0.20 Warmest 20th 2005 +1.05 +1.89
Coolest 114th 1893 -1.00 -1.80
Ocean +0.48 ± 0.04 +0.86 ± 0.07 Warmest 10th 1998 +0.60 +1.08
Coolest 124th 1911 -0.55 -0.99
Ties: 2011
Land and Ocean +0.48 ± 0.06 +0.86 ± 0.11 Warmest 12th 1998 +0.63 +1.13
Coolest 122nd 1911 -0.61 -1.10


Year-to-date (January–June)

January–June 2012 Blended Land and Ocean Surface Temperature Anomalies in degree CelsiusJanuary–June 2012

  • Alaska had its 16th coolest January–June since records began in 1918, with a temperature 1.5°C (2.7°F) below the 1971–2000 average.

Of note, the year-to-date global anomalies for 2012 have increased each month as the year has progressed and La Niña conditions waned — January: +0.35°C (+0.65°F); January–February: +0.37°C (+0.67°F); January–March: +0.39°C (+0.70°F); January–April: +0.46°C (+0.83°F); January–May: +0.50°C (+0.90°F), and January–June: +0.52°C (+0.94°F). The record for the warmest January–June was set in 2010, with a temperature that was 0.70°C (1.26°F) above average.

2012 year to date anomalies compared with five warmest years on record
Global Year to Date Temperature Anomalies

The January–June worldwide land surface temperature was 0.88°C (1.58°F ) above the 20th century average, marking the sixth warmest such period on record.

The global ocean surface temperature for the year to date was 0.39°C (0.70°F) above average and ranked as the 12th warmest such period on record. This was the warmest monthly departure from average since August 2010.

January–June Anomaly Rank
(out of 133 years)
Records
°C °F Year(s) °C °F
Global
Land +0.88 ± 0.21 +1.58 ± 0.38 Warmest 6th 2007 +1.19 +2.14
Coolest 128th 1893 -0.85 -1.53
Ocean +0.39 ± 0.04 +0.70 ± 0.07 Warmest 12th 1998 +0.57 +1.03
Coolest 122nd 1911 -0.51 -0.92
Land and Ocean +0.52 ± 0.09 +0.94 ± 0.16 Warmest 11th 2010 +0.70 +1.26
Coolest 123rd 1911 -0.50 -0.90
Northern Hemisphere
Land +1.04 ± 0.26 +1.87 ± 0.47 Warmest 5th 2007 +1.38 +2.48
Coolest 129th 1893 -0.96 -1.73
Ocean +0.38 ± 0.05 +0.68 ± 0.09 Warmest 9th 2010 +0.56 +1.01
Coolest 125th 1910 -0.48 -0.86
Ties: 2006
Land and Ocean +0.63 ± 0.14 +1.13 ± 0.25 Warmest 7th 2007 +0.81 +1.46
Coolest 127th 1893 -0.59 -1.06
Southern Hemisphere
Land +0.46 ± 0.16 +0.83 ± 0.29 Warmest 17th 2005 +0.95 +1.71
Coolest 117th 1917 -0.85 -1.53
Ties: 1993, 2001
Ocean +0.41 ± 0.04 +0.74 ± 0.07 Warmest 13th 1998 +0.60 +1.08
Coolest 121st 1911 -0.53 -0.95
Ties: 1999
Land and Ocean +0.42 ± 0.07 +0.76 ± 0.13 Warmest 13th 1998 +0.65 +1.17
Coolest 121st 1911 -0.55 -0.99
Ties: 1988, 1992, 1999

The most current data June be accessed via the Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page.

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Images of sea surface temperature conditions are available for all weeks during 2012 from the weekly SST page.


Precipitation

The maps below represent anomaly values based on the GHCN dataset of land surface stations using a base period of 1961–1990. As is typical, precipitation anomalies during June 2012 varied significantly around the world.

  • Low pressure systems brought the United Kingdom its wettest June since national records began in 1910. England and Wales each tied with 1860 as the wettest June since their records began in 1766.

  • The Southwest Asian monsoon made its way northward across India during June. As of June 27th, the country as whole reported monthly rainfall that was 77 percent of the average amount received. Regionally, northwest India was just 37 percent of average, while east and northeast India was wetter than usual, at 104 percent of average. By the last week in June, the monsoon had reached central India.

Additional details on flooding and drought events around the world can also be found on the June 2012 Global Hazards page.

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References

Peterson, T.C. and R.S. Vose, 1997: An Overview of the Global Historical Climatology Network Database. Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc., 78, 2837-2849.

Quayle, R.G., T.C. Peterson, A.N. Basist, and C. S. Godfrey, 1999: An operational near-real-time global temperature index. Geophys. Res. Lett., 26, 333-335.

Smith, T.M., and R.W. Reynolds (2005), A global merged land air and sea surface temperature reconstruction based on historical observations (1880-1997), J. Clim., 18, 2021-2036.

Smith, et al (2008), Improvements to NOAA's Historical Merged Land-Ocean Surface Temperature Analysis (1880-2006), J. Climate., 21, 2283-2293.

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Global Hazards

Please note: Material provided in this report is chosen subjectively and included at the discretion of the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The ability to report on a given event is limited by the amount of information available to NCDC at the time of publication. Inclusion of a particular event does not constitute a greater importance in comparison with an event that has not been incorporated into the discussion. Data included in this report are preliminary unless otherwise stated. Links to supporting information are valid at the time of publication, but they are not maintained or changed after publication.


Updated 16 July 2012


June 2012Wildfires continue to blaze in western U.S. read more June 2012U.S. sizzles under historic heatwave. read more June 2012Eurasia soaked by heavy flooding. read more June 13th$2 billion in hail damage strikes Dallas, Texas. read more June 29thDerecho leaves 3 million U.S. residents without power for days. read more June 2012Unprecedented count of tropical storms developed in Atlantic Basin. read more June 2012Winter storms batter Australian coasts. read more June 2012Ice rapidly retreats in Beaufort Sea. read more June 2012Desert plants withering from drought. read more



Drought conditions

Heat Wave Fueling Wildfires in Rockies
Heat Wave Fueling Wildfires in Rockies
Source: NASA

Wildfires blazed across 1.36 million acres of the U.S. during June, fed by antecedent drought conditions and unparalleled heat. Areas experiencing moderate to exceptional drought expanded from 37.4 percent in May to 56.0 percent in June to form the largest drought footprint of the decade, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Meanwhile, soaring temperatures produced the warmest 12-month period since the country's record-keeping began in 1895. Other contributing factors included sparse snowpack and low humidity. At mid-month, the media reported at least 18 large wildfires were burning in nine U.S. states with at least 25 percent of the national firefighting forces being activated (4,000 of 15,000 personnel). At month's end, 57 large wildfires were active in 15 U.S. states, mostly in the West, but also in Central and South Atlantic areas, and even in Alaska and Hawaii. The amount burned in the single month was more than half the total acreage burned by wildfires in the country since January, based on National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) statistics.

In southwestern New Mexico, the Whitewater-Baldy complex fire which burned throughout the entire month—scorching 297,845 acres, was deemed the state's biggest fire ever. This devastating event ignited by lightning strikes within the Gila National Forest in mid-May had not been fully contained as of July 16th.

In Colorado, two significant wildfires claimed three lives. The Waldo Canyon Fire became the most destructive wildfire in that state's history after consuming 346 homes, and resulted in two fatalities. The wildfire which charred over 18,200 acres and forced the evacuation of more than 32,000 residents, was estimated at $8.8 million U.S. dollars to contain. Media reported the preliminary property damages were in excess of $110 million U.S. dollars. Earlier in the month, one death amid loss of 259 homes was attributed to the High Park Fire which burned 87,284 acres and exceeded $39 million U.S. dollars in resources to bring under control.

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Extreme Temperatures

Record cold temperatures occurred in parts of both hemispheres during June. Temperatures plunged in Sweden on June 3rd, where the daily maximum temperature of 6°C (43°F) in Stockholm broke an 84-year-old record. Cold, Antarctic air ushered in the lowest temperatures of the year to date in parts of central South America where Quarai, Brazil, registered 2.2°C (36°F) and Santiago, Chile, dropped to -3.7°C (25.3°F) on June 7th. A severe frost in northeastern Argentina (June 7th–9th) coupled with temperatures hovering near -5°C (23°F) brought devastation to the citrus industry there. According to media reports, when intense cold developed over South Africa's southern tip (dropping to -1°C (30.2°F) in Gauteng) on June 11th, several hundred residents of the region lost their homes in fires likely sparked due to improper use of heating sources (stoves and candles) and tragically, three people perished. The daily maximum temperature of 0.4°C (32.7°F) on June 7th in Christchurch, New Zealand, was its lowest value in over 130 years of record. The New Zealand cold was accompanied by ice and snow which resulted in numerous traffic accidents and local power outages. Over 200 head of New Zealand cattle perished in the extreme cold when temperatures sank to -10°C (14°F) in the Hokitika Valley. Chilly Australian temperatures dropped to new lows, with Melbourne having its coldest morning year-to-date on June 12th with 3.4°C (38°F).


Record High Daily Temperatures in U.S. during June 2012
Record High Daily Temperatures
in U.S. during June 2012
Source: NOAA

Much of the continental U.S. sweltered under an extreme heat wave throughout June. According to NOAA's NCDC Extremes archive, a total of 645 records were set for all-time hottest June temperatures. Also, 444 new daily maximum temperature records were either set or tied on the single day of June 29th, while 3,282 daily records were broken over the entire month. Unusually high temperatures persisted across the Central Plains near the end of the month. On June 28th, the daily temperature of 47.8°C (118°F) at Norton Dam, Kansas, was the highest in the nation. This extreme broke the location's all-time June record of 45°C (113°F), set just days before on June 25th, and exceeded its previous record of that date (40°C (104°F) on June 28, 1963) by 7.8 degrees Celsius (equivalent to a 14-degree increase in Fahrenheit). Several Midwestern locations saw multiple days of extremes—reminiscent of the country's legendary "Dust Bowl Days" of the 1930s, prompting emergency management officials to issue warnings for excessive heat in nine states. The nation's capital set an all-time June record when the daily maximum temperature reached 40°C (104°F) at the Reagan National Airport on June 29th (previously set at 38.9°C (102°F) in 1874 and again in 2011) making for the hottest day in the District of Columbia area in 142 years.

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Heavy rainfall and flooding

Torrential rains falling throughout much of June exacerbated existing conditions, and led to evacuations of nearly five million people in China. A flood assistance appeal from ACT Alliance, a humanitarian organization serving in China, attributed the devastation costs suffered from early May through mid-June at $2 billion U.S. dollars and as many as 67 deaths in addition to significant property losses. Relief assistance included rice, oil, and quilts. According to media reports, the city of Yumen (Gansu province) received 69.2 mm (2.72 inches), its highest precipitation on record since 1952 on June 5th, and to its west, more than 500 mm (19.69 inches) of precipitation fell in 24 hours preceding an avalanche near Heicigou that buried 10 members of a mining team. At mid-month, over 123,500 acres of farmland were impacted by flooding and hail damage, and shortages of fresh drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people and livestock were mounting.

Five days of monsoonal deluges in southern Bangladesh as of June 27th, resulted in flash floods and landslides in which at least 91 people were killed, 200 injured, and a quarter million more left stranded. Media reports indicate that road, railroad, and airline travel has been disrupted until the waters recede and hampered rescue operations to remote villages. Rice and fresh water were provided by relief workers.

Wet weather inundated large parts of England and Wales in the first half of June, when over 50 mm (1.97 inches)—more than a month's worth—of precipitation soaked the area in less than 24 hours, during a weekend planned with national celebrations for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Swollen rivers closed roadways and dams were breached, prompting evacuations. During the latter half of the month, torrential rains in northern England resulted in flooding when over 100 mm (3.94 inches) of rain fell in 24 hours. Waist-high water inundated numerous homes when local rivers overflowed as residents were rescued by boat. On June 22nd, the intense rain momentarily doused the Olympic Torch during an outdoor procession near Blackpool, as it was being relayed to London for the Games' opening ceremony next month.

In the following days, heavy rains also soaked central and southern Sweden with the central areas receiving three times the monthly normal. As four times the normal precipitation fell (145.8 mm (5.74 inches)) in Stockholm, June became the city's wettest June ever since 1786. Nineteen persons were treated for injuries and seven hospitalized after lightning struck on June 26th at the Peace and Love music festival in Borlange (one of Sweden's largest and most popular venues).


Florida Rainfall Totals between June 23-27, 2012
Florida Rainfall Totals of June 23–27, 2012
Source: NOAA Visualization Lab

As a harbinger of the massive flooding to be brought by the tropical storm in the coming weeks, U.S. Gulf regions were saturated over June 9th–10th by near record-breaking rainfalls, resulting in damages in excess of $20 million U.S. dollars. Parts of southeastern Alabama and Florida's panhandle were left under 1.5 meters (5 feet) of water after receiving rainfalls nearing 558.8 mm (22 inches). The twenty-hour rainfall of 332.9 mm (13.11 inches) at Pensacola reached close to the city's all-time record of 388.4 mm (15.29 inches) set in 1934. Tornadoes touched down in a couple of locations. Residents were evacuated to Red Cross shelters, roads were closed, power outages were widespread, and one person was killed in a riptide, according to media reports.

In Minnesota, an estimated $100 million U.S. dollars in damages to utilities, roads, bridges, parks and trails as flash floods ravaged the city of Duluth with 184.0 mm (7.25 inches) of precipitation falling over June 19th–20th, breaking the two-day record of nearly 170.2 mm (6.7 inches) set in 1909. Media reports indicated the flooding effects to be the worst seen in 40 years and flood runoff was filling Lake Superior with mud. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided assistance to the area. No human lives were lost; however, over a dozen animals at a local zoo drowned.

The first month of winter in Australia brought severe coastal flooding along the New South Wales (NSW) eastern shores during the first week of June, followed by damaging winds, flash floods, and heavy rains to the same region again the next week which marred public events planned in honor of the United Kingdom Queen's Birthday. Major disruption to transportation arose from closure of roads, bridges, and ferry services. Sydney and other coastal regions received some of the heaviest rainfall in months. A total of 73 mm (2.87 inches) of rain fell in 24 hours (June 11th), making it the city's wettest June day in five years.

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Severe Storms
Before Power Outages Arial view on 28 June 2012
Before Power Outages
Arial view on 28 June 2012
After Power Outages Arial view on 30 June 2012
After Power Outages
Arial view on 30 June 2012
Source: NASA Earth Observatory

Hail, wind, and flood damages were estimated at $2 billion U.S. dollars in the wake of two intense thunderstorms sweeping through Dallas, Texas, on June 13th. Media reports depicted the event as the worst in nine years and that three persons were injured inside a flipped mobile home, while multitudes of windshields and rooftops were destroyed by baseball-sized hail stones. Over 6,000 homes and businesses lost power overnight and airline flights were re-routed. A destructive thunderstorm complex (known as a derecho) moved from Illinois to Virginia on June 29th, leaving close to three million homes and businesses without power, and killing at least 18 people. Water restrictions were imposed in Maryland due to damages at water filtration facilities.

Multiple rare appearances of tornadoes occurred within Europe during June. In Sweden, three tornadoes were sighted skirting along its southwestern coast the morning of June 2nd, to the awe of eyewitnesses in a country which typically experiences only 10 tornadoes per year. On June 12th, a destructive tornado struck across Italy's Venice lagoon islands, causing damages to buildings, capsizing boats, and uprooting hundreds of trees. Media reports indicated no deaths occurred, unlike in 1970 when 21 people drowned after being overturned from a watercraft during one of Italy's most deadly tornadoes.

A deadly tornado swept through towns in South Africa's southern tip on June 24th, killing eight residents of Bethlehem and destroying buildings, according to media reports. In Kestel & Eeram, the twister damaged 55 homes, disrupted electricity, and injured nine people. The Red Cross responded with blankets, while members of the local communities provided food.

Heavy thunderstorms, dropping 61 mm (2.40 inches) of rain within six hours, triggered landslides in Africa's mountainous region of Uganda on June 25th in which 18 persons perished. Red Cross officials reported 92 were injured. As deforestation in the area increases, the threat of landslide is more pronounced. In 2010, 87 people were lost in a landslide.

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Tropical Cyclones

Tropical cyclone activity within the Atlantic continued in June as Hurricane Chris (June 19th–22nd) formed off the U.S. eastern coast and Tropical Storm Debby (June 23rd–27th) formed in the Gulf of Mexico. Having four named storms in the Atlantic before July 1st is a first time occurrence since record-keeping began in 1851, according to NOAA's National Hurricane Center. Analysis of NOAA's NCDC global archive of tropical cyclones (IBTrACS) indicates that August 18th is the average date of the fourth tropical storm forming in the Atlantic Basin (based on 30 years, 1981–2010). Chris, the first hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic season, downgraded within six hours, developed unusually far north and stayed entirely at sea. Whereas, Debby forced evacuations of offshore oil and natural gas production platforms as strong winds and heavy rains stretched from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle. Media reports as of June 29th indicated that seven storm-related deaths in Florida resulted. Precipitation in excess of 508.0 mm (20 inches) fell over the area. Please see NOAA's outlook for 2012 for additional information on hurricane development in the Atlantic, Eastern Pacific, and Central Pacific regions.

Hurricane Carlotta (June 13th–16th) formed in the Eastern Pacific, bringing damaging winds and heavy rains to southern Mexico. Three deaths were attributed to the storm in media accounts, two resulting from a mudslide and one when a moving car was overturned by powerful winds.


Western Pacific Ocean Rainfall Totals from June 13-19, 2012
Western Pacific Ocean Rainfall Totals
of June 13–19, 2012
Source: NASA Visible Earth

Of eleven Western Pacific tropical cyclones to date in 2012, four matured in June, of which two reached hurricane strength. Typhoon Mawar (also known as Ambo, May 31th–June 6th) and Typhoon Guchol (a.k.a. Butchoy, June 10th–20th) followed similar tracks along the Philippines toward Japan, bringing heavy rains, flash floods and landslides. At times, the rains fell at as much as 25.4 mm per hour (an inch per hour), and two persons died, while dozens were injured, according to local media reports. The more powerful Guchol triggered widescale evacuations, forced cancellation of hundreds of domestic flights and interrupted train services before eventually making landfall in Japan. Originating over the South China Sea, Tropical Storm Talim (a.k.a Carina, June 16th–20th) made a rare passage through the Taiwan Strait. Damages nearing $25 million U.S. dollars resulted to the already waterlogged areas of China and Taiwan, in combined effects of storms and Southwest Monsoon. Tropical Storm Doksuri (a.k.a Dindo, June 25th–30th) spawned east of the Philippines with a projected track toward China. At month's end, a new tropical depression formed briefly east of Palau (June 30th–July 1st).

Tropical Storm Kuena (June 5th–7th) formed in the South-West Indian Ocean to the east of Madagascar during June, making for a bit unusual occurrence as the typical season of tropical cyclones for this area ends on May 15th.

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Severe winter weather

From June 10th–12th, a rare series of cyclonic-like storms battered Western Australia with heavy rain and wind. Extended power outages ensued after high winds downed numerous utility lines across a large area, leaving over 110,000 residents without electricity and at least 10 area hospitals relying on generators, according to media reports. For Perth, the occurrence was depicted as a once in 10-year event (e.g., three major storms to hit in a few days). The initial rains brought some relief for the country's Wheat Belt, where rainfall has been below one-third of normal. A brief tornado damaged about 100 homes near the city, which typically has nine wintertime tornadoes. Another strong cold front brought intense rain on the western coast in the latter half of the month setting a record in Bunbury as the second wettest June on record since 2003.

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Polar Events and Sea Ice
Pre-June Rapid Melting Arial view on 13 May 2012
Pre-June Rapid Melting
Arial view on 13 May 2012

Mid-June Rapid Melting Arial view on 16 June 2012
Mid-June Rapid Melting
Arial view on 16 June 2012
Source: NASA Earth Observatory

Sea ice across the entire Arctic reached daily record-low levels for the month of June. Melting in the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska was notable, in excess of twice the climatological rate, according to recent findings by National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Clear skies and above freezing temperatures resulted in favorable conditions for snow to melt and the land to warm.

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Ecosystems Impacts

Cacti and desert trees have begun to show signs of stress due to the prolonged drought in the southwest U.S., according to media reports. Plants at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum were observed to be withering from the extreme lack of moisture.

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Synoptic Discussion

Note: This Synoptic Discussion describes recent weather events and climate anomalies in relation to the phenomena that cause the weather. These phenomena include the jet stream, fronts and low pressure systems that bring precipitation, high pressure systems that bring dry weather, and the mechanisms which control these features — such as El Niño, La Niña, and other oceanic and atmospheric drivers (PNA, NAO, AO, and others). The report may contain more technical language than other components of the State of the Climate series.


NCDC transitioned to the nClimDiv dataset on Thursday, March 13, 2014. This was coincident with the release of the February 2014 monthly monitoring report. For details on this transition, please visit our public FTP site and our U.S. Climate Divisional Database site.


Synoptic Discussion

Upper-level circulation pattern and anomalies averaged for June 2012
Upper-level circulation pattern and anomalies averaged for June 2012.

The weather patternweather pattern over North America in June 2012 consisted of a continuation of the seasonal battle between subtropical high pressure (High, or upper-level ridge) in the south and the jet stream (polar front) in the north. Upper-level cool troughs in the jet stream flow poked at the warm High in the northwestern and northeastern corners of the United States, dragging cool fronts across the country. The primary effect of the fronts was to drop monthly average temperatures below normal in the Pacific Northwest and Southeast, although they did little to relieve the High's heat wave in the interior United States. Descending air ("subsidence") associated with the High played the dominant role in this month's weather — inhibiting precipitation from the cool fronts and stopping the formation of most convective showers that are normally triggered by afternoon heating from the sun. The subsidence also contributed to a below-normal tornado count this month, although a derecho (associated with a cool front, unstable air at jet stream level, and unusually hot and moist air at the surface ahead of the front) caused significant wind damage to a wide swath from northern Illinois to the Mid-Atlantic Coast near the end of the month. The High's abnormal dryness and blistering heat brought about a rapid expansion of drought across the country, especially from the Central Rockies to the Ohio Valley, and contributed to an active wildfire season, especially across the West. Meanwhile, the subsidence from the High weakened the steering currents for Atlantic tropical systems, resulting in the slow movement of Tropical Storm Debby (which dropped flooding rains across Florida) and keeping Hurricane Chris well out to sea.

The back-and-forth battle between the High and polar front can be seen in the weekly temperature anomaly maps (weeks 1, 2, 3, 4). Early in the month, the High and its warmer-than-normal air were entrenched in the central U.S. while cooler air beneath upper-level troughs flanked it along both coasts. The battleground shifted during the second week, with the High gaining the upper hand during the third and fourth weeks, spreading east and strengthening. At the end of the month, this battleground yielded the 14th warmest June, nationally, in the 1895-2012 record and many daily and monthly temperature records. Nearly three times as many record warm highs and lows occurred than record cold highs and lows. About 3282 daily high temperature records and nearly 2000 record warm daily low temperatures were tied or broken. In comparison, about 820 record low temperatures and about 1000 record cool daily high temperatures were tied or broken. Maps of the 645 monthly record maximum temperatures and 173 all-time highest maximum temperatures reveal the centers of the record heat — one center over the Central Plains and the other over the Ohio Valley to Southeast. (These numbers are preliminary and are expected to increase as more data arrive.) The Central Plains heat was the most persistent throughout the month, with eight states from the Southwest to Northern and Central Plains ranking in the top ten warmest category — and Colorado nabbing the prize for warmest June on record. Beneath the persistent trough in the northwest, Washington State ranked in the top ten coldest category for June with a rank of seventh coolest. In spite of June 2012 ranking as the 14th warmest June for the nation, the influence of the upper troughs and their cooler temperatures over the population centers of the country earlier in the month contributed to a national Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index (REDTI) for June 2012 that was only mid-range.

Although locally heavy rains occurred in some weeks along some of the fronts in parts of the Plains, Midwest, and Southeast, the High dominated (weeks 1, 2, 3, 4) with the monthly precipitation below normal for most of the country from the Southwest to Central Rockies — eastward to the Atlantic Coast. Three corners of the country were wetter than normal with the coastal troughs — Florida had the wettest June on record, Washington State ranked second wettest, and Oregon and Maine ranked in the top ten wettest category. Over half (26) of the states in between ranked in the driest one-third category of the historical record, with the nation overall having the tenth driest June. There were two epicenters of dryness — one in the Ohio Valley where five states ranked in the top ten driest category, and the other in the Intermountain Basin to Central Plains where six states were top ten driest, including Wyoming which had the driest June on record. There was considerable overlap between these dry centers and the centers of record heat. The combination of abnormally dry conditions and high evapotranspiration due to excessive heat resulted in an extensive area of severe to extreme short-term drought. Consequently, long-term drought conditions expanded in the Midwest, Great Plains, and West, but shrank in the Southeast where Tropical Storm Debby late in the month, combined with frontal rains early in the month, washed away drought in Florida and southeast Georgia. According to the July 3rd U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate to exceptional drought grew to cover 56 percent of the contiguous United States, an increase of 19 percent compared to last month.

When averaged together, the mixture of temperature and precipitation extremes gave the U.S. (as noted above) the 14th warmest and tenth driest June in the 118-year record. Averaging extremes tends to cancel them out. But when extremes are combined cumulatively, like in the U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI), they may tell a different story. The large spatial extent of unusually warm highs (13th largest) and very dry conditions (fifth largest) gave the U.S. its 20th largest CEI for June. The combination of persistent and unusual warmth (in maximum and minimum temperatures) and drought over the last several months, however, contributed to the highest national CEI for the year-to-date (January-June) and last 12 months (July-June), and the fourth highest CEI for the last three months (April-June), for the nation, and the highest regional CEI for the South region for the last three months, year-to-date, and last 12 months.

Subtropical highs, and cold fronts and low pressure systems moving in the storm track flow, are influenced by the broadscale atmospheric circulation. Five such large-scale atmospheric circulation drivers were potentially influential during June:

Map of monthly temperature anomalies Map of monthly precipitation anomalies

Upper-level circulation pattern and anomalies averaged for the last three months
Upper-level circulation pattern and anomalies averaged for the last three months.

The upper-level circulation anomalies for both June 2012 and April-June 2012 over the northeast Pacific and downstream over North America are generally consistent with the EP-NP pattern. The above-normal heights over the central U.S. are shifted north reflecting a stronger High, with below-normal heights over western North America coinciding with below-normal sea surface temperatures in the northeastern North Pacific. The pattern of observed temperature anomalies for June 2012 and the last three months (April-June) corresponds to the negative phase of the EP-NP across most of the country, although some weekly variation may be related to the PNA. The June 2012 and April-June precipitation patterns also correspond weakly to a negative EP-NP index where the correlations exist. There is some hint of waning La Niña influence in the three-month temperature and precipitation anomaly maps. As noted above, some of the indices were near neutral values for much of the month. When the atmospheric circulation drivers are neutral or in a state of transition, their influence becomes difficult to trace and can be overwhelmed by other competing forces, including random fluctuations in the atmosphere.

Tornadoes

NCDC transitioned to the nClimDiv dataset on Thursday, March 13, 2014. This was coincident with the release of the February 2014 monthly monitoring report. For details on this transition, please visit our public FTP site and our U.S. Climate Divisional Database site.

Updated: 9 July 2012

The values in this report are preliminary, and the final counts and results will change as tornado events are investigated and confirmed. This month’s report will not be updated with final statistics. For final information please visit the following sites:



According to data from the Storm Prediction Center, the count of preliminary tornado reports during June — 114 — was much below the 1991-2010 average of 243. June is typically one of the most active tornado months during the year. In terms of the number of tornadoes, this marks the least active June since 2002, when 97 tornadoes were confirmed. Once the final tornado count is confirmed, it is likely the June 2012 count will be revised lower. There were four tornado-related fatalities reported during the month — three due to a single EF-2 tornado in Missouri on June 4th and a single fatality from a tornado spawned by Tropical Storm Debby on June 24th in Florida.

A storm system moving through the Mid-Atlantic on June 1st, spawned numerous severe thunderstorms from western Pennsylvania, through the Washington D.C. metro area, and into southeastern Virginia. There were 28 preliminary tornado reports, with 12 tornadoes confirmed in and around Washington and Baltimore. The tornadoes were weak in nature, rated as EF-0 and EF-1, causing only minimal damage. The largest impact from the storms was flash flooding, with 2-4 inches of rainfall being observed. No fatalities were reported with the severe weather outbreak.

An extremely violent line of storms, called a derecho, moved through the Ohio Valley into the Mid-Atlantic on June 29th causing significant damage from Illinois to Virginia. The storm system travelled over 600 miles in 10 hours, generating winds in excess of 70 miles per hour. According to the SPC, there were over 600 reports of wind damage associated with the storm, which brought down trees, cutting power to over 3.4 million people in Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, and the D.C. metro area. The power outage, which lasted nearly a week in some locations, was exacerbated by record breaking heat across the region following the event. The governors of Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and Ohio declared states of emergency to allow the state to fund emergency shelters from the heat and to clean up debris from the storms. At least 18 fatalities were blamed on the storms.

Satellite Loop of June 29th Derecho Event

Source: NOAA's Environmental Visualization Laboratory

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Hurricanes & Tropical Storms

NCDC transitioned to the nClimDiv dataset on Thursday, March 13, 2014. This was coincident with the release of the February 2014 monthly monitoring report. For details on this transition, please visit our public FTP site and our U.S. Climate Divisional Database site.


Note: This report catalogs recent tropical cyclones and places each basin's tropical cyclone activity in a climate-scale context. It is not updated in real time. Users seeking real time status and forecasts of tropical cyclones should visit The National Hurricane Center.

West North Pacific Basin

Mawar
Tropical Storm Mawar Satellite Image
Mawar Track
Tropical Storm Mawar Forecast Track


Safir Simpson Color Legend for Track Map from Unisys
Saffir-Simpson Scale Color Legend
Tropical Cyclone Summary
Tropical Cyclone Mawar(Ambo)
Cyclogenesis Date 06/01
Cyclolysis Date 06/05
Highest Saffir-Simpson Category Cat 3
Maximum 6-hr Sustained Wind 115 mph (100 kt or 185 km/h)
Min Pressure 960 mbar
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE*) Index (kt2) 11.2450 x 104
Landfall Information (date, location and sustained winds)
Deaths 3
*The (ACE) Index calculations are based on preliminary data.

Guchol
Tropical Storm Guchol Satellite Image
Guchol Track
Tropical Storm Guchol Forecast Track


Safir Simpson Color Legend for Track Map from Unisys
Saffir-Simpson Scale Color Legend
Tropical Cyclone Summary
Tropical Cyclone Guchol(Butchoy)
Cyclogenesis Date 06/12
Cyclolysis Date 06/19
Highest Saffir-Simpson Category Cat 4
Maximum 6-hr Sustained Wind 150 mph (130 kt or 241 km/h)
Min Pressure 930 mbar
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE*) Index (kt2)
Landfall Information (date, location and sustained winds) 06/19 - Kii Penninsula, Japan (55 kt or 102 km/h)
Deaths 27
*The (ACE) Index calculations are based on preliminary data.

Talim
Tropical Storm Talim Satellite Image
Talim Track
Tropical Storm Talim Forecast Track


Safir Simpson Color Legend for Track Map from Unisys
Saffir-Simpson Scale Color Legend
Tropical Cyclone Summary
Tropical Cyclone Talim(Carina)
Cyclogenesis Date 06/18
Cyclolysis Date 06/20
Highest Saffir-Simpson Category TS
Maximum 6-hr Sustained Wind 58 mph (50 kt or 93 km/h)
Min Pressure 985 mbar
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE*) Index (kt2) 2.0300 x 104
Landfall Information (date, location and sustained winds)
Deaths 0
*The (ACE) Index calculations are based on preliminary data.

Doksuri
Tropical Storm Doksuri Satellite Image
Doksuri Track
Tropical Storm Doksuri Forecast Track


Safir Simpson Color Legend for Track Map from Unisys
Saffir-Simpson Scale Color Legend
Tropical Cyclone Summary
Tropical Cyclone Doksuri(Dindo)
Cyclogenesis Date 06/26
Cyclolysis Date 06/30
Highest Saffir-Simpson Category TS
Maximum 6-hr Sustained Wind 58 mph (50 kt or 93 km/h)
Min Pressure 992 mbar
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE*) Index (kt2) 1.7850 x 104
Landfall Information (date, location and sustained winds) 06/29 - Guangdong, China (40 kt or 74 km/h)
Deaths 6
*The (ACE) Index calculations are based on preliminary data.

South Indian Basin

Kuena
Tropical Storm Kuena Satellite Image
Kuena Track
Tropical Storm Kuena Forecast Track


Safir Simpson Color Legend for Track Map from Unisys
Saffir-Simpson Scale Color Legend
Tropical Cyclone Summary
Tropical Cyclone Kuena(Ambo)
Cyclogenesis Date 06/06
Cyclolysis Date 06/07
Highest Saffir-Simpson Category TS
Maximum 6-hr Sustained Wind 58 mph (50 kt or 93 km/h)
Min Pressure 990 mbar
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE*) Index (kt2) 1.1500 x 104
Landfall Information (date, location and sustained winds)
Deaths 0
*The (ACE) Index calculations are based on preliminary data.

East North Pacific Basin

Carlotta
Tropical Storm Carlotta Satellite Image
Carlotta Track
Tropical Storm Carlotta Forecast Track


Safir Simpson Color Legend for Track Map from Unisys
Saffir-Simpson Scale Color Legend
Tropical Cyclone Summary
Tropical Cyclone Carlotta
Cyclogenesis Date 06/14
Cyclolysis Date 06/16
Highest Saffir-Simpson Category Cat 2
Maximum 6-hr Sustained Wind 104 mph (90 kt or 167 km/h)
Min Pressure 976 mbar
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE*) Index (kt2) 3.4325 x 104
Landfall Information (date, location and sustained winds) 06/15 - near Puerto Escondido, Mexico (78 kt or 145 km/h)
Deaths 2
*The (ACE) Index calculations are based on preliminary data.

Atlantic Basin

Chris
Tropical Storm Chris Satellite Image


Chris Track
Tropical Storm Chris Track


Safir Simpson Color Legend for Track Map from Unisys
Saffir-Simpson Scale Color Legend
Tropical Cyclone Summary
Tropical Cyclone Chris
Cyclogenesis Date 06/19
Cyclolysis Date 06/22
Highest Saffir-Simpson Category Cat 1
Maximum 6-hr Sustained Wind 75 mph (65 kt or 120 km/h)
Min Pressure 987 mbar
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE*) Index (kt2) 2.9225 x 104
Landfall Information (date, location and sustained winds)
Deaths 0
*The (ACE) Index calculations are based on preliminary data.

Debby
Tropical Storm Debby Satellite Image


Debby Track
Tropical Storm Debby Track


Safir Simpson Color Legend for Track Map from Unisys
Saffir-Simpson Scale Color Legend
Tropical Cyclone Summary
Tropical Cyclone Debby
Cyclogenesis Date 06/23
Cyclolysis Date 06/26
Highest Saffir-Simpson Category TS
Maximum 6-hr Sustained Wind 58 mph (50 kt or 93 km/h)
Min Pressure 990 mbar
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE*) Index (kt2) 2.4400 x 104
Landfall Information (date, location and sustained winds) 06/26 - Steinhatchee, Florida (35 kt or 65 km/h)
06/22–06/26 Total Precip (map)
Deaths 3
*The (ACE) Index calculations are based on preliminary data.

Drought

NCDC transitioned to the nClimDiv dataset on Thursday, March 13, 2014. This was coincident with the release of the February 2014 monthly monitoring report. For details on this transition, please visit our public FTP site and our U.S. Climate Divisional Database site.

Issued 16 July 2012
Contents Of This Report:
Map showing Palmer Z Index

National Drought Overview

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Detailed Drought Discussion

Overview

June 2012 was another warmer- and drier-than-average month (14th warmest and tenth driest June on record, based on data back to 1895) when weather conditions are averaged across the country. A strong high pressure system (High, or upper-level ridge) held sway over much of the U.S. for most of the month. Warm anomalies dominated the central regions at the monthly level and most of the country during the last half of the month (weeks 1, 2, 3, 4). Descending air ("subsidence") associated with the High inhibited precipitation in most areas, as seen in the precipitation pattern on the monthly scale as well as a weekly basis (weeks 1, 2, 3, 4). Above-normal precipitation fell in the northwest and northeast corners of the country — from active cold fronts and upper-level troughs — and across Florida and southeast Georgia from Tropical Storm Debby. Dry weather, in combination with increased evaporation caused by the record heat, expanded drought conditions in the West, Great Plains, and Midwest, while drought conditions remained fairly constant in Hawaii. Nationally, the moderate-to-exceptional (D1-D4) drought footprint increased to about 47 percent of the country while the percentage in the abnormally dry to exceptional drought category increased to about 71 percent. Both of these numbers are records in the 12-year USDM history. The previous records were 46 percent on September 10, 2002 and 66 percent on August 6, 2002, respectively. The Palmer Drought Index, whose data base goes back 112 years, is relied upon for drought comparisons before 2000. The June 2012 Palmer value of 55 percent is the largest percentage since December 1956 when 58 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in moderate to extreme drought.

The U.S. Drought Monitor drought map valid July 3, 2012
The U.S. Drought Monitor drought map valid July 3, 2012.

By the end of the month, the core drought areas in the U.S. included:


Palmer Drought Index

The Palmer drought indices measure the balance between moisture demand (evapotranspiration driven by temperature) and moisture supply (precipitation). The Palmer Z Index depicts moisture conditions for the current month, while the Palmer Hydrological Drought Index (PHDI) and Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) depict the current month's cumulative moisture conditions integrated over the last several months.

Palmer Z Index map Palmer Hydrological Drought Index map

In many respects, June was a repeat of May. As seen on the June 2012 Palmer Z Index map, low precipitation and record hot temperatures (with the accompanying increased evapotranspiration) led to short-term drought across much of the country this month. Wet conditions are evident on the Z Index map in only a few areas — the Pacific Northwest, Florida, and northern New England. Much of the Eastern Seaboard has near normal Z Index values only because the first week or two were cooler than normal beneath an upper-level trough, resulting in below-normal monthly mean temperatures. The last half of the month had very warm temperatures in the East. Compared with the May 2012 PHDI map, the June 2012 PHDI map indicates that drought conditions improved in the Southeast, but intensified in the Midwest to Great Plains and much of the West. The June 2012 PHDI map also reflects the long-term nature of the drought conditions. The Z Index and PHDI maps in combination show that precipitation brought relief to parts of the Southeast drought areas, but for much of the rest of the country — drier-than-normal weather persisted over the existing drought areas and wetter-than-normal weather continued over the moist Pacific Northwest.

June 2012 Precipitation minus Potential Evapotranspiration map
Precipitation minus Potential Evapotranspiration for June 2012 calculated using the Palmer Model.
March-June 2012 Precipitation minus Potential Evapotranspiration ma
Precipitation minus Potential Evapotranspiration for March-June 2012 calculated using the Palmer Model.

Did You Know?

Potential Evapotranspiration

The Palmer drought indices measure the balance between moisture demand and moisture supply. Drought results from an imbalance between these two components. Precipitation provides the water supply. Water demand is usually measured by evapotranspiration (the amount of water that would be evaporated and transpired by plants). There is a distinction made between potential evapotranspiration (PE) and actual evapotranspiration (AE). The Palmer model uses Thornthwaite's equations to estimate PE from temperature. PE is the demand or maximum amount of water that would be evapotranspired if enough water were available (from precipitation and soil moisture). AE is how much water actually is evapotranspired and is limited by the amount of water that is available. AE is always less than or equal to PE, so PE is used for the water demand component of the drought equation.

In the Palmer model, if the amount of precipitation (P) during the month is greater than PE for the month, then the leftover P soaks into the ground to recharge soil moisture, and any left over after that runs off as streamflow. If P is less than PE, then moisture has to be drawn out of the soil to meet the PE demand. Hotter temperatures result in greater PE which requires more P just to meet the greater demand. Climates where PE is always greater than P are termed arid climates. The American Southwest is a typical arid climate.

More about climate monitoring…

During June 2012, temperatures were much above normal across much of the country from the Southwest to the Great Lakes, resulting in potential evapotranspiration (PE) values which exceeded four inches across most of the country except the Pacific Northwest and far west coast. Precipitation (P) amounts were well below normalless than four inches in most areas — resulting in P minus PE values which went strongly negative and further sapped soil moisture reserves, stressed crops and other vegetation, and shrank streams. Even if normal precipitation amounts had occurred, it would not have been enough to meet PE demand in most areas.

The hardest-hit areas (as measured by pasture, soil moisture impacts) are the Southern to Central Rockies, Central Plains, and Ohio Valley. These areas have had the least precipitation and smallest percent of normal precipitation during March-June 2012. With the unusual warmth of the last four months, PE during March-June has been excessive. The precipitation deficits and extra PE during this season have sent P minus PE values well into negative territory during the important growing season in America's agricultural heartland. If normal precipitation had fallen during this time, P minus PE values would have been positive for the agricultural areas along and east of the Mississippi River, providing support for the spring crops.


Standardized Precipitation Index

The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) measures moisture supply. The SPI maps here show the spatial extent of anomalously wet and dry areas at time scales ranging from 1 month to 24 months.

1-month Standardized Precipitation Index 2-month Standardized Precipitation Index 3-month Standardized Precipitation Index

Tropical Storm Debby dumped widespread 10-plus inch rainfall over Florida in June, with local amounts over 20 inches. This deluge was enough to neutralize long-term deficits that had built up over the previous 24 months. Moist conditions dominate at almost all time scales in the Pacific Northwest, Upper Mississippi Valley, and northern New England. But for the rest of the country, dry conditions dominate across much of the West at the 1- to 12-month time scales, across much of the Great Plains from 1 to 3 months, in the Midwest and Mid-Mississippi Valley to Central Plains from 1 to 6 months, and parts of the Midwest at 9 to 12 months. Parts of the Southeast are dry at the 1- to 6-month time scales, with core areas in the Southeast dry at 9 to 12 months. The Southwest is dry at all time scales except 9 months. The Southern Plains has areas of dryness at 1 to 3 months and again at 12 months. Widespread dryness stretches from the Southwest to the Southeast at 24 months, while widespread wet conditions are evident across the Northwest to Northeast at that same time scale.


6-month Standardized Precipitation Index 12-month Standardized Precipitation Index 24-month Standardized Precipitation Index

Agricultural and Hydrological Indices and Impacts

USDA topsoil moisture short to very short
USDA topsoil moisture short to very short
USGS monthly streamflow percentiles
USGS monthly streamflow percentiles

Drought conditions were reflected in numerous agricultural, hydrological, and other meteorological indicators, both observed and modeled:

hydrological:

USGS groundwater percentile map
USGS groundwater percentile map.

agricultural:

Map showing VegDRI (Vegetation Drought Response Index)
Map showing VegDRI (Vegetation Drought Response Index).

meteorological:

Map showing maximum consecutive number of days with no precipitation
Map showing maximum consecutive number of days with no precipitation.

Regional Discussion

June 2012 was characterized by a mixed rainfall pattern across the Hawaiian Islands. Abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions expanded into the northern islands this month, but otherwise the USDM depiction this month was little changed from last month. Longer-term conditions continued drier than normal (last 2, 3, 6, 12, 24, and 36 months), especially for the southern islands.

In Alaska, June 2012 was generally drier than normal in the northern and northwestern areas with a mixed pattern at central and southern stations. This precipitation pattern is evident at short time scales (2, 3, and 6 months), while at longer time scales a dry pattern at interior stations becomes evident (12, 24, and 36 months). Several large wildfires broke out during the month (15th, 20th, 25th, 26th) in the northern and central sections of the state. An area of abnormal dryness was added to the northern areas on the USDM map.

Much of Puerto Rico was drier than normal during June, especially in the eastern half of the island. The June dryness also shows up in the rainfall anomaly map for the last two months. The dry anomalies become more focused into the southeastern area at longer scales (3 and 6 months, and water year to date). With streamflow near normal, the July 3rd USDM map had no drought or abnormally dry areas on the island.

Current month state precipitation ranks 3-month state precipitation ranks

Arkansas statewide precipitation, April-June, 1895-2012
Arkansas statewide precipitation, April-June, 1895-2012.

Over a third of the U.S. was very dry (the driest ten percent of the historical record) during June 2012. By this measure, this month was the third driest June in the 118-year record. On a statewide basis, June 2012 ranked in the top ten driest Junes for eleven states from the West to Ohio Valley. Wyoming had the driest June in the 1895-2012 record, Colorado and Utah ranked second driest, and Indiana third driest. Fifteen other states from the West to Mid-Atlantic Coast ranked in the driest third of the historical record. A similar spatial pattern of dryness is evident at the three month time scale — four states ranked in the top ten driest category for April-June in the West, and six in the Ohio-Tennessee-Mid-Mississippi Valley. Arkansas had the driest April-June, Indiana and Utah ranked second driest, and Colorado, Wyoming, and Tennessee were third driest. Thirteen other states ranked in the driest third of the historical record.

6-month state precipitation ranks 12-month state precipitation ranks

Three centers of dryness appear at the six month time scale — the same two that are evident at three months (West and Ohio-Tennessee Valley) plus the Mid-Atlantic. Delaware had the driest January-June on record with Maryland at fifth driest. The dryness in Delaware was prolonged, with the state also having the driest November-June, October-June, and September-June. In the Midwest, six states (Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee) fell in the top ten driest category, as did six states in the West (Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada). Colorado had the second driest January-June, but the driest May-June. In total, 14 states ranked in the top ten driest category for January-June, and another 14 were in the driest third of the historical record. At the 12 month time scale, dryness dominates in the western states and extends its tentacles into the South and Midwest. July 2011-June 2012 ranked in the top ten driest category for Nevada (third driest) and Wyoming (seventh driest). Nineteen other states ranked in the driest third of the historical record.

1-month state temperature ranks 3-month state temperature ranks 6-month state temperature ranks 12-month state temperature ranks

The dryness has been accompanied by abnormally warm temperatures at all time scales. June 2012 ranked as the warmest June in the 1895-2012 record for Colorado, in the top ten warmest category for seven nearby states, and in the warmest third of the historical distribution for twelve additional ones. Two states (Colorado and Kansas) had the warmest April-June, 25 more were in the top ten warmest category, and 19 more ranked in the warmest third of the historical distribution. Twenty-eight states were record warm for January-June 2012 and 26 were record warm for July 2011-June 2012. The rest of the Lower 48 States fell in the top ten warmest or warmest third categories — except Washington and Oregon for January-June and Washington for July-June.

Wyoming statewide Palmer Z Index, April-June, 1895-2012
Wyoming statewide Palmer Z Index, April-June, 1895-2012.

As noted earlier, excessive heat increases evapotranspiration and exacerbates drought. The combination of third driest and fifth warmest April-June gave Wyoming the most severe April-June averaged Palmer Z Index in the 1895-2012 record. The driest and warmest May-June virtually tied 2012 with 2002 as the most severe May-June averaged Palmer Z Index for Colorado. For Arkansas, the driest and fourth warmest April-June tied 2012 with 1925 for the most severe averaged April-June Palmer Z Index. This record short-term drought resulted in a rapid expansion of overall drought conditions for these three states. For Arkansas and Wyoming, the 2012 conditions were preceded by a period of non-drought conditions. But for Colorado, drought has been ongoing for over a year. During the last three months, drought has expanded rapidly in Colorado, but it has not reached the magnitude of the 2002 record drought as monitored by the USDM or PHDI. Other states, such as Georgia and New Mexico, have had prolonged drought but some have not experienced extreme conditions in the last three months (31st warmest and 41st driest April-June for Georgia) while others have (third warmest and 15th driest April-June for New Mexico)

Primary Corn and Soybean Belt Palmer Z Index, April-June, 1895-2012
Primary Corn and Soybean Belt Palmer Z Index, April-June, 1895-2012.

Corn and Soybean Belt

The primary corn and soybean agricultural belt has been especially hard hit by drought the last three months. This region, collectively, has experienced the seventh warmest and tenth driest April-June in 2012, resulting in the fifth most severe Palmer Z Index. Topsoil has dried out and crops, pastures, and rangeland have deteriorated at a rate rarely seen in the last 18 years, yet drought barely registers for the region on the longer-term PDSI because the previous several years have been very wet (in fact, 2008, 2010, and 2011 all rank in the top ten wettest category for April-June). The last time the April-June Palmer Z Index was this dry was 1988, which had the most severe Palmer Z Index and the driest and twelfth warmest April-June. The second, third, and fourth most severe April-June Palmer Z Index occurred in 1934, 1936, and 1987, respectively.


Western U.S.


Percent area of the Western U.S. in moderate to extreme drought, based on the Palmer Drought Index
Percent area of the Western U.S. in moderate to extreme drought, based on the Palmer Drought Index.

With the Pacific storm track near the Canadian border, subtropical high pressure dominating the weather, and a weak start to the summer monsoon, above-normal rain fell in the Pacific Northwest but much of the western U.S. was left with little significant precipitation this month. Drier-than-normal weather has dominated from the Southwest and intermountain basin to the Central and Southern Rockies for the water year to date (October-present), as reflected in low elevation as well as high elevation (SNOTEL) precipitation, especially for the southern half of the West. Reservoir storage was below average, statewide, in many southern states but near to above average to the north. Hot, dry, windy weather contributed to many wildfires across the West. According to the USDM, 64 percent of the West was experiencing moderate to exceptional drought at the end of June, an 11 percent increase compared to May. While extensive, drought in 2012 has not been as severe or widespread, westwide, as it was in 2002-2005. The Palmer Drought Index percent area statistic was about 66 percent, reflecting a remarkable rise over the last six months.

National Palmer Z Index, January 2010-June 2012 Percent area of the U.S. in moderate to extreme drought, January 1900-June 2012

Historical Analogs

The persistent warmth and dryness of the last couple years have been so severe that the nationally-integrated Palmer Z Index has been consistently negative (water demand outstripping water supply) for the last 13 consecutive months. This is largely behind the rapid expansion of drought this year which has led to the largest percent area in moderate to exceptional drought in the 12-year USDM record and largest moderate to extreme drought area (based on the Palmer Drought Index) since the 1950s. In 2012, about 56 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in moderate to extreme drought at the end of June. The last time drought was this extensive was in December 1956 when about 58 percent was in moderate to extreme drought.

Historical analogs to the current drought can be determined by comparing the spatial pattern and intensity of various climate indicators using statistical tools such as the correlation coefficient and mean absolute difference. When applied to the temperature pattern for June 2012, the closest match is June 1956. June 1956 is a close match for the dry areas of June 2012 based on precipitation. For the Palmer Z Index, June 1956 matches June 2012 well in the West and Great Plains, but not in the Ohio to Mid-Mississippi Valley. November 1999 is the closest match, followed by December 1939 and September 1953. The overall spatial pattern of Palmer Z Index drought in June 1988 matches in some areas (Midwest, parts of the Plains and Rockies), but is significantly different in other areas (Southwest, Northeast, Southeast). For the long-term drought spatial pattern (PHDI), several months in the 1950s are the closest historical match to June 2012, with June 1954 being a good representative. In summary, several of these indicators suggest that the 2012 drought is similar to the 1950s drought in extent, pattern, and intensity, although not in duration.


State temperature ranks for June 2012
State temperature ranks for June 2012.
State temperature ranks for June 1956
State temperature ranks for June 1956.
State precipitation ranks for June 2012
State precipitation ranks for June 2012.
State precipitation ranks for June 1956
State precipitation ranks for June 1956.
Palmer Z Index map for June 2012
Palmer Z Index map for June 2012.
Palmer Z Index map for September 1953
Palmer Z Index map for September 1953.
PHDI map for June 2012
PHDI map for June 2012.
PHDI map for June 1954
PHDI map for June 1954.

A more detailed drought discussion, provided by the NOAA Regional Climate Centers and others, can be found below.

SoutheastSouthMidwestNortheastHigh Plains
WestUpper Colorado River BasinPacific Islands

As noted by the Southeast Regional Climate Center, for the first time since October, mean temperatures in June were below average across most of the Southeast region. The greatest departures were found across central and eastern portions of Georgia and the Carolinas, where monthly temperatures were between 2 and 3 degrees F (1.1 to 1.6 degrees C) below average. In contrast, temperatures were generally above average across Alabama, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Monthly precipitation was below normal across much of the Southeast in June, except across parts of northern Florida and the northern Gulf Coast, where two separate weather systems contributed to monthly rainfall totals between 200 and 600 percent of normal. Between the 23rd and 26th of the month, Tropical Storm Debby dumped between 10 and 30 inches (254 and 762 mm) of rain across a large portion of the Florida Panhandle from near Apalachicola to Jacksonville. Rainfall totals of up to 10 inches (254 mm) were reported as far south as Tampa Bay, which recorded its wettest June on record, and as far north as southeastern Georgia. Conversely, much of the Southeast was dry in June, with monthly precipitation totals between 25 and 75 percent of normal. The driest locations were found across central Alabama, eastern North Carolina, and across much of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where monthly precipitation was less than 25 percent of normal. San Juan, PR, which recorded its warmest month on record, also recorded its driest June on record with 0.16 inch (4.1 mm) of rainfall, while Saint Thomas, USVI, recorded its second driest June on record with just 0.08 inch (2 mm) of rainfall. The rainfall from Debby helped eliminate drought conditions across Florida, particularly in the Panhandle region which had been under extreme drought conditions for several months. Some improvement was also noted across central and eastern sections of the Carolinas. By the end of June, about 50 percent of the Southeast was in drought (according to the USDM), down from about 75 percent at the beginning of the month. Corn planted early in the season showed signs of damage due to the dry weather across Florida prior to Debby, while in Georgia, corn yields were estimated to be down 10 to 15 percent due to increased cloud cover and less solar radiation during the month. The hot weather at the end of the month contributed to poor air quality across much of the Southeast, particularly across parts of Georgia (including metropolitan Atlanta) where code purple advisories were issued for ozone. At these levels, which have not been reached in the Atlanta area since 2007, even healthy individuals may experience serious health effects.

As explained by the Southern Regional Climate Center, for the most part, June was a relatively average month where temperatures are concerned. With a few small exceptions, June was a relatively dry month with much of the region receiving less than average precipitation totals. The driest area of the region proved to be southern and southeastern Texas, where a majority of stations received only 0 to 25 percent of normal precipitation. This was also the case for much of central Tennessee, western Arkansas, north central Louisiana, and south central Mississippi. With all six states receiving less than normal precipitation in June, drought conditions throughout the Southern region deteriorated. Much of Tennessee is now experiencing a severe (D2) drought. In Arkansas, conditions have worsened from moderate to severe drought, with pockets of extreme drought in all areas of the state. Central Texas has also been downgraded from no drought and moderate (D1) drought to moderate (D1) and severe drought (D2). In Louisiana, northern parishes are now experiencing moderate (D1) drought as well. This is also the case for eastern Tennessee and much of central and eastern Oklahoma. Texas farmers harvested their summer crops in early June, and they generally received a better yield than expected, even in West Texas where rain was scarce. Livestock was reported to be in fair condition as well, according to the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. Ranchers noted healthy grasslands provided food for cattle while the spring rains refilled stock tanks. However, the looming hot and dry summer conditions have begun to worry farmers and ranchers. (Information provided by the Texas State Climate Office)

As summarized by the Midwest Regional Climate Center, June temperatures were slightly above normal for most of the Midwest while June precipitation was above normal for the upper Midwest but well below normal for the southern two-thirds of the region. Rainfall totals were less than half of normal June totals for most of the southern two-thirds of the Midwest and between 10 and 25 percent of normal in scattered pockets of several states. Drought conditions expanded and intensified in the Midwest in June. Midwest areas in drought quadrupled during the month and areas in Severe Drought increased from less than 2 percent to more than 15 percent of the region. Extreme Drought was introduced to over 5 percent of the Midwest in June. Farmer reports of pasture conditions and row crop conditions deteriorated as the month progressed with many areas in the southern Midwest reporting the poorest June conditions since 1988.

As noted by the Northeast Regional Climate Center, precipitation during June averaged 98 percent of normal overall. However, like last month, rainfall was not evenly distributed throughout the Northeast. With 176 percent of normal, Maine had its 4th wettest June in 118 years, while West Virginia experienced its 11th driest June since 1895. A look at the first six months of 2012 has Delaware with only 53 percent of the January through June normal precipitation total while Maine had 112 percent. Maine was the only state in the Northeast to average wetter-than-normal during this period. It was the driest January through June since 1895 in Delaware and the 5th driest in Maryland. As of June 26, the USDM indicated a few areas of abnormally dry conditions, including most of West Virginia, and parts of northern New York and Vermont. Moderate drought (D1) conditions were expanded during the month to include a larger area around the Chesapeake Bay in eastern Maryland.

As explained by the High Plains Regional Climate Center, there were major changes to the USDM this month as hot and dry conditions prevailed over the majority of the region. Drought conditions developed or worsened in each state in the region over the past month. At the end of the month nearly 84 percent of the region had a D0-D4 designation (abnormally dry to exceptional drought conditions), while at the end of last month the figure was 66 percent. The expansion of the D2-D4 range (severe to exceptional drought conditions) was quite impressive as it jumped from 8 percent coverage at the end of May to 47 percent coverage at the end of June. The entire state of Colorado had D1 designation (moderate drought conditions) or higher, and by the end of the month nearly 46 percent of the state was experiencing D3 (extreme drought conditions). D3 conditions also expanded into southwestern Wyoming and western Kansas. The hot and dry weather this month created dangerous fire weather conditions in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Although some fires started early in June, the record-setting heat, lack of rainfall, and windy conditions during the last week of the month contributed to the explosiveness of many fires. It was during this time that much of Colorado had multiple days at or above 100 degrees F (37.8 degrees C). While many of the fires were caused by lightning, the causes of others are still under investigation. Unfortunately, the fires have been incredibly destructive as hundreds of thousands of acres have burned and at this point, countless structures have been affected as conditions at the end of the month were still too dangerous to perform damage assessments in some areas. The fires have had impacts in many different sectors ranging from tourism, to water resources, to energy. Many communities have cancelled 4th of July fireworks shows, according to 9NEWS in Denver. As many of these fires continue to burn and new fires start, the final toll of these fires is yet to be determined.

As summarized by the Western Regional Climate Center, the Southwest experienced record heat and numerous destructive blazes this month. Utah, Montana, Colorado, Idaho and Wyoming were among the most affected by large fires ignited and record temperatures. In contrast, the Pacific Northwest experienced anomalously cool and wet conditions. Fire activity has been below recent averages in acreage (85-90 percent) and number (about two-thirds), but the fires that have occurred were in populated areas with valuable property. Dry and windy conditions dominated the Southwest, allowing for severe fire weather to persist throughout the month. June is normally the driest month in the desert Southwest, and many locations in Southern California, Nevada, Utah, and western Arizona received no measurable precipitation for the month. Salt Lake City received only a trace of precipitation, the third driest June in a record dating back to 1928. Localized thunderstorms brought a few days of light moisture to New Mexico, Southern Arizona, and Colorado throughout the month. Further west, drought conditions continued to worsen in Hawaii, with leeward locations most affected. Lihue, Kauai received only 0.45 in (11.43 mm) this June, the third driest June on the stations record that began in 1950. Kona, Hawaii received 0.21 in (5.3 mm), 21 percent of normal for June.

Pacific Islands: According to reports from National Weather Service offices, the Pacific ENSO Applications Climate Center (PEAC), and partners, conditions varied across the Pacific Islands.

SPI values for seven time periods for Hawaiian Island stations, computed by the Honolulu NWS office.
SPI values for seven time periods for Hawaiian Island stations

On other Pacific Islands (maps — Micronesia, Marshall Islands, basinwide), June was drier than normal for Majuro, but near to above normal for the rest of the stations. Total rainfall for the last 12 months (July 2011-June 2012) was near to above normal for all stations.

Pacific Island Percent of Normal* Precipitation
Station Name** Jul 2011 Aug 2011 Sep 2011 Oct 2011 Nov 2011 Dec 2011 Jan 2012 Feb 2011 Mar 2012 Apr 2012 May 2012 Jun 2012 Jul 2011-Jun 2012
Chuuk 125% 144% 118% 97% 136% 125% 57% 181% 107% 40% 173% 131% 118%
Guam IAP 203% 102% 129% 135% 83% 103% 162% 94% 215% 121% 224% 107% 133%
Kapingamarangi 147% 162% 107% 57% 81% 124% 109% 71% 121% 102% 143% 179% 120%
Koror 152% 155% 266% 122% 62% 97% 36% 126% 121% 120% 122% 95% 125%
Kosrae 87% 122% 104% 154% 95% 174% 65% 185% 60% 84% 86% 99% 107%
Kwajalein 104% 144% 111% 125% 130% 84% 134% 114% 84% 68% 161% 117% 118%
Majuro 131% 108% 115% 115% 119% 91% 107% 65% 194% 97% 59% 81% 106%
Pago Pago 42% 72% 29% 137% 157% 75% 61% 98% 131% 90% 126% 115% 97%
Pohnpei 92% 138% 115% 77% 123% 110% 82% 138% 98% 45% 115% 100% 101%
Saipan 96% 93% 68% 140% 57% 110% 77% 183% 35% 33% 166% 118% 98%
Yap 138% 129% 156% 101% 112% 116% 33% 117% 185% 89% 142% 99% 120%
* 1981-2010 Normal Median Precipitation
** Clicking on the station name will reveal a climatology graph of the normal monthly rainfall.

SPI values for seven time periods for Pacific Islands, computed by the Honolulu NWS office.
SPI values for seven time periods for Pacific Islands

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State/Regional/National Moisture Status
A detailed review of drought and moisture conditions is available for all contiguous U.S. states, the nine standard regions, and the nation (contiguous U.S.):

States
alabama arizona arkansas california colorado connecticut
delaware florida georgia idaho illinois indiana
iowa kansas kentucky louisiana maine maryland
massachusetts michigan minnesota mississippi missouri montana
nebraska nevada new hampshire new jersey new mexico new york
north carolina north dakota ohio oklahoma oregon pennsylvania
rhode island south carolina south dakota tennessee texas utah
vermont virginia washington west virginia wisconsin wyoming

Regional
northeast u. s. east north central u. s. central u. s.
southeast u. s. west north central u. s. south u. s.
southwest u. s. northwest u. s. west u. s.

National
Contiguous United States

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Drought Indicators
The following indicators illustrate the drought conditions this month:

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Contacts & Questions
For additional, or more localized, drought information, please visit:

Global Snow & Ice

Sea Ice Extent

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent — which is measured from passive microwave instruments onboard NOAA satellites — averaged for June 2012 was 10.97 million square kilometers (4.24 million square miles), 9.83 percent below average. This ranked as the second smallest June sea ice extent on record for the Northern Hemisphere in the 1979-2012 period of record. During the month, the Arctic lost a total of 2.86 million square km (1.1 million square miles) of ice — over four times the area of Texas — marking the largest June ice loss in the satellite record. The last three Junes (2010-2012) have had the three smallest ice extents for the month, with June 2012 being the 21st consecutive June and the 133rd consecutive month with below-average Arctic sea ice extent. June Arctic sea ice has decreased at an average rate of 3.7 percent per decade.

According to analysis by the NSIDC, Arctic sea ice declined quickly in early June, setting record daily lows for a brief period in the middle of the month. Large amounts of ice were loss in the Kara, Bering, and Beaufort seas, as well as Hudson and Baffin bays. Slightly above-average sea ice was observed along the eastern Greenland coast.

The June 2012 Southern Hemisphere sea ice extent was 14.18 million square km (5.5 million square miles), 2.48 percent above average, and the 10th largest (25th smallest) June sea ice extent in the 1979-2012 period of record. Antarctic sea ice extent has increased at an average rate of 1.2 percent per decade, with substantial interannual variability.

For further information on the Northern and Southern Hemisphere snow and ice conditions, please visit the NSIDC News page.

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Upper Air

Troposphere

Lower Troposphere

June Lower Troposphere
June Anomaly Rank
(out of 34 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.37 +0.67 Coolest 32nd 1985 -0.30 -0.54 +0.12 +0.22
Warmest 3rd 1998 +0.51 +0.92
RSS +0.27 +0.49 Coolest 31st 1985 -0.40 -0.72 +0.13 +0.23
Warmest 4th 1998 +0.50 +0.90
Year-to-Date Lower Troposphere
January–
June
Anomaly Rank
(out of 34 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.15 +0.27 Coolest 27th 1989 -0.30 -0.54 +0.12 +0.22
Warmest 8th 1998 +0.55 +0.99
RSS +0.03 +0.05 Coolest 21st 1985 -0.40 -0.72 +0.12 +0.22
Warmest 13th 1998 +0.56 +1.01
Ties: 2000

Mid-troposphere

June Mid-troposphere
June Anomaly Rank
(out of 34 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.21 +0.38 Coolest 29th 1989 -0.30 -0.54 +0.04 +0.08
Warmest 6th 1998 +0.52 +0.94
RSS +0.16 +0.29 Coolest 28th 1989 -0.31 -0.56 +0.07 +0.12
Warmest 7th 1998 +0.54 +0.97
UW-UAH +0.30 +0.54 Coolest 31st 1989 -0.36 -0.65 +0.10 +0.18
Warmest 3rd 1998 +0.60 +1.08
Ties: 2011
UW-RSS +0.19 +0.34 Coolest 28th 1989 -0.35 -0.63 +0.11 +0.20
Warmest 6th 1998 +0.61 +1.10
Ties: 1987
Year-to-Date Mid-troposphere
January–
June
Anomaly Rank
(out of 34 years*)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH -0.02 -0.04 Coolest 17th 1989 -0.28 -0.50 +0.03 +0.05
Warmest 18th 1998 +0.56 +1.01
RSS -0.03 -0.05 Coolest 16th 1989 -0.30 -0.54 +0.07 +0.12
Warmest 18th 1998 +0.56 +1.01
Ties: 1981
UW-UAH +0.05 +0.09 Coolest 22nd 1989 -0.35 -0.63 +0.08 +0.15
Warmest 13th 1998 +0.65 +1.17
RATPAC* -0.03 -0.05 Coolest 37th 1965 -0.91 -1.64 +0.14 +0.25
Warmest 18th 2010 +0.66 +1.19
Ties: 1980

*RATPAC rank is based on 55 years of data

Stratosphere

June Stratosphere
June Anomaly Rank
(out of 34 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH -0.30 -0.54 Coolest 9th 2011 -0.57 -1.03 -0.34 -0.60
Warmest 26th 1982 +1.03 +1.85
RSS -0.29 -0.52 Coolest 8th 2011 -0.52 -0.94 -0.27 -0.48
Warmest 27th 1982 +0.94 +1.69
Year-to-Date Stratosphere
January–
June
Anomaly Rank
(out of 34 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH -0.47 -0.85 Coolest 1st 2012 -0.47 -0.85 -0.35 -0.64
Warmest 34th 1983 +1.12 +2.02
RSS -0.47 -0.85 Coolest 1st 2012 -0.47 -0.85 -0.29 -0.52
Warmest 34th 1983 +1.02 +1.84

Background Information

Temperatures above the Earth's surface are measured within the lower troposphere, middle troposphere, and stratosphere using in-situ balloon-borne instruments (radiosondes) and polar-orbiting satellites (NOAA's TIROS-N). The radiosonde and satellite records have been adjusted to remove time-dependent biases (artificialities caused by changes in radiosonde instruments and measurement practices as well as changes in satellite instruments and orbital features through time). Global averages from radiosonde data are available from 1958 to present, while satellite measurements date back to 1979.

The mid-troposphere temperatures are centered in the in the atmospheric layer approximately 3–10 km [2–6 miles] above the Earth's surface, which also includes a portion of the lower stratosphere. (The Microwave Sounding Unit [MSU] channel used to measure mid-tropospheric temperatures receives about 25 percent of its signal above 10 km [6 miles].) Because the stratosphere has cooled due to increasing greenhouse gases in the troposphere and losses of ozone in the stratosphere, the stratospheric contribution to the tropospheric average, as measured from satellites, creates an artificial component of cooling to the mid-troposphere temperatures. The University of Washington (UW) versions of the UAH and RSS analyses attempt to remove the stratospheric influence from the mid-troposphere measurements, and as a result the UW versions tend to have a larger warming trend than either the UAH or RSS versions. For additional information, please see NCDC's Microwave Sounding Unit page.

The radiosonde data used in this global analysis were developed using the Lanzante, Klein, Seidel (2003) ("LKS") bias-adjusted dataset and the First Difference Method (Free et al. 2004) (RATPAC). Additional details are available. Satellite data have been adjusted by the Global Hydrology and Climate Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). An independent analysis is also performed by Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) and a third analysis has been performed by Dr. Qiang Fu of the University of Washington (UW) (Fu et al. 2004)** to remove the influence of the stratosphere on the mid-troposphere value. Global averages from radiosonde data are available from 1958 to present, while satellite measurements began in 1979.

References

Wildfires

Updated: 9 July 2012


Overview

During June, several wildfires burned across the western U.S. which threatened population centers and destroyed hundreds of homes. The 1.36 million acres that burned nationwide during June was the second most on record for the month, while the 5,415 fires was the third least on record for June.

1-Month Wildfire Statistics*
June Totals Rank
(out of 13 years)
Record 2000-2010
Average
Value Year
Acres Burned 1,363,293 2ⁿᵈ Most 1,702,508 2002 835,324
12ᵗʰ Least
Number of Fires 5,415 11ᵗʰ Most 15,403 2006 8,387
3ʳᵈ Least
Acres Burned per Fire 251.8 2ⁿᵈ Most 284.2 2005 112.7
12ᵗʰ Least
Year-to-Date Wildfire Statistics*
January–June Totals Rank
(out of 13 years)
Record 2000-2010
Average
Value Year
Acres Burned 2,073,954 5ᵗʰ Most 4,795,942 2011 1,895,075
9ᵗʰ Least
Number of Fires 27,707 12ᵗʰ Most 57,248 2006 40,793
2ⁿᵈ Least
Acres Burned per Fire 74.9 2ⁿᵈ Most 131.7 2011 46.0
12ᵗʰ Least

*Data Source: The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC)

Discussion

As a whole, the contiguous U.S. had its 14th warmest and 10th driest June on record. Warm conditions were anchored across the Intermountain West and High Plains. Dry conditions were widespread from the Great Basin, across the Central Plains, and into the Ohio Valley. On a statewide level, Colorado had its warmest June on record, while Wyoming was record dry. Please see the U.S. temperature and precipitation report for additional information. The warm and dry conditions across the Rockies, combined with strong winds, created ideal wildfire conditions during the month. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the percent area of the contiguous U.S. experiencing Moderate-to-Exceptional (D1-D4) drought grew from 37.4 percent at the end of May to 56.0 percent at the beginning of July. Drought improved drastically across Florida, where Tropical Storm Debby dropped copious amounts of rainfall. Drought conditions worsened across the Ohio Valley, Mid-South, and Great Plains where Severe and Extreme (D2-D3) drought conditions developed. Drought also worsened throughout the Intermountain West, with Extreme and Exceptional (D3-D4) drought covering nearly 71 percent of Colorado at the beginning of July.

Significant Events


Please note, this is a list of select fires that occurred during June. Additional fire information can be found through Inciweb.


Colorado

Several large wildfires raged across Colorado during June causing significant damage and charring over 165,000 acres along the highly populated Front Range, destroying over 700 homes. The Waldo Canyon Fire was ignited on June 23rd by unknown causes, just west of Colorado Springs. On the 26th, very warm, dry, and windy conditions caused the fire to explode eastward, engulfing parts of Colorado Springs, prompting the evacuation of over 32,000 people, including the U.S. Air Force Academy. By the end of June, the fire had burned nearly 18,000 acres and had destroyed 346 homes, marking the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history. The High Park Fire was ignited on June 9th by a lightning strike west of Fort Collins. The fire was fully contained by the end of June, after charring approximately 87,000 acres, marking the second largest fire in Colorado history. In total, 259 homes were lost due to the High Park Fire.

Montana

During June, over 214,000 acres burned across the state of Montana destroying at least 275 homes. The largest fire during the month was the Ash Creek Complex. The fire was ignited by lightning on June 25th east of Billings, and quickly grew out of control due to dry and windy conditions. By the end of June, the fire was only 40 percent contained and had charred 170,000 acres. The Dahl Fire, started on June 26th by a lightning strike, burned over 22,000 acres by the end of June near the town of Roundup.

Utah

In Utah, approximately 190,000 acres burned due to wildfires in June. The largest wildfire was the Clay Springs Fire, which destroyed nearly 100,000 acres between June 27th and the end of the month. On July 2nd, the fire was only 40 percent contained, with warm, dry, and windy conditions expected to continue. There were 75 structures threatened by the fire. The Wood Hollow Fire, south of Provo, was started by unknown causes on June 24th and burned over 47,000 acres by the end of June, when it was fully contained. The fire destroyed 52 homes and 100 other structures, with another 300 residences threatened. One civilian fatality was confirmed due to this fire.

Wyoming

Nearly 130,000 acres burned in Wyoming during June. The Arapaho Fire burned 75,000 acres west of Wheatland, between June 27th and the end of the month. Numerous structures were destroyed in the fire, but conditions were too dangerous at the beginning of July for authorities to provide an accurate assessment of the total damage. On July 1st, the fire was only five percent contained. The Fontenelle Fire was ignited on June 24th, by unknown causes, and destroyed nearly 48,000 acres in Sublette and Lincoln Counties. The largest impact of this fire was on the oil/gas production activities in the region.

Monthly Wildfire Conditions

Wildfire information and environmental conditions are provided by the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Wildland Fire Assessment System (WFAS).

On June 1st, there were eleven large wildfires burning across the nation. Six fires were burning in the Southwest, in the states of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, where high fire danger and dry fuels of all sizes (low 10-hour, 100-hour, and 1,000-hour fuel moistures) were observed. The Two Pine Creek and Duck Lake fires continued to burn in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan which was experiencing low 10-hour fuel moistures. Three large fires were burning across the Southeast, where dry conditions contributed to high KBDI values.


During mid-June, large wildfire activity increased across the country, with 22 large wildfires active. Twenty of the fires were burning across the Intermountain West, where extremely dry conditions for several months contributed to extremely high fire danger and KBDI values and extremely low fuel moistures. Two additional large wildfires were burning in both Missouri and eastern North Carolina.


By the end of June, wildfire activity exploded across much of the country, with 57 large wildfires burning. Six large fires were burning across the Virginias, North Carolina, and Tennessee, where dry conditions contributed to low 100-hour fuel moistures. Forty five large fires were active in the Intermountain West, from Arizona to Montana. Across the region, dry conditions for several months were exacerbated by record breaking hot temperatures and windy conditions the second half of June, creating ideal conditions for wildfires. Very high fire danger and KBDI values were widespread across the West, as well as low 100-hour and 1,000-hour fuel moistures. Four fires were active in central Alaska, where abnormally dry conditions developed during June. One large wildfire was active in Hawaii, where dry conditions were observed during much of June. One additional large fire was active in Kansas.


All Fire Related Maps


Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate for June 2012, published online July 2012, retrieved on December 18, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/2012/6.