The NCDC anticipates an early 2014 release of its new climate division database. For details on this transition, please visit our public FTP site and our U.S. Climate Divisional Database site.
Maps and Graphics:
|Despite some cooler than average temperatures in
the East, the mean temperature for the contiguous U.S. was warmer
than average in July 2003. Some western states were much warmer
than average with Idaho having its warmest July on record according
to preliminary data. For additional details, see the Monthly Highlights section.
Greater than average rainfall continued across parts of the East,
especially in the Ohio Valley. Dryness extended across areas of the
Midwest and High Plains.
For details and graphics on weather events across the U.S. and the
globe go to NCDC's Global Hazards
The eastern North Pacific
hurricane season has been near normal so far this year, with 6
tropical storms having formed as of the end of July. However, no
hurricane has yet developed, which is below the climatological
average of 3 by July 31.
In the Atlantic Basin, Tropical
Storm Bill developed in the Gulf of Mexico and came ashore along
the Louisiana coast on June 30, leading to extensive rainfall
across the Southeast and mid Atlantic in early July. Hurricane
Claudette also came ashore in Texas in mid month leading to 3
deaths. Hurricane Danny was a long-lived storm in the northern
Atlantic through the latter half of July, however Danny never
threatened land. As of July 31, the Atlantic has been more active
than the climatology with 4 named storms and 2 hurricanes. See the
East Pacific Hurricane page
and the Atlantic Hurricane page
for further details.
Indices used to determine the
state of ENSO suggest that the Equatorial Pacific is in a
neutral ENSO phase and Sea
Surface Temperatures are now near normal across the eastern
Pacific. To see the
latest NOAA advisory and
typical impacts of a La Nina or El Nino episode for the U.S.,
go to NOAA's
Climate Prediction Center.
Monthly and Seasonal Highlights:
- July 2003 ranked as the 12th
warmest July in the 1895 to present record. The preliminary
nationally averaged temperature was 75.7°F (24.3°C) which
was 1.4°F (0.8°C) above the long-term mean.
- July 2003 was near average for
precipitation nationally, ranking 45th driest. However, this belies
the stark contrast between
extreme dryness in the West and excessive rainfall in the East.
- May-July temperature was near average
and ranked as the 52nd warmest such period in the 1895 to present
record. The preliminary nationally averaged temperature for
May-July was 68.3°F (20.2°C) which was 0.1°F
(0.06°C) above the long-term mean.
- May-July 2003 was wetter than
average, ranking 17th wettest in the last 109 years.
- August 2002-July 2003 ranked as the
29th warmest such 12 months in the 1895 to present record. The
preliminary nationally averaged temperature was 53.2°F
(11.8°C) which was 0.4°F (0.2°C) above the long-term
- Precipitation was greater than average for August-July leading to a rank of 24th wettest
for the last 12 months based on a record of 108 such periods.
Regional and Statewide:
- July 2003 ranked record warm for Idaho, with 9 other states averaging
much warmer than the long term mean.
- Alaska was warmer than
average for July 2003 with an anomaly of 0.85°F (0.47°C)
compared to a 1971-2000 average.
- July was record dry for New
Mexico while 4 other western states were much drier than
average. Five eastern states were much wetter than the long term
- For the Primary Corn and
Soybean Belt, preliminary data indicate that precipitation was
near average for July and slightly
above average for the growing season thus far (March-July) in
2003. The growing season runs from March to September for corn and
- The 3-month period was much colder than average for six states, while 4 western states were
much warmer than average for May-July 2003. Generally, the eastern
half of the country was cooler than the long term mean for the
period, with the western half of the U.S. remaining warm.
- May-July 2003 was record wet for 4
eastern states, and 4 other states had their second wettest
such three months. The Southeast as a whole ranked as the wettest
such three months on record.
- The last 12 months were record wet for Virginia and the Carolinas, as was the
Southeast region as a whole. Warmth
remained in many western states.
Monthly Extremes web-page for weather and climate records for
the month of July.
It should be emphasized that all of the temperature and
precipitation ranks and values
are based on preliminary data. The ranks will change when the final
data are processed.