National Climate Report - July 2006

Maps and Graphics:

July Most Recent 3 Months Most Recent 6 Months
Most Recent 12 Months Year-to-Date US Percent Area Very Wet/Dry/Warm/Cold
Annual Summary for 2005

PLEASE NOTE: All 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 available on the Climate Monitoring Products page.

For graphics covering periods other than those mentioned above or for tables of national, regional, and statewide data from 1895-present, for July, last 3 months or other periods, please go to the Climate At A Glance page.
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National Overview:

  • July temperatures were much above normal for the contiguous United States.  Nationally, it was the second warmest July in the 1895-2006 record.  Every region of the country was much-above or above-normal.  The Western and West North Central regions had their second warmest July since instrumental records began, and Wyoming experienced its warmest July on record.  For information on local temperature records during the month, please visit NCDC's Extremes page.

  • Nationally, precipitation was below-normal for July, ranking as the 26th driest July in the 112-year record (1895-2006).  Regionally, the West North Central region had its sixth driest July on record, and the Northwest and Southeast regions were below-normal for July.  July precipitation amounts across the West, Southwest and Northeast regions were all above-normal.  Both New York and New Hampshire were much-above normal for July, while six states (Georgia, South Carolina, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana) were much-below-normal for the month, and of these it was the third driest July for South Dakota.

  • Significant drought continued in the Southern Plains and the Desert Southwest, with exceptional drought persisting in parts of southern and northeast Texas, southern Arizona, and central South Dakota.  For more information on drought during July, please visit the U.S. Drought page.

  • Tropical Storm Beryl formed in mid-July off of the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Beryl developed into a Tropical Storm on July 19th and dissipated on the 21st, reaching maximum sustained winds of 50 kts (57 mph or 93 km h-1).  For statistics on the Atlantic storm season, please see NCDC's 2006 Atlantic basin Tropical Cyclone page.

  • Severe mid-month thunderstorms caused widespread damage in the St. Louis, Missouri area, and left at least 500,000 without electricity for several days.

  • Indices used to determine the state of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) indicate neutral conditions in July. Sea Surface Temperatures were near-average across the eastern equatorial Pacific, but slightly-above-average along the coast of South America during the month.  To see the latest NOAA advisory and typical impacts of a La Niña or El Niño episode for the U.S., please visit NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. For an in-depth analysis of the current conditions see NCDC's ENSO Monitoring page.
For additional details, see the Monthly and Seasonal Highlights section below and visit the July Climate Summary page. For details and graphics on weather events across the U.S. and the globe please visit NCDC's Global Hazards page.
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Monthly and Seasonal Highlights:


For additional national, regional, and statewide data and graphics from 1895-present, for July, the last 3 months or other periods, please visit the Climate At A Glance page.
  • July 2006 was the second warmest July in the 1895-2006 record.  The preliminary nationally averaged temperature was 77.2°F (25.1°C).  The record warmest July was set in 1936, with an average temperature of 77.5°F (25.3°C) for the nation.

  • July had below-average precipitation nationally, ranking as the 26th driest July in the 1895-2006 record.  An average 2.58 inches (66 mm) fell over the contiguous U.S. in July, 0.3 inches (8 mm) below the 20th century mean for the month.

  • May-July was the third warmest such period in the 1895-to-present record.  The preliminary nationally averaged May-July temperature was 70.9°F (21.6°C).  May-July was also the 15th driest such period on record.  An average of 7.49 inches (190 mm) of precipitation fell during the 3-month period.

  • The 6-month (Feb-July) nationally-averaged temperature was 58.1°F (14.5°C), which ranked as the second warmest such period in the 112-year record.  At 13.73 inches (346 mm), February - July precipitation was below-normal, which ranked it as 13th driest such period in the 1895-2006 record.

  • January to July has been the warmest such year-to-date period on record.  The nationally averaged year-to-date temperature was 55.3°F (12.9°C), or 3.2°F (1.8°C) above the 1901-2000 average. The previous record of 54.8°F (12.7°C) was set in 1934.  The year-to-date also was 22nd driest January-July in the 112-year record, receiving a national average 16.2 inches (411 mm) of precipitation during the period, or 1.4 inches (36 mm) below the 20th Century average.

  • August 2005 - July 2006 was the warmest such period in the 1895-2006 record.  The preliminary nationally-averaged 12-month temperature was 55.4°F (13.0°C).  Precipitation was below-average for the August 2005 - July 2006 period, ranking it as the 34th driest August-July in the 111-year record.  Nationally-averaged total 12-month precipitation was 30.34 inches (771 mm).

Regional and Statewide:
  • July 2006 temperatures ranked much-above-normal for six regions (West, Northwest, Southwest, West North Central, East North Central, and Northeast) and above-normal for the other three regions (Central, South and Southeast).  Wyoming had its warmest July on record, while Nevada, Idaho, Montana and North Dakota had their second warmest July.  All other states were much-above or above-normal, except for four states (Kentucky, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina) that were near-normal for the month.

    During this month's widespread heatwave, NOAA's Climate Reference Network (CRN) recorded a number of triple-digit daily maximum temperatures across the Great Plains between 14-16 July (View Image).  These values are relatively lower than cooperative weather stations (COOP) in the region due in part to the efforts of CRN personnel to locate stations away from urban influences, and also to the fact that CRN temperature sensors are aspirated to provide a more accurate measure of ambient air temperature.

  • July was much-drier-than-average for much of the West North Central region. South Dakota had its third driest July, and was just one of six states with much-below-normal precipitation for the month.

  • May - July temperatures were above to much-above-average for all of the contiguous US west of the Mississippi River.  West Virginia and South Carolina were the only states below-normal across the contiguous US.  Four states (Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, and California) experienced record warmth for this period.

  • The 3-month period ending with July was record wet in the Northeast, with Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine all having record May - July precipitation totals.  Seven States were much-drier-than-normal (Mississippi, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota), with South Dakota experiencing its second driest such period on record.

  • The past 6-months (February-July) were above- to much-above-normal over all regions of the contiguous United States, with the South having its second warmest July on record.  New Mexico and Oklahoma had their second warmest February-July temperatures on record.  Six states were near-normal, while no state was cooler-than-average during this period.

  • February - July precipitation was much-below-normal in the Southeast and West North Central regions, below-normal in the Southwest, South, and East North Central regions, near-normal in the Central and Northwest regions, and above-normal in the West and Northeast regions.  New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New York were much-wetter-than-average, while Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Georgia and Florida were all much-drier-than-average for the 6-month period.

  • The Year-to-Date (Jan-Jul) was record warm in five states (South Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas).  The period was second warmest in an additional 11 states, and fully 36 states experienced year-to-date temperatures for 2006 within the 10 warmest such periods on record.  No state was near or cooler than normal for the period.

  • Due to the heavy precipitation events that have impacted the Northeast since the start of the year, precipitation was above to much above normal across the region, with New Hampshire recording its wettest Jan-July since records commenced in 1895.  Much of the West also received above normal precipitation for the year-to-date, while most of the Central and Southeast were below to much-below normal.  Four states, North and South Dakota, Georgia and Florida all experienced one of their 10 driest Jan-July periods on record.

  • August 2005 - July 2006 was warmer- or much-warmer-than-average for all of the contiguous U.S., with the South experiencing record warmth for the period.  Six states observed record warmth for the period, while eight additional states had their second warmest August-July on record.

  • The last 12 months saw record August-July precipitation in the Northeast, above-normal precipitation in the West and Northwest, near-normal in the East North Central, and below- to much-below-normal precipitation elsewhere.  Nearly all New England states (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island) plus New York had record precipitation for the period, while just three states (Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma) were much-drier-than-normal.

    See NCDC's Monthly Extremes web-page for weather and climate records for the month of July.

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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 available on the Climate Monitoring Products page.

Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: National Climate Report for July 2006, published online August 2006, retrieved on January 17, 2018 from