National Climate Report - June 2012
- 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.
- Seven additional states in the region had a top ten warm June.
- 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.
- 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 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. 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. Fourteen states in total had precipitation totals for the six-month period among their ten driest.
- 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.
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.