National Climate Report - July 2013
Maps and Graphics
Temperature and Precipitation Ranks
U.S. Percentage Areas
Supplemental July 2013 Information
- Year-to-date temperature evolution for select U.S. cities
- Year-to-date precipitation evolution for select U.S. cities
- July daily temperature extremes
- Statewide temperature and precipitation records since 2010
- Climate Highlights — July
- The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during July was 74.3°F, 0.8°F above the 20th century average, and ranked as the 30th warmest such month on record.
- The western U.S. was warmer than average, where Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah each had a top ten warm month. Several cities, including Salt Lake City, Utah, and Reno, Nev., had their warmest July on record. Seven states across the Northeast also had July temperatures ranking among the ten warmest on record, including Massachusetts and Rhode Island, each of which had a record warm July.
- Locations from the Central and Southern Plains into the Southeast were cooler than average. Four states — Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee — had July temperatures that were among the ten coolest on record.
- The Alaska statewide average temperature was 1.7°F above the 1971-2000 average and ranked as the fifth warmest July on record for the state. Anchorage had its fourth warmest July, and the city set a record with 14 consecutive days above 70°F.
- The nationally-averaged July precipitation total of 3.47 inches was 0.71 inch above average and was the 5th wettest July on record for the contiguous United States.
- Wetter-than-average conditions stretched from California, through the Southwest and Plains, and along the Eastern Seaboard. In the Southwest, seasonal monsoonal flow brought above average precipitation to several states, where Arizona and California both had July precipitation totals ranking among their ten wettest. During this time of year in parts of the Southwest, even light precipitation can result in above-average monthly totals but have minimal impacts on alleviating drought conditions.
- In the East, 13 states had one of their ten wettest Julys on record, with the highest precipitation totals across the Southeast. Florida had its wettest July on record, with 12.38 inches of rainfall, 4.91 inches above average. The above-average precipitation in the Southeast resulted in widespread flooding and significant damage to crops.
- The Northwest was particularly dry. Oregon had its driest July on record with only 0.03 inch of rainfall accumulating, 0.41 inch below average. Washington had its eighth driest July. Below-average precipitation was also observed in the Upper Mississippi River Valley, where Iowa had its tenth driest July.
- According to the July 30 U.S. Drought Monitor report, 45.6 percent of the contiguous U.S experienced drought conditions, up slightly from the beginning of July. Drought remained entrenched throughout much of the West and in parts of the Central and Southern Plains, and drought expanded into parts of the Lower Mississippi River Valley and Midwest. Over 20 percent of Alaska was in drought at the end of July, with severe drought developing in central parts of the state.
- Based on NOAA's Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index (REDTI), the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand during July was above average and ranked as the 41st highest July value in the 119-year period of record.
- The components of the U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI) that examine extremes in warm night time temperatures, the spatial extent of wetness and drought, and extremes in days with rainfall were all above average. When combined with the other components of the index, the USCEI, as a whole, was only slightly above average. The USCEI is an index that tracks the highest and lowest 10 percent of extremes in temperature, precipitation, tropical cyclones, and drought across the contiguous United States.
- On a local basis, the number of record warm daily highs and lows (2560) during July was roughly the same as the number of record cool daily highs and lows (2846), although there were slightly more cool records.
- Climate Highlights — year-to-date (January – July)
- The year-to-date contiguous U.S. temperature of 51.8°F was 0.5°F above the 20th century average and tied with 1952 as the 42nd warmest January–July on record. Above-average temperatures were observed in the West and Northeast, where California, New Hampshire, and Vermont had one of their top ten warmest year-to-date periods. Below-average temperatures stretched from the Northern Plains to the Southeast.
- The year-to-date contiguous U.S. precipitation total of 19.14 inches was 1.54 inches above average and tied with 1997 as the 22nd wettest January–July on record. However, rainfall was not evenly distributed across the country. Dry precipitation extremes were observed in the West and wet precipitation extremes were observed in the East.
- California, Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon each had a top ten dry year-to-date period. California's precipitation total of 4.58 inches was record low for the seven-month period at 9.82 inches below average, and 1.69 inches less than the previous record dry January–July of 1898.
- Above-average precipitation was observed across most locations east of the Rockies, with ten states having one of their ten wettest year-to-date periods. Michigan was record wet with 24.35 inches of precipitation, 6.92 inches above average, and 2.30 inches above the previous record wet January–July of 1950. Several cities, from Fargo, North Dakota to Greenville, South Carolina, had a record wet January–July.
- Based on NOAA's Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index (REDTI), the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand during January–July was below average and ranked as the 47th lowest January–July value in the 119-year period of record.
- The components of the USCEI that examine extremes in the spatial extent of drought, as well as 1-day precipitation totals and days with rainfall were much above average for the year-to-date. When combined with the other components of the index, the USCEI, as a whole, was only slightly above average.
Alaska Temperature and Precipitation:
- Alaska had its 5th warmest July since records began in 1918, with a temperature 1.7°F (0.9°C) above the 1971–2000 average.
- Alaska had its 14nd warmest May-July since records began in 1918, with a temperature 1.3°F (0.7°C) above the 1971–2000 average.
- Alaska had its 26th warmest January-July since records began in 1918, with a temperature 0.9°F (0.5°C) above the 1971–2000 average.
- Alaska had its 35th driest July since records began in 1918, with an anomaly that was 1.1 percent below the 1971–2000 average.
- Alaska had its 41st wettest May-July since records began in 1918, with an anomaly that was 3.9 percent above the 1971–2000 average.
- Alaska had its 29th wettest January-July since records began in 1918, with an anomaly that was 14.8 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.
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)
- The Northeast continued to be warmer than normal in July. With an average temperature of 72.4 degrees F (22.4 degrees C), it was 2.5 degrees F (1.4 degrees C) above normal and the 12th warmest July on record. All twelve states were warmer than normal with Rhode Island and Massachusetts reporting their warmest July in 119 years. Departures for those two states were +4.6 degrees F (+2.6 degrees C) and +4.5 degrees F (+2.5 degrees C) respectively. Vermont had its 2nd warmest July on record at +4.1 degrees F (+2.3 degrees C) while Connecticut (+4.3 degrees F or +2.4 degrees C) and New Hampshire (+3.5 degrees F or +1.9 degrees C) saw their 3rd warmest July. New Jersey had its 5th warmest July on record at +3.0 degrees F (+1.7 degrees C) and Delaware reported its 6th warmest July with +2.4 degrees F (+1.3 degrees C). July 2013 ranked among the top 20 warmest in New York, Maine, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Departures for those states ranged from +2.6 degrees F (+1.4 degrees C) to +1.4 degrees F (+0.8 degrees C). West Virginia, while warmer than normal, was the coolest state at +0.6 degrees F (+0.3 degrees C).
- The wet conditions of June spilled over into July for most Northeast states. The region ended the month with 5.14 inches (130.6 mm) of precipitation, 121 percent of normal, making it the 15th wettest July since 1895. Connecticut and Rhode Island were the dry states at 91 percent of normal. Vermont was the wettest state, receiving 143 percent of normal precipitation, making it the 7th wettest July on record. New Hampshire received 135 percent of normal precipitation, making it the 8th wettest July, while West Virginia received 126 percent of normal, their 10th wettest July. With departures of 126 percent of normal and 123 percent of normal, Maine and New York ranked this July among their top 15 wettest. Departures for the other states ranged from 127 percent of normal in Delaware to 101 percent of normal in Massachusetts.
- At the start of July, lingering abnormal dryness was located along the Pennsylvania-West Virginia border, but by mid-month, ongoing abundant precipitation eased dryness in that area.
- Downpours were common throughout July. For instance, on the 9th, 2.5 inches (63.50 mm) of rain fell in 20 minutes in Orleans County, Vermont. On the 17th, Caribou, Maine, had its wettest July day on record with 3.81 inches (96.77 mm) of rain. And in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 28, 2013 became the rainiest day on record when 8.02 inches (203.71 mm) of rain fell, most of it in a four-hour period. The city also reported its wettest July on record with 13.24 inches (336.30 mm) of precipitation. The excess precipitation had many consequences. Heavy rain during June left waterways already running high in July. Flash flooding occurred in parts of every Northeast state. Roads were washed out and closed, homes and businesses were flooded, cars were stranded, and people were evacuated and rescued from the rising waters. Also, heavy rains flushed excessive nitrogen into the waters of estuaries on the south side of Long Island, New York, helping cause the first summer brown tide since 2008. Substantial runoff caused Lake Champlain to rise to a record high summer level, 99.68 feet (30.38 m), on July 7-8. In addition, the precipitation affected agriculture. In New Jersey, farmers in Burlington County reported the wet weather caused disease in vegetables while farmers in Cape May County reported some squash fields were completely lost due to excess moisture. July also had its share of tornadoes. Seven EF-0 tornadoes and five EF-1 tornadoes touched down in the Northeast. The EF-0s primarily uprooted and topped trees while the EF-1s also caused some structural and crop damage. In addition, a gustnado in New Jersey on the 22nd caused some damage and multiple waterspouts were spotted on Lakes Erie and Ontario on the 29th. One other highlight of the month was a hot, humid air mass that set up over the region from July 14 through 20. On the 19th, New York City and Westchester County set an all-time peak electric usage, 13,322 MW. At the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland, the warm temperatures contributed to an overgrowth of bacteria and a lack of oxygen in the waters. The harbor's water turned a milky green and hundreds of fish died. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, set a record for longest string of days at or above 70 degrees F (21.1 degrees C) with 30 such days from June 24 through July 23.
- For more information, please go to the Northeast Regional Climate Center Home Page.
- Midwest Region: (Information provided by the Midwest Regional Climate Center)
- July temperatures in the Midwest ranged from near normal to 3 degrees F (2 C) below normal. The near normal temperatures stretched across the upper Midwest and then southward into Ohio. Slightly cooler than normal temperatures were recorded in Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. The month began with cool temperatures and then warmed to well above normal mid-month before cooling to well below normal in the last week of July. More than 900 daily record low temperatures were set or tied in the last eight days of the month. Many of these records were also the record lows for the entire month including more than two dozen on the 28th alone.
- July precipitation ranged from less than 25 percent of normal in western Iowa to about twice normal in parts of southern Missouri, southern Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Upper Michigan, and in the arrowhead of Minnesota. A few cities in western Iowa set new July precipitation records with less than a quarter inch (6 mm). The dryness in Iowa was a drastic change from the wettest spring on record for the state.
- The Midwest began the month nearly drought free but dryness in the western states, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri, has led to expanding areas of moderate drought and abnormally dry conditions in the US Drought Monitor. Moderate drought expanded only slightly from under one percent to just over two percent of the region. Abnormally dry conditions grew much more going from about two percent to nearly 19 percent of the region. The dryness has started to show in crop condition reports but has been mitigated somewhat by the moist soils from earlier rains and cooler than normal conditions.
- Severe weather reports were spread across the region with Ohio having the highest concentration. Just a handful of days in July went without a Midwest severe weather report including a three-day stretch in mid-month. July tornadoes touched down in six Midwest states sparing only Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan. Tornado numbers across the US in 2013 were well below normal and the same departure applied to the Midwest.
- The cooler weather in July has been good because the crops have seen little heat stress but the accumulation of growing degree days has been slowed. Because planting was later than normal and degree day accumulation has also behind normal, concerns about a damaging fall freeze are increasing because the crops will likely mature and dry down later than normal in 2013.
- 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)
- Mean temperatures were variable across the Southeast in July. The greatest departures were found across much of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and South Florida, where monthly temperatures were 2 to 3 degrees F (1.1 to 1.6 degrees C) below average. Temperatures were also below average across much of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In contrast, monthly temperatures were 1 to 2 degrees F (0.5 to 1.1 degrees C) above average across much of Virginia and parts of eastern North Carolina. In particular, minimum temperatures in these areas were exceptionally warm. For the month, the mean minimum temperature ranked as the third warmest in Washington D.C. and Richmond, VA in records extending back to 1871 and 1887, respectively. For the second consecutive month, there was a relative absence of extreme heat across much of the Southeast region. In fact, several locations recorded monthly maximum temperature departures of 5 to 7 degrees F (2.8 to 3.9 degrees C) below average. In addition, more than 200 daily low maximum temperature records were tied or broken across the region. On the 17th of the month, Miami, FL recorded a maximum temperature of 78 degrees F (25.6 degrees C), which was only 1 degree F (0.5 degrees C) shy of the all-time daily low maximum temperature for July in a record extending back to 1895.
- For the second consecutive month, precipitation was much above average across a large portion of the Southeast region. The wettest locations were found across the western Panhandle of Florida, the Upstate of South Carolina, and western North Carolina, where monthly totals exceeded 20 inches (508 mm) in places, or more than 300 percent of normal. Precipitation was also above average across Puerto Rico and much of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Several locations recorded their wettest July on record, including Gainesville, FL (16.65 inches, or 423 mm), Asheville, NC (13.69 inches, or 348 mm), Greenville-Spartanburg, SC (14.45 inches, or 367 mm), Roanoke, VA (12.73 inches, or 323 mm), and San Juan, PR (14.18 inches, or 360 mm). Monthly totals at these locations also ranked in the top 5 all-time wettest months on record. Asheville, NC came within just 0.07 inches (1.8 mm) of breaking its all-time monthly total, which was last set in August 1940. Many of the highest daily rainfall totals (greater than 5 inches, or 127 mm) were recorded during the first week of the month, as a plume of deep tropical moisture spread across much of the region. In particular, over 10 inches (254 mm) of rain fell from the 4th to the 5th of the month across portions of northwest Florida, which resulted in numerous reports of flash flooding. Some locations also recorded particularly intense rainfall. On the 10th of the month, 3.37 inches (86 mm) fell in just one hour in Roanoke, VA, yielding an average return interval of 200 to 500 years. On the 9th of the month, the spillway at Lake Hartwell, one of the largest lakes in the Southeast and located along the northern border of Georgia and South Carolina, was opened for only the third time since 1948 to control for flooding. Over the past three months, rainfall totals around and upstream of the lake have exceeded 40 inches (1016 mm), which is more than 200 percent of normal. Heavy rains across South Florida also forced the release of water from Lake Okeechobee to help mitigate flooding from a potential tropical cyclone. The heavy rains across western North Carolina caused several cracks along part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, forcing officials to close a 20 mile (32 km) section near Asheville. On the 18th of the month, a strong tropical wave dropped 9.23 inches (234.4 mm) of rainfall in San Juan, PR, marking the second highest daily total for any month since 1898. More heavy rain towards the end of the month caused several rivers in western North Carolina to crest above flood stage, including the south fork of the Catawba River west of Charlotte, which crested at 17.31 feet (5.3 m) on the 28th, its third greatest height recorded in over 70 years. Severe flood damage to homes and buildings, as well as several washed-out sections of roadways, have resulted in numerous disasters declarations across the region. At least two drowning deaths have been confirmed across the Southeast, both occurring on the 27th in Wilson Creek in Caldwell County, NC. While most of the region observed above average rainfall for the month, parts of eastern North Carolina were relatively dry in July. Cape Hatteras, NC recorded just 1.88 inches (48 mm) for the month, which was more than 3 inches (76 mm) below normal.
- There were 486 preliminary reports of severe weather across the Southeast in July, with at least one report on every day of the month. The vast majority of these reports were for damaging thunderstorm winds. Winds in excess of 50 mph (22 meters per second) were also reported across Puerto Rico in association with Tropical Storm Chantal on the 9th and 10th of the month, resulting in some minor damage and heavy surf. There were also at least nine tornadoes reported or confirmed across the region. On the 2nd of the month, an EF-0 tornado caused significant damage to trees and homes near the town of Roxboro in Person County, NC. A brief tornado blew roofing tiles off of several buildings near Seminole in Okaloosa County, FL on the 5th, while a waterspout that moved onshore near Oldsmar in Pinellas County, FL caused minor damage to a few homes on the 8th of the month. Another brief tornado damaged several mobile homes in Palmetto in Manatee County, FL on the 9th of the month. A waterspout was observed moving onshore on Hunting Island in Beaufort County, SC on the 13th of the month, though no damage was reported. Another waterspout on the 19th of the month came onshore near Pompano Beach in Broward County, FL. Three injuries were reported from felled tents that were set up for a lifeguard competition. On the 21st, a weak tornado was confirmed in St. John's County, FL. Two days later, another weak tornado was confirmed near Fort Lauderdale in Broward County, FL. Several boats in a local marina were overturned. Lastly, a tornado was reported near the Suwannee River State Park in Hamilton County, FL on the 31st of the month. In addition, at least four people were injured from lightning strikes during the month across Florida.
- July marked the first time in over three years that the Southeast region was free of any U.S. Drought Monitor designation. However, the persistent wet pattern continued to cause problems for farmers. Heavy rains and standing water prevented many farmers from harvesting their crop, cutting hay, spraying chemicals and applying treatments, and preparing fields for fall and winter crops. Mold and other fungal diseases were reported across the region, particularly on crops such as corn, tomatoes, peanuts, and forage. The excess moisture has also degraded the quality and flavor of many crops, including watermelons, tobacco, and peaches, and has hampered the growth of cotton and corn by limiting the amount of oxygen available to the roots. In some locations across northern Florida and southern Georgia, the corn crop reached only half its normal height. Agricultural officials have predicted that losses across much of the region could be in the billions of dollars. The cool, cloudy conditions have resulted in generally good air quality across most metropolitan areas in the region this summer. Through the end of July, Atlanta, GA has recorded just one air quality violation, a code red violation on the 30th of the month. This marked the latest calendar day the city has gone before its first air quality violation since 1997.
- 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)
- Average temperatures were generally below normal in the east and above normal in the west across the High Plains Region this month. Temperature departures of 2.0-4.0 degrees F (1.1-2.2 degrees C) below normal occurred in eastern Kansas, central South Dakota, western North Dakota, and a few pockets of Nebraska. Meanwhile, western portions of Colorado and Wyoming had temperature departures of 3.0-5.0 degrees F (1.7-2.8 degrees C) above normal. The cooler temperatures in the east were in stark contrast to last year, when a good portion of the area had temperature departures of 6.0-8.0 degrees F (3.3-4.4 degrees C) above normal. Although monthly records were not set, a few stations did manage to sneak in to the top 10 rankings for warmest or coolest July. On the cool side, long-term station Wamego 4 W, which is located in northeastern Kansas, had its 5th coolest July with an average temperature of 75.6 degrees F (24.2 degrees C). The coolest July at Wamego 4 W was 72.0 degrees F (22.2 degrees C) in 1950 (period of record 1912-2013). On the warm side, Lander, Wyoming had its 10th warmest July with 74.2 degrees F (23.4 degrees C). Interestingly, 7 of the top 10 warmest Julys have occurred since 2000 in Lander and the top spot of 75.9 degrees F (24.4 degrees C) occurred in both 2003 and 2006 (period of record 1891-2013). While monthly extremes were not common, numerous daily records occurred throughout the month. One notable record was for the July all-time coolest maximum temperature in Concordia, Kansas. On July 28th, Concordia's high temperature only reached 62.0 degrees F (16.7 degrees C) and beat out the old record of 63.0 degrees F (17.2 degrees C) which occurred back in 1979 and 1988 (period of record 1885-2013).
- July precipitation was hit or miss across the High Plains Region. Areas receiving at least 150 percent of normal precipitation included central Kansas, central South Dakota, central and western Colorado, and scattered pockets in eastern Wyoming, north central Nebraska, southwestern South Dakota, and northern North Dakota. While rain was needed to help alleviate ongoing drought conditions, some storms brought heavy rain which caused mudslides in fire burn scars in Colorado and flash flooding in parts of Colorado, Kansas, and Wyoming. Areas which missed out included eastern and central Nebraska, eastern and central North Dakota, and central Wyoming. These areas received less than 50 percent of normal precipitation. Because of the wide range in precipitation, there were stations which ranked in the top 10 driest or wettest Julys on record. With only 11 percent of normal precipitation, Omaha, Nebraska had its 2nd driest July on record with 0.44 inches (11 mm) of precipitation (period of record 1871-2013). The driest on record occurred only last year with 0.01 inches (0 mm). Meanwhile, precipitation in central Kansas helped alleviate drought conditions there, although long-term deficits were still high. For instance, Wichita, Kansas had measurable precipitation on 17 days in July, which broke the old record of 16 in 1950 (period of record 1888-2013). On average, Wichita has about 8 days with measurable precipitation in July. By the end of the month, Wichita received 7.69 inches (195 mm) of precipitation making this July its 4th wettest. Although 232 percent of normal, this was not nearly enough to beat the top spot of 13.37 inches (340 mm) in 1950.
- The latest U.S. Drought Monitor showed both improvements and degradations over the past month. At the end of July, approximately 64 percent of the Region was in moderate (D1) to exceptional (D4) drought - down just slightly from 67 percent at the end of June. An expansion of abnormally dry conditions (D0) occurred in east-central North Dakota and eastern parts of Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota. In addition, two new areas of D1 were introduced in far southeastern South Dakota and northeastern Kansas. One category improvements were made in some areas of north-central and eastern Colorado. There was quite a bit of jostling of drought conditions in Kansas where some areas had improvements, while others had degradations. By the end of the month, 25 percent of the state remained in the D4 designation, however. Wyoming had an increase in severe (D2) and extreme (D3) drought coverage, going from about 47 percent of the state to 52 percent of the state. According to the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook released July 18th, the only area of drought expected to improve was in southwestern Colorado. Drought conditions were expected to develop in north-central Colorado and persist elsewhere through October 2013.
- 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 Southern Region, the month of July proved to be a cooler than normal month across the board. Temperatures across the six states generally averaged between 0 to 4 degrees F (0 to 2.22 degrees C) below normal, with the highest negative anomalies occurring in northwestern Arkansas and western Tennessee. With the exception of some areas in southern Texas, temperatures were consistently lower than normal over the course of the month. The state average temperatures for the month are as follows: Arkansas with 77.80 degrees F (25.44 degrees C), Louisiana with 80.60 degrees F (27.00 degrees C), Mississippi with 78.60 degrees F (25.89 degrees C), Oklahoma with 79.70 degrees F (26.50 degrees C), Tennessee with 75.00 degrees F (23.89 degrees C), and Texas with 81.30 degrees F (27.39 degrees C). All six states reported temperature averages that were below the 1895-2013 average. For Mississippi, it was the seventh coldest July on record (1895-2013), while Arkansas and Tennessee saw their tenth coldest July on record (1895-2013). Louisiana experienced its sixteenth coldest July on record (1895-2013), while Texas recorded its twenty-sixth coldest July on record (1895-2013). In the case of Oklahoma, it was their thirtieth coldest July on record (1895-2013).
- For some parts of the Southern Region, July was a much wetter than normal month, while other areas in the region experienced a much drier than normal month. The drier than normal areas of the region extended over much of the Texas and Louisiana gulf coast zones, and through eastern Arkansas and northern Mississippi. The wettest areas of the region included much of central Tennessee, central Texas, and Oklahoma, where precipitation totals ranged from one and a half to over three times the monthly normal. The state average precipitation totals are as follows: Arkansas with 4.34 inches (110.24 mm), Louisiana with 4.38 inches (111.25 mm), Mississippi with 4.35 inches (110.49 mm), Oklahoma with 5.41 inches (137.41 mm), Tennessee with 7.16 inches (181.86 mm), and Texas with 3.36 inches (85.34 mm). Tennessee experienced its sixth wettest July on record (1895-2013), while for Oklahoma, it was the tenth wettest July on record (1895-2013). Texas reported its twenty-fifth wettest July on record (1895-2013), where as Louisiana experienced its twenty-ninth driest July on record (1895-2013). All other state rankings fell within the two middle quartiles.
- Drought conditions changed little over the month of July. Dryness throughout much of Arkansas led to the introduction of some moderate drought. This was also the case for some parishes in west central Louisiana. Drought conditions in Texas and western Oklahoma are relatively unchanged, despite anomalously high precipitation in central Texas.
- In Texas, the cooler and wetter weather has helped farmers and ranchers across the state. East Texas vineyard owners are predicting one of their best harvests in years due to perfect conditions. Corn and cotton farmers in central Texas believe the July rains saved several million dollars of crops after the dry June. Still, problems for ranchers persist, but efforts to help the continually hurting herd numbers are taking place, including hay planting in 197 counties across the state to provide food for cattle. Not all of the rainfall was beneficial, however. Many rainstorms brought flooding, slowing down commuters in Houston, filling up a jail in Hale County, and flooding neighborhoods in El Paso. The rains also brought lightning, which sparked several house fires and small grassfires across the state. Damages greater than $260,000 were reported in Austin, more than 5,000 people lost power in El Paso, and several lightning-caused grassfires burned hundreds of acres across much of the central portions of the state (Information provided by the Texas State Climate Office).
- Unfortunately, reservoirs throughout Texas continue to decline. Many regions across the state have ramped up their water restrictions, including Stage 2 restrictions in Austin and Victoria, Stage 3 in Galveston, and Stage 4 in Marlin after Dow Chemical claimed senior water rights along the Brazos River. To combat this, water reclamation projects are gaining steam in Austin, with an estimated 8.5 billion gallons of reused water possible, and a new pipeline in Dallas from Lake Palestine, costing an estimated $2.3 billion (Information provided by the Texas State Climate Office).
- For more information, please go to the Southern Regional Climate Center Home Page.
- Western Region: (Information provided by the Western Regional Climate Center)
- The North American Monsoon was very active this month, bringing much needed precipitation to the Southwest. As is typical for July, dry conditions dominated in the Pacific Northwest. The Great Basin and Intermountain West saw record high July temperatures, while temperatures in coastal regions were moderated by persistent marine stratus and temperatures in the Southwest curbed by frequent thunderstorms.
- Persistent ridging produced record monthly temperatures in the northern Great Basin. In Nevada, Reno and Elko logged their warmest month in their 126-year records, at 80.2 F (26.8 C) and 76.8 F (24.9 C), respectively. In Utah, Salt Lake City averaged 84.1 F (28.9 C), its warmest month in a 140-year record. Boise, Idaho saw its 3rd warmest July in a 136-year record, with 30 days reaching 90 F (32.2 C), tying 2007 for the most such days in July there. In Oregon, Medford saw its hottest month in an 86-year record, averaging 78.9 F (26.1 C), surpassing the previous record of July 2009 by 1.0 F (0.6 C). In Washington, Yakima recorded its hottest month on record as well, at an average 77.5 F (25.3 C), exceeding the July 1998 record by 1.4 F (0.8 C). In the Southwest, Tucson, Arizona ended a 39-day streak (June 1-July 10) of temperature reaching 100 F (37.8 C), the longest such streak in a 119-year record. Monsoon clouds lowered temperatures from the warmest Tucson June on record to the 19th warmest July.
- Monsoon precipitation brought spotty and minor drought relief to Arizona and New Mexico, with many locations recording above normal precipitation. After consecutive below normal monsoon seasons, the Albuquerque, New Mexico airport recorded 2.77 in (70 mm) this month, the 9th wettest July in a 117-year record. This rainfall came in deluges, with nearly half (1.36 in/35mm) on the 26th, resulting in some flooding. In Arizona, Flagstaff tied 1919 for the wettest July on record at 7.58 in (193 mm). Phoenix, Yuma, and Tucson all saw an excellent start to the monsoon season as well, receiving above normal precipitation for the month. Cedar City, Utah logged 5.25 in (133 mm) of monsoon rain, 625% of normal and easily surpassing the previous July record of 4.37 in (111 mm) set in 1975. Los Angeles, California typically receives no precipitation in July, so that a mere 0.09 in (2.3 mm) led to the 3rd wettest July in a 108-year record.
- In contrast, the Northwest experienced its typical dry July weather. Seattle, Washington received a trace of precipitation this month, tying 1958 and 1960 for driest July. Normal there is 0.7 in (18 mm). Quillayute, Washington averages 1.98 in (50 mm) for July, but saw only 0.01 in (0.25 mm) on the last day of the month, beating out 2010 (0.35 in/9 mm) for driest July in its 48-year record. Locations throughout Northern California, such as San Francisco and Sacramento stayed dry this month. July 6 brought the first rainfall to Las Vegas since April 16. This 80-day dry stretch is the 4th longest on record.
- Quiescent conditions prevailed in Hawaii for most of July until the remnants of Tropical Storm Flossie brought high winds and locally heavy precipitation near the close of the month. Storm totals were highest around Maui County, helping stations in that area surpass their July normals. Kahului recorded 0.86 in (22 mm) for the month, 238% of normal. Of this, 0.79 in (20 mm) fell on the 29th associated with Flossie. Further north, warm temperatures continued in Alaska this month. Anchorage set a record of 14 consecutive days above 70 F (21.1 C) July 17th-30th. This beats the previous record of 13 days set in August of 2004 and helped to make this the 4th warmest July on record in Anchorage. On July 31, Fairbanks tied its all-time record for number of 80 F or greater (26.7 C) days in a summer at 30 days. So far, this is the second warmest summer on record at Fairbanks behind the summer of 2004.
- July (all month): Wildfires in the West: Though many large fires burned throughout the West this month, year-to-date the nationwide number of fires is 58% of the 10-year normal and acres burned is 55% of the 10-year normal. Some of the fires include:
- Douglas Complex Fire, Southwest Oregon: This group of fires ignited by lightning on the 26th had burned approximately 28,000 acres (11,300 hectares) and was 9% contained at month's end. Smoke from these fires has produced hazardous air quality in many southwest Oregon cities such as Medford, Grants Pass and Glendale.
- Bison Fire, Northwest Nevada: This lightning-caused fire burned from July 4th through July 14th, charring over 24,000 acres (9,700 hectares), one of the largest fires in western Nevada history. High winds helped the fire spread quickly, and smoke from the fire caused poor air quality in Carson City and Reno, Nevada.
- Aspen Fire, Southeast California: This lightning-caused fire began July 22 and was 45 % contained on July 31. The fire had burned nearly 18,000 acres (7,300 hectares) and caused hazardous air quality in Mammoth Lakes and northern Inyo County.
- July (throughout month): Flooding in the Southwest: Heavy precipitation caused several instances of flooding in Arizona and New Mexico. On July 28, a tour bus was swept off the road while trying to cross a wash near Kingman, Arizona. In Albuquerque, high winds and lightning caused power outages. Flooding and winds damaged homes and businesses as well as city's zoo.
- 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.