National Climate Report - July 2014
NCEI added Alaska climate divisions to its nClimDiv dataset on Friday, March 6, 2015, coincident with the release of the February 2015 monthly monitoring report. For more information on this data, please visit the Alaska Climate Divisions FAQ.
Maps and Graphics
Temperature and Precipitation Ranks
U.S. Percentage Areas
Major climate events NOAA is closely monitoring:
- Persisting and intensifying drought in parts of the West and Great Plains: Despite recent drought relief in the Central and Southern Plains, long-term drought conditions will continue to impact water resources and agriculture. Long-term and short-term drought conditions in the West will also increase wildfire risk. More information is available from the U.S. Drought Monitor.
- El Niño still probable later this year: According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, there is a 65 percent chance, down from last month, of at least a weak El Niño developing this upcoming autumn or winter. El Niño conditions could have impacts on temperature and precipitation patterns across the U.S. More information is available from the Climate Prediction Center.
- North American Monsoon: In the Southwest, southerly, moist winds associated with the seasonal monsoon could increase the chances of precipitation during the remainder of the summer. Heavy precipitation can lead to localized flash flooding as well as more widespread short-term drought relief.
Supplemental July 2014 Information
- June-July daily temperatures for select U.S. cities
- Year-to-date temperature evolution for select U.S. cities
- Year-to-date precipitation evolution for select U.S. cities
- January-July records and near records
- Climate Highlights — July
- The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during July was 73.3°F, 0.3°F below the 20th century average, ranking near the middle of the 120-year period of record. This was the coolest July for the Lower-48 since 2009. The average maximum (daytime) July temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 85.8°F, 0.9°F below the 20th century average, while the average minimum (nighttime) July temperature was 60.8°F, 0.2°F above the 20th century average.
- Below-average temperatures stretched from the Midwest, through the Mississippi River Valley, and into parts of the Southeast, where 13 states had one of their 10 coolest Julys on record. Arkansas and Indiana each had their coolest July on record. The Arkansas average temperature was 75.7°F, 4.6°F below the 20th century average and dipping below the previous record cold July that occurred in 1967. The Indiana average temperature was 69.2°F, 5.3°F below the 20th century average, slightly cooler than the previous record cold July of 2009. Although most corn producing areas in the Midwest have experienced excellent growing conditions during 2014, in northern areas, from North Dakota to Michigan, a cool and wet 2014 growing season might cause corn crops to not reach full maturation before harvest.
- There were more than twice as many record cool temperatures during July (5,508) than record warm temperatures (2,605), with most of the cool temperature records (3,333) being cool daytime temperatures and most of the warm temperature records (1,882) being warm nighttime temperatures.
- Above-average temperatures were observed from the Intermountain West to the Pacific Coast. Six states had one of their 10 warmest Julys on record, but no state was record warm for the month. The above-average temperatures, combined with long-term dryness, created ideal wildfire conditions across the West, where numerous large wildfires charred hundreds of thousands of acres during July.
- Much of Alaska was warmer than average during July, especially along the western Gulf of Alaska coast and the Alaska Peninsula. Cold Bay had its warmest month of any month on record, with an average temperature of 55.8°F. Above-average precipitation was observed across interior regions of the state and the Alaska Panhandle, where Fairbanks and Juneau both had their second wettest July on record.
- The July national precipitation total was 2.55 inches, 0.23 inch below the 20th century average, marking the 26th driest July on record.
- Precipitation totals were mixed across the country during July. Above-average precipitation was observed in parts of the West, Southwest, Southern Plains, and the Northeast. In the Southern Plains, drought-stricken Wichita Falls, Texas saw its third wettest July on record and wettest since 1950. In the West, enhanced monsoonal flow boosted monthly precipitation totals from New Mexico to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In the Northeast, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire each had one of their 10 wettest Julys on record.
- Below-average precipitation was observed across the northern tier of the country, as well as parts of the Central Plains, Midwest, and the Southeast. South Dakota had its sixth driest July, while Alabama had its ninth driest.
- July Significant Events
- Hurricane Arthur formed off the coast of South Carolina on July 1st. The storm moved northward, making landfall on July 3rd near Beaufort, North Carolina with winds of 100 mph (Category 2). The largest impacts from Arthur were the storm surge along the Outer Banks and heavy precipitation from the Mid-Atlantic to the Northeast. Arthur was the first hurricane since August 2012 to make landfall in the contiguous U.S. and marked the earliest hurricane on record to make landfall in North Carolina.
- In mid-July, moisture from the remnants of Tropical Storm Wali interacted with an upper level trough to bring heavy precipitation to parts of the Hawaiian Islands. Over a foot of rain was observed on Oahu during a 12-hour period spanning the 19th and 20th. Flash flooding and record stream flows were reported on the island, causing property damage and highway closures.
- According to the July 29 U.S. Drought Monitor report, 34.1 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in drought, nearly the same compared with the beginning of July. Both improvement and degradation of drought conditions occurred on the regional scale.
- Drought conditions worsened across the West, where above-average temperatures dried soils. In California, the percent area of the state experiencing exceptional drought, the worst category, expanded to 58.4 percent, up nearly 22 percent since early July. Drought also worsened in parts of the Ohio Valley, Southeast, and coastal regions of the Northeast where record low July river volumes were measured. In Puerto Rico, abnormally dry and moderate drought conditions expanded to nearly 60 percent of the island.
- Drought conditions improved in parts of the Southern Rockies and Southern Plains, where beneficial rain fell during July. Parts of the Central Appalachians also saw improving drought conditions.
- Climate Highlights — year-to-date (January – July)
- The contiguous U.S. average temperature for the first seven months of 2014 was 51.3°F, near the 20th century average but also the coldest first seven months of any year since 1993. The average maximum (daytime) year-to-date temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 63.5°F, 0.3°F above the 20th century average, while the average minimum (nighttime) January-July temperature was 39.1°F, 0.2°F below the 20th century average.
- Below-average temperatures were observed from the Great Plains to the East Coast, with the largest departures from average across the Midwest, through the Mississippi River Valley, and along parts of the Gulf Coast. Eleven states had a top 10 cold year-to-date. No state was record cold for the January-July period.
- Above-average temperatures were observed in the West, where six states had a top 10 warm year-to-date. California was record warm, with an average temperature of 60.9°F, 4.6°F above the 20th century average. This bested the previous record warm January-July of 1934 by 1.4°F.
- The national precipitation total for the January-July period was 17.88 inches, just 0.21 inch below the 20th century average. However, some regions were much wetter than average, while others were drier than average.
- Below-average precipitation stretched from the West, through the Great Basin and Southern Rockies, and into the Southern Plains. Arizona had its sixth driest year-to-date on record, with 50 percent of average precipitation.
- Above-average precipitation was observed in the Upper Midwest, the Northeast, and parts of the Pacific Northwest and Gulf Coast. Minnesota had its fifth wettest January-July on record with 130 percent of average precipitation.
- The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI) for January-July was 170 percent of average, and the seventh largest USCEI on record for the year-to-date. The spatial extent of one-day precipitation extremes was the fifth highest on record, while the percent area of the contiguous U.S. in drought was also much above average. The percent area of the country experiencing extremes in both warm and cool daytime and nighttime temperatures was also above average, reflecting the dominant warm-west/cold-east pattern entrenched throughout the year. The USCEI is an index that tracks extremes (falling in the upper or lower 10 percent of the record) in temperature, precipitation, drought, and land-falling tropical cyclones across the contiguous U.S.
**A comparison of the national temperature departure from average as calculated by NCDC's operational dataset (nClimDiv), the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN), and the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) is available on our National Temperature Index page.**
Alaska Temperature and Precipitation:
- Alaska had its 26th warmest July since records began in 1918, with a temperature 0.37°F (0.21°C) above the 1971-2000 average.
- Alaska had its 11th warmest May-July since records began in 1918, with a temperature 1.22°F (0.68°C) above the 1971-2000 average.
- Alaska had its 2nd warmest January-July since records began in 1918, with a temperature 3.80°F (2.11°C) above the 1971-2000 average.
- Alaska had its 17th wettest July since records began in 1918, with an anomaly that was 38.13% above the 1971-2000 average.
- Alaska had its 2nd wettest May-July since records began in 1918, with an anomaly that was 38.60% above the 1971-2000 average.
- Alaska had its 40th wettest January-July since records began in 1918, with an anomaly that was 10.73% 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)
- While six Northeast states were cooler than normal during July, the other six states were warmer than normal. Cooler-than-normal conditions prevailed in the end, as the region's average July temperature of 69.0 degrees F (20.6 degrees C) was 0.6 degrees F (0.3 degrees C) below normal. Departures for the cool states ranged from 2.4 degrees F (1.3 degrees C) below normal in West Virginia, the state's 16th coolest July on record, to 0.4 degrees F (0.2 degrees C) below normal in New Jersey. For the warm states, departures ranged from 0.4 degrees F (0.2 degrees C) above normal in Vermont to 1.5 degrees F (0.8 degrees C) above normal in Maine. Rhode Island had its 19th warmest July on record. Looking at the 35 Northeast airport climate sites, Caribou, Maine, tied its all-time warmest low temperature of 71 degrees F (21.7 degrees C) on July 2.
- The Northeast saw above-normal precipitation again during July. The region received 5.17 inches (131.32 mm) of precipitation, 121 percent of normal, making it the Northeast's 16th wettest July since 1895. Ten states were wetter than normal, with five ranking the month among their top twenty wettest. The rankings were: Maine, 5th wettest; New Hampshire, 6th wettest; Massachusetts, 9th wettest; Vermont, 12th wettest; and New York, 16th wettest. Departures ranged from 165 percent of normal in New Hampshire to 103 percent of normal in Pennsylvania. Maryland and West Virginia were the two dry states at 93 percent of normal and 82 percent of normal, respectively.
- According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, between four and seven percent of the Northeast experienced abnormally dry conditions in July. Those areas included parts of Maryland's Eastern Shore, southern and eastern West Virginia, New York's Long Island, and coastal New England.
- Over the July 4th holiday, Hurricane Arthur dumped heavy rain on New England, with the highest amounts in southeastern Massachusetts and eastern Maine. The largest storm total, 8.20 inches (208.3 mm), was reported in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Flash flooding made roads impassable, and wind gusts of over 60 mph (27 m/s) brought down trees and caused power outages. In addition, some fireworks shows and holiday events were postponed or cancelled. Multiple rounds of severe weather struck the Northeast during July. Twenty-two tornadoes touched down in the region: seven in New York, five each in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, two each in Maine and Massachusetts, and one in Connecticut. An EF-2 tornado in Madison County on July 8 was the second deadliest tornado in New York, and an EF-2 tornado in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, on July 28 was the first tornado to strike the county since records began in 1950. The tornadoes, along with straight-line winds of up to 110 mph (49 m/s), caused extensive tree and structural damage. Flash flooding accompanied the storms, as did large hail. While many crops were near or on schedule, peaches remained behind schedule. According to the USDA crop report on July 29, only 15 percent of peaches had been harvested in Delaware compared to the 5-year average of 49 percent.
- 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 were below normal across the Midwest. For the nine-state region, it was the second coolest July (1895-2014 period of record) trailing only 2009. Missouri was slightly cooler than in 2009 while the other eight states were the coolest since 2009. Indiana tied for the coolest July statewide, Illinois and Missouri ranked 2nd, Iowa and Ohio 3rd, Kentucky 4th, Michigan 7th, Wisconsin 11th, and Minnesota 27th. With the cool temperatures, the number of 90 degree F (32 C) days were lower than normal with no such days in Cleveland and Indianapolis, one in Chicago, Cincinnati, and Detroit, two in Minneapolis, three in Des Moines, and nine in Louisville and St. Louis. These totals were the lowest since 2009 in all of the listed cities. Year to date temperatures, January through July remain ranked among the coolest on record as well. The Midwest ranks as the 7th coolest January through July and the nine states in the region rank from 5th to 13th for the same period.
- July precipitation was drier than normal for much of the Midwest. Rainfall totals were generally lower than normal with some pockets of above normal rainfall from eastern Iowa to western Kentucky and also along the northern edge of the region near the Great Lakes. Lower Michigan was the only area with much above normal rainfall of 150 to 200 percent of normal for the month. On the other end of the spectrum, areas receiving less than 50 percent of normal were scattered across seven states, sparing only Michigan and Ohio. Michigan's statewide precipitation was above normal while the other eight states fell below normal, in roughly the 10th to 40th percentile.
- Drought area increased slightly during July but remained limited to moderate drought, the lowest category. An area of southwest Missouri was impacted by drought at the beginning of July and the parts of western Kentucky developed drought during the month. Despite the drier than normal conditions in July, the remaining areas have remained drought free due to the cooler temperatures limiting evapotranspiration and sufficient sub soil moisture from earlier rains helping to avoid drought impacts thus far.
- Crop conditions continued to be primarily good to excellent across the Midwest. Corn and soybean conditions were in these top two categories for between 64 and 84 percent of the crop in each of the Midwest states. Pasture conditions were lower in some cases but only Kentucky, at 43 percent, fell below 50 percent.
- 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 in July were below normal across much of the Southeast region. The greatest departures were found across northwestern Alabama, where monthly temperatures were more than 4 degrees F (2.2 C) below average. Greensboro, AL (1900-2014) and Morganton, NC (1901-2014) recorded their coldest and second coldest Julys on record, respectively. In contrast, July temperatures were slightly above average across portions of Florida and small portions of southern South Carolina, southern Georgia, Alabama, and Virginia. Monthly temperatures were also above average across much of Puerto Rico, with San Juan, PR (1898-2014) recording its second warmest July on record. The coolest weather across the northern portions of the region occurred during the Independence Day weekend. Roanoke, VA and Asheville, NC both experienced a minimum of 52 degrees F (11.1 C) on the morning of July 5. Another outbreak of cool weather occurred during the last two days of the month, as an unseasonably strong cold front pressed southward into Central Florida, a region that seldom experiences fronts during the summer season. Temperatures in Northern Virginia (Washington Dulles Airport) and Atlanta, GA dropped to 48 and 59 degrees F (8.9 - 15.0 C), respectively, on the morning of the 30th. The warmest weather in many locations occurred near the end of the month immediately ahead of this approaching cold front. Columbia, SC and Montgomery, AL reached 101 and 97 degrees F (38.3 – 36.1 C), respectively, on the afternoon of the 28th. Columbia, in fact, experienced 100 degree F (37.8 C) plus temperatures four days during the month.
- Precipitation showed much variability across the Southeast region in July. The driest locations were found across much of Alabama, portions of Georgia, northern Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia, where monthly precipitation totals were less than 50 percent of normal. Alma, GA recorded its driest July on record with only 0.41 inches (10 mm) of precipitation, while Birmingham, AL (1930-2014) recorded just 0.92 inches (23 mm) of precipitation, marking its 2nd driest June on record. Conditions were also abnormally dry across the southern and eastern portions Puerto Rico, with many locations receiving less than half the normal precipitation for July. In contrast, the wettest locations were found across small areas of eastern Florida, southeast Georgia, the Carolinas and southeast Virginia, where monthly totals exceeded 200 percent of normal. Titusville, FL received 18.18 inches (462 mm) of precipitation for the month, making it the wettest July in a record extending back 106 years. On the 21th of the month, 3.73 inches (86 mm) of precipitation occurred in a single hour in Orangeburg, SC, resulting in localized flash flooding. Hurricane Arthur made landfall along the Outer Banks of North Carolina on the 3rd, dropping upwards of 4 inches (102 mm) of precipitation over a 24-hour period across portions of eastern North Carolina.
- There were numerous reports of severe weather across the Southeast in July. The most notable event was the landfall of Hurricane Arthur, which was the earliest hurricane to make landfall in North Carolina since records began in 1851. Arthur produced wind gusts of 69-96 MPH across the Outer Banks, downing numerous trees and power lines. Also, storm surges of 4 to 5 feet were observed along the sound side of the barrier islands resulting in extensive flooding. Along the East Coast of Florida, eleven people were rescued from rip currents associated with the waves generated from Hurricane Arthur. As is typical of July, most of the severe weather was associated with damaging thunderstorm winds. On the 15th of the month, a thunderstorm wind gust of 51 MPH was observed in Miami, FL resulting in localized property damage. Ten tornadoes were confirmed across the region during the month. On the 3rd of the month, Hurricane Arthur spawned two EF1 tornadoes across eastern North Carolina. One of these tornadoes occurred in Martin County and blew a tree down onto a house causing extensive damage. On the 24th of the month, an EF1 tornado touched down on the eastern shore of Virginia near the community of Lakeview and plowed through the Cherrystone campground. It downed numerous trees and overturned some large camping trailers, resulting in 2 deaths and at least 36 injuries.
- The Southeast was almost entirely drought-free (less than D1) during the month of July. However, between 13 and 28 percent of the region was affected by abnormally dry conditions (D0) at some point during the month, including portions of southern VA, the Carolinas, Georgia, and Alabama. Conditions worsened across a small area of South Georgia, which went from abnormally dry (DO) to moderate drought conditions (D1) on the last week of the month. This placed significant stress on the crops and hindered the growth of pasture grasses.
- 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)
- The country was divided this month with above normal temperatures dominating the western U.S. and below normal temperatures in the central and eastern U.S. This left the High Plains Region split as well, with cooler conditions for the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas and warmer conditions in western portions of Colorado and Wyoming. The largest temperature departures occurred across southern and eastern Kansas, eastern Nebraska, and pockets of South Dakota, ranging from 4.0-6.0 degrees F (2.2-3.3 degrees C) below normal. This caused some locations to be ranked in the top 10 coolest Julys on record. One example was Dodge City, Kansas which had its 10th coolest July with an average temperature of 75.4 degrees F (24.1 degrees C). The old record held firmly with 72.8 degrees F (22.7 degrees C) set in 1906 (period of record 1874-2014). Meanwhile, some areas of Colorado and Wyoming were 2.0-4.0 degrees F (1.1-2.2 degrees C) above normal, but this warmth was not record breaking either. Crop impacts varied greatly this month. Warm and wet conditions aided pasturelands in southeastern Wyoming, while cooler conditions slowed row crop development in North Dakota. Some crop damage occurred due to severe storms, but not nearly as badly as the past two of months. Meanwhile, the residual moisture from June was beneficial to areas which turned extremely dry in July. For example, irrigation in Nebraska started later than usual.
- The High Plains Region was generally dry this month, with the main exceptions in central Colorado, southeastern Wyoming, and south-central Kansas. Precipitation totals were quite low across much of Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota with widespread precipitation totals of less than 50 percent of normal. Embedded within this area were some locations that received less than 25 percent of normal precipitation. Wyoming had large areas of both dry and wet conditions with some areas to the north receiving less than 50 percent of normal, while southeastern Wyoming received upwards of 300 percent of normal precipitation. One particularly wet spot was Laramie, Wyoming which received 3.32 inches (84 mm). This amount was 232 percent of normal and ranked as the 6th wettest July on record (period of record 1948-2014). The wettest July occurred back in 1998 with 4.43 inches (113 mm). Some locations in the eastern part of the Region shifted from extreme wetness to extreme dryness. North Platte, Nebraska went from its 2nd wettest June with 8.75 inches (222 mm) to its driest July on record with 0.14 inches (4 mm). This beat the old record of 0.34 inches (9 mm) set all the way back in 1901 (period of record 1874-2014). A couple of other dry locations included Lincoln, Nebraska with its 7th driest July and Aberdeen, South Dakota with its 5th driest. July was another active severe weather month with hail, wind, or tornado reports on almost every day in the High Plains Region. One particularly active day was June 21st when a squall line moved across North Dakota, continuing on toward Lake Superior the next day. In addition to destructive winds, several tornadoes were reported as well as hail and heavy rain. Grand Forks, North Dakota received 2.79 inches (71 mm) of rain on the 21st which set a new record for the day beating out the old 1966 record of 2.57 inches (65 mm). This ranked as the 6th highest 1-day precipitation total for July in Grand Forks (period of record 1893-2014). According to the North Dakota State Climate Office, the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network's Michigan station received a whopping 4.00 inches (102 mm) on the 21st as well.
- Overall, there was little change to the drought conditions in the High Plains Region this month. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, approximately 22 percent of the Region remained in moderate (D1) to exceptional (D4) drought at the end of July. This range of conditions at the end of June totaled 23 percent. While June was very wet across the eastern half of the Region, July was quite dry. Some areas of eastern South Dakota and Nebraska received little precipitation in July and so abnormally dry conditions (D0) reemerged. An area of D1 also developed in southeastern South Dakota as well as southwestern Wyoming and northwestern Colorado. Kansas had significant improvements regarding extreme drought (D3), decreasing from 21 percent to 9 percent coverage. Conditions in Colorado improved in the east and degraded slightly in the west. Colorado continued to have the last remaining D4 area in the Region. According to the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook released July 17th, current drought conditions are expected to improve or be removed in Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado.
- For more information, please go to the High Plains Regional Climate Center Home Page.
- Southern Region: (Information provided by the Southern Regional Climate Center)
- The month of July was a cooler than normal month across the board for the Southern Region. For the most part, temperatures averages 2 to 4 degrees F (1.11 to 2.22 degrees C) below normal. The coolest areas of the region occurred in Arkansas and in the surrounding counties of Oklahoma, Mississippi and Tennessee. Only two small portions of the Southern Region averaged slightly above normal. This included the western panhandle of Texas and the southern counties of Texas. All six states reported average temperatures for the month that were below normal, and for the region as a whole, it was the thirteenth coldest July on record (1895-2014) with a region-wide average temperature of 79.54 degrees F (26.41 degrees C). The state wide average temperatures for the month are as follows: Arkansas reported 75.70 degrees F (24.28 degrees C), Louisiana reported 80.20 degrees F (26.78 degrees C), Mississippi reported 77.70 degrees F (25.39 degrees C), Oklahoma reported 78.20 degrees F (25.67 degrees C), Tennessee reported 73.60 degrees F (23.11 degrees C), and Texas reported 81.80 degrees F (27.67 degrees C). For the state of Arkansas, it was the coldest July on record (1895-2014) and the first time the state reported an average July temperature that was lower than 76.00 degrees F (24.44 degrees C). It was also the second coldest July on record (1895-2014) for the state of Mississippi, and only the second time Mississippi reported an average July temperature lower than 78.00 degrees F (25.56 degrees C). For Tennessee it was their third coldest July on record (1895-2014), while Oklahoma and Louisiana recorded their seventh and ninth coldest July on record (1895-2014), respectively. For Texas, it was only their forty-fifth coldest July (1895.2014).
- July precipitation varied spatially over the Southern Region. The state of Oklahoma, along with northern Texas, enjoyed a wetter than normal month, which helped alleviate drought conditions, however, other portions of the region saw precipitation totals that were only 50 to 70 percent of normal. Drier than normal areas included southern Texas, northern Arkansas, southern Mississippi, and much of central and western Tennessee. In Oklahoma and northern Texas, precipitation totals varied from 150 to over 200 percent of normal. The state wide averaged precipitation totals for the month are as follows: Arkansas averaged 4.20 inches (106.68 mm), Louisiana averaged 5.80 (147.32 mm), Mississippi averaged 3.99 inches (101.35 mm), Oklahoma average 4.44 inches (112.78 mm), Tennessee average 4.10 inches (101.85 mm), and Texas averaged 2.48 inches (62.99 mm). For Oklahoma, it was the twenty-first wettest July on record (1895-2014). All other state rankings fell within the two middle quartiles.
- Drought conditions in the Southern Region improved over much of Oklahoma and Texas, with some areas seeing a one category improvement. Rainfall in eastern Tennessee resulted in the removal of drought conditions there, however, some counties in the northeast are still abnormally dry. In total, the region improved by approximately three percent in areal coverage in terms of moderate drought conditions or worse. There was also a four percent reduction in the amount of extreme and exceptional drought in Texas and Oklahoma combined. These improvements were the direct consequence of above normal precipitation for the month of July.
- Multiple wind reports were recorded on July 23, throughout much of eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas. Most of the damage was restricted to trees and power lines. There were some reports of damaged homes in Sebastian County, Arkansas. In Caddo Parish, Louisiana, a 64 year old woman was killed by a falling tree.
- In Texas, agricultural conditions were complicated by the lack of rain in many parts of the state. The USDA reports as much as 64% of the state's planting regions are either short or very short on topsoil and subsurface soil moisture. Development and harvests of corn, sorghum, sunflowers, rice, and cotton are all behind their averages as well as behind 2013 levels, though separate reports show that the crops themselves are in good conditions for now, with 6% of corn, 22% of cotton, and 12% of sorghum rated as poor or very poor; cotton has been getting worse in the last few weeks of July, however. However, some good news for other regions of the state still exist, with South Texas producing one of the first soybean harvests in the entire country, due to an adapted species of the plant, with 60 bushels per acre priced at $14 per bushel (Information provided by the Texas Office of State Climatology).
- In Texas, on July 15, two EF-0 tornadoes in the Panhandle and heavy rains across central Texas, knocked out power out to 7,000 in San Antonio and another 2,000 in the Metroplex. Storms in the East at the end of the month did the same, leaving 3,400 without power in Houston and causing local flash floods (Information provided by the Texas Office of State Climatology).
- For more information, please go to the Southern Regional Climate Center Home Page.
- Western Region: (Information provided by the Western Region Climate Center)
- The onset of the North American Monsoon brought widespread precipitation to the Southwest this month, while persistent high pressure produced record high temperatures in the Northwest.
- The North American Monsoon began during the first week of July, consistent with its climatological average start date. Many stations in the Great Basin and Four Corners states received near to above normal precipitation, though scattered pockets of below normal precipitation were observed. Albuquerque, New Mexico, recorded 3.49 in (89 mm) precipitation for its 4th wettest July in a 118-year record. Drought conditions improved for a large area of New Mexico this month. In Arizona, Phoenix received only 0.06 in (1.5 mm) of rain, 6% of normal and the 4th driest July since records began in 1933 Farther north, Flagstaff recorded 4.32 in (110 mm), 166% of normal. On the Arizona-California border, Needles logged 1.73 in (44 mm), its second wettest July in a 67-year record. Along the Colorado Front Range, Boulder recorded 4.57 in (116 mm) this month for its 5th wettest July in a 121-year record. Several monsoon surges moved moisture into the Great Basin and even beyond to the Sierra Nevada this month. Tonopah, Nevada logged 1.33 in (34 mm) precipitation, 296% of normal and the 9th wettest July since records began in 1954. Near Truckee, California, Boca Reservoir recorded 1.34 in (34 mm), 291% of normal and the 12th wettest July in a 109-year record. Several locations along the typically dry central California coast picked up small amounts of precipitation this month. San Francisco recorded 0.08 in (2 mm), 800% of normal and the 7th wettest July in a 165-year record. Such small amounts are barely enough to be beneficial, and much of California and Nevada remain in persistent extreme to exceptional drought.
- Persistent ridging throughout July resulted in below normal precipitation and above normal temperatures for the inland Northwest. Sandpoint, in the Idaho panhandle, reported 0.02 in (0.5 mm) this month, only 1% of normal and tied for 7th driest July in a 104-year record. Missoula, Montana recorded 0.24 in (6 mm) this month, 24% of normal. Drought conditions expanded in northeastern Oregon, slightly in eastern Washington, and in portions of the Idaho panhandle and western Montana as well as a large area of northern California. Many locations in the inland Northwest, northern California, and the northern Great Basin saw one of their top-10 hottest Julys on record. Reno, Nevada, recorded an average temperature of 80.5 F (26.9 C) this month, the warmest July in a 78-year record. In northern California, Mt. Shasta City saw an average temperature of 74 F (23.3 C), 6.1 F (3.4 C) above normal and the hottest July since records began in 1948. In Oregon, Medford observed its hottest July in a 104-year record at 79.9 F (26.6 C). Further north, Yakima, Washington, also recorded its warmest July at an average 77.8 F (25.4 C), 7.2 F (4 C) above normal. Records for Yakima began in 1946. Reno, Medford, and Yakima all previously saw their warmest July on record in 2013. Temperatures in the Southwest were generally within 2 F (1 C) of normal as they were moderated by cloudiness and precipitation associated with the monsoon.
- A slightly cooler than normal summer continued for northern and interior Alaska with stations in this region reporting average temperatures 1-4 F (1-2 C) below normal. The Interior also saw wetter than normal conditions. Fairbanks recorded 5.78 in (147 mm) precipitation this month making it the second wettest July since records began in 1929. Further south, most of Hawaii's windward locations received above normal precipitation. On Big Island, Hilo logged 15.99 in (406 mm) 150% of normal and the 7th wettest July on record. On Oahu, Kaneohe recorded 7.24 in (184 mm) of rain, 447% of normal for July. A majority of this precipitation occurred on the 19th-20th when remnants of Tropical Storm Wali interacted with an upper level trough to produce heavy rainfall over portions of Hawaii.
- July (all month) Fires in the West: Many fires burned throughout the western states this month. Among the largest were: The Carlton Complex Fire in Washington, ignited by lightning on July 14. It has torched over 300 homes and over 250,000 acres (101,000 hectares) and became the larges fire in Washington history. The north-central Washington fire also killed livestock, destroyed critical infrastructure and along with other fires in the area prompted a disaster declaration for the state. The fire was roughly 70% contained at the end of the month. Lightning also started the Buzzard Complex Fire in eastern Oregon on July 14 and it has since consumed nearly 400,000 acres (162,000 hectares). Oregon has declared several fire emergencies for blazes throughout the state. However, nationwide, 1,651,320 acres (668,000 hectares) have burned year-to-date. This is the lowest acreage in the last 10 years and 39% of the 10-year average.
- July (throughout month): Flash flooding in Southwest: Heavy rains beginning July 29th inundated areas near Denver, Colorado and impacted travel on Interstate 25. On July 28th, heavy precipitation occurred northwest of Las Vegas and flash flooding occurred in the community of Rainbow, damaging 20+ homes. Monsoonal moisture moved into northern Nevada and flash flooding was observed July 20 in rural areas near Carson City resulting in damage to driveways, structures, and landscaping. Arizona also experienced heavy precipitation and flash floods during each monsoon surge.
- For more information, please go to the Western Regional Climate Center Home Page.