National Climate Report - June 2016
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
- Climate Highlights — June
June Average Temperature Departures
June Percent of Average Precipitation
- The June temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 71.8°F, or 3.3°F above the 20th century average. This was the warmest June on record and surpassed the previous record of 71.6°F set in 1933.
- Above-average temperatures spanned the nation from coast to coast. Seventeen states across the West, Great Plains and parts of the Southeast had June temperatures that were much above average. Above-average temperatures continued for Alaska, which had its ninth warmest June with a temperature 2.4°F above average. Arizona and Utah were each record warm with temperatures 5.9°F and 7.0°F above average, respectively.
- The warm and dry conditions across the West created ideal wildfire conditions with several large fires impacting the region. The Erskine fire charred nearly 48,000 acres in Southern California, destroying more than 280 homes and killing two people.
- The contiguous U.S. average maximum (daytime) temperature during June was 84.9°F, 3.6°F above the 20th century average, the third warmest on record. Above-average maximum temperatures were observed across most of the country with much above average values across the West and Northern Plains. Utah had its warmest June maximum temperature at 86.7°F, 7.9°F above average.
- The average minimum (nighttime) temperature was 58.6°F, 3.0°F above average, and the second warmest on record. The record warmest June minimum temperature was observed in 2015 at 59.1°F. Much above average minimum temperatures were observed across the West, Great Plains, and parts of the Southeast. Arizona and Utah both had record warm June minimum temperatures at 6.2°F and 6.1°F above average, respectively.
- During June there were 5,768 record warm daily high (2,383) and low (3,385) temperature records, which is more than seven times the 819 record cold daily high (408) and low (411) temperature records.
- Based on NOAA's Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index (REDTI), the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand during June was 79 percent above average and the ninth highest value on record.
- The June precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 2.46 inches, 0.47 inch below the 20th century average, the 14th driest on record.
- Below-average precipitation was widespread across the Northern and Central Plains, Midwest and Northeast. Five states — Massachusetts, Nebraska, South Dakota, Rhode Island and Wyoming — had June precipitation totals that were much below average.
- Above-average precipitation was observed across parts of the Southwest, Southern Plains, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. In Arizona, rainfall associated with the seasonal monsoon caused flooding across parts of the state.
- Despite West Virginia having a June statewide precipitation total that only ranked as the 14th wettest, on June 23-24 a series of thunderstorms passed over southern parts of the state dropping upwards of 10 inches of rain on already saturated soils. The rapid rainfall rates across the mountainous terrain caused massive runoff and record flooding in the valley floors. Over 1,500 homes were destroyed and at least 23 fatalities were blamed on the flooding, including 15 in the small town of Rainelle.
- On June 6, Tropical Storm Colin made landfall along Florida's Gulf Coast with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. Colin brought heavy rainfall and high surf along Florida's coast. As the storm moved over the Southeast, it transitioned to an extra-tropical cyclone, bringing heavy rainfall to parts of Georgia and the Carolinas. Despite the localized heavy rainfall associated with Colin, June as a whole was relatively dry across most of the Southeast.
- According to the June 28 U.S. Drought Monitor report, 16.2 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in drought, up about 3.5 percent compared to the end of May. Drought conditions worsened across parts of the Southeast and Northwest with drought developing in the Northeast and parts of the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains. Drought conditions remain entrenched across much of California.
- Climate Highlights — year-to-date (January-June)
Jan-Mar Average Temperature Departures
Jan-Mar Percent of Average Precipitation
- The contiguous U.S. year-to-date average temperature was 50.8°F, 3.2°F above the 20th century average, making it the third warmest on record. Only 2012 and 2006 were warmer with six-month average temperatures of 52.1°F and 50.8°F, respectively. Although when rounded the tenth of a degree, 2016 and 2006 appear tied, but when including additional precision to the hundredths of a degree, 2006 was marginally, or 0.03°F, warmer.
- Above-average temperatures spanned the nation for the first six months of 2016, with every state being warmer than average. Thirty-three states across the West, Great Plains, Midwest and Northeast were much warmer than average, while parts of the Southern Plains and Southeast observed above-average temperatures. No state in the contiguous U.S. was record warm.
- Alaska was record warm for the year-to-date with a statewide temperature of 30.4°F, 9.0°F above the 1925-2000 average. This bested the previous record of 27.9°F set in 1981. Record warmth spanned the state. The year-to-date temperature in Anchorage was 40.8°F, 6.8°F above the 1981-2010 normal and 2.3°F higher than the previous record set in 1981.
- The contiguous U.S. average maximum (daytime) temperature during January-June was 62.5°F, 3.2°F above the 20th century average, the fifth warmest on record. Above-average maximum temperatures were observed across most of the country with much above average maximum temperatures across the West, Great Plains, and Northeast. Only Alabama had a near-average year-to-date maximum temperature.
- The contiguous U.S. average minimum (nighttime) temperature was 39.0°F, 3.3°F above average, and the second warmest on record. The record warmest January-June minimum temperature was observed in 2012 at 39.7°F. Every state across the contiguous U.S. had an above-average minimum temperature for the six-month period with much above average minimum temperatures across the West, Great Plains, Midwest, and along parts of the East Coast. The Montana minimum temperature was record warm at 30.3°F, 5.6°F above average, surpassing the previous record of 30.0°F set in 1992.
- The contiguous U.S. year-to-date precipitation total was 15.58 inches, 0.27 inch above average, and ranked near the middle value in the 122-year period of record.
- Year-to-date precipitation totals across the contiguous U.S. were mixed. Above-average precipitation was observed for parts of the Northwest, Great Plains, Midwest, and Southeast. Below-average precipitation fell in a string of states from the Mid-Mississippi Valley to the Gulf Coast and across the Northeast. No state was record dry or wet for the six-month period, but Connecticut had its ninth driest year-to-date.
- The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI) for the year-to-date was 80 percent above average and the fifth highest value on record. On the national scale, extremes in warm maximum and minimum temperatures, the spatial extent of wetness and one-day precipitation totals were much above average. The USCEI is an index that tracks extremes (falling in the upper or lower 10 percent of the record) in land-falling tropical cyclones, temperature, precipitation and drought across the contiguous U.S.
- On the regional scale, the Northern Plains and Rockies observed its seventh highest CEI due to extremes in warm maximum and minimum temperatures and one-day precipitation totals. Much above average CEI values were observed in the South due to extremes in warm maximum and minimum temperatures, the spatial extent of wetness, and one-day precipitation totals and in the Northwest due to extremes in warm maximum and minimum temperatures.
**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.**
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 Centers for Environmental Information.
- Northeast Region: (Information provided by the Northeast Regional Climate Center)
- The Northeast wrapped up June with an average temperature of 65.6 degrees F (18.7 degrees C), 0.4 degrees F (0.2 degrees C) above normal. Ten of the region's twelve states were warmer than normal, with Rhode Island having its 19th warmest June on record and Connecticut having its 20th warmest. State average temperatures ranged from 0.4 degrees F (0.2 degrees C) in Maine to 1.1 degrees F (0.6 degrees C) above normal in Connecticut and West Virginia.
- June precipitation for the Northeast totaled 3.41 inches (86.61 mm), which was 81 percent of normal. Ten states received below-normal precipitation, with five ranking this June among their top 20 driest: Massachusetts and Rhode Island, 12th driest; Connecticut, 14th driest; and New Jersey and New York, 20th driest. Conversely, West Virginia had its 14th wettest June on record. State totals ranged from 34 percent of normal in Rhode Island to 145 percent of normal in West Virginia.
- The U.S. Drought Monitor released on June 2 showed 39 percent of the Northeast was abnormally dry (D0) and 1 percent of the region was experiencing moderate drought (D1). D0 and D1 expanded in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey due to below-normal precipitation, low streamflows, and declining soil moisture. Conversely, above-normal rainfall eased lingering dryness in West Virginia and western Maryland. By the end of June, 53 percent of the Northeast was abnormally dry and 12 percent of the region was experiencing moderate drought. West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware were the only states without areas of D0 and D1.
- Numerous rounds of severe thunderstorms moved through the region in June. Nine weak tornadoes touched down during the month: five in West Virginia, three in Pennsylvania, and one in Maryland. In addition, strong thunderstorm winds downed trees and power lines and caused structural damage. Hail up to 3.25 inches (8.26 cm) in diameter was also reported. Flash flooding occurred several times throughout the month, but the most significant event happened in southern West Virginia on June 23 due to extreme rainfall. Radar estimated precipitation totals exceeded 10 inches (254 mm) in some areas. White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia reported 8.29 inches (210.57 mm) of rain between 6am on June 23 and 6am on June 24. Lewisburg, West Virginia received 8.00 inches (203.2 mm) of rain during the same 24-hour period. This made it a 1-day 1,000-year storm for both sites, meaning rainfall of this magnitude is only expected to occur on average once in a 1,000 year period. Both sites had their all-time wettest day on record. In addition, June 2016 became the all-time wettest month on record for both sites. The runoff led to rapid rises on waterways, with preliminary data indicating record or near record water levels on some rivers. For example, preliminary data showed the Elk River at Queen Shoals in Kanawha County crested at 33.37 feet (10.17 m), which was 14.37 feet (4.38 m) above flood stage and 1.37 feet (0.42 m) above its previous record high crest in 1888. Early estimates indicated that more than 1,000 homes were severely damaged or destroyed. In addition, roads were washed away, tens of thousands lost power, and numerous water rescues took place. With 23 fatalities, it was the third deadliest flooding event in the state.
- For more information, please go to the Northeast Regional Climate Center Home Page.
- Midwest Region: (Information provided by the Midwest Regional Climate Center)
- June across the Midwest region ranked the 18th warmest on record (1895-2016) with an average temperature of 70.7 degrees F (21.5 degrees C) which was 2.2 degrees F (1.2 C) above normal. Missouri, with a statewide average temperature 3.8 degrees F (2.1 C) above normal, ranked 9th warmest on record. Iowa (10th), Illinois (13th), Kentucky (14th), and Indiana (23rd) also ranked among the warmest 20 percent since 1895. The warmest temperatures in the region were in the southwest with monthly average temperatures as much as 5 degrees F (3 C) above normal. Slightly below normal temperatures were limited to the northern portions of the Midwest, from northeast Minnesota to Upper Michigan. Temperatures in northern areas of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan dropped to freezing or below on the mornings of the 8th and 9th, with some areas in Minnesota and Michigan experiencing a hard freeze of 28 degrees F (-2 C). Much warmer temperatures spread across the region over the following week, with the warmest temperatures of the month at many locations recorded between the 10th and the 13th. Temperatures reached triple digits (100 degrees F or 38 C) in Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Missouri during the month. Year-to-date (January to June) statewide temperatures in 2016 rank among the warmest 10 percent (top 12) on record in all Midwest states except Kentucky.
- The Midwest was drier than normal in June, ranking as the 26th driest on record (1895-2016). Missouri recorded its 15th driest June on record with a statewide total at 50 percent of normal, 2.33 inches (59 mm) compared to a normal of 4.62 inches (117 mm). The other Midwest states were below normal with the exception of Wisconsin, which had 128 percent of normal precipitation and ranked as the 28th wettest (5.37 inches (136 mm) versus a normal of 4.21 inches (107 mm)). Above normal rainfall extended across northern Minnesota, parts of Upper Michigan, nearly all of Wisconsin, southeast Minnesota, northeast Iowa, and northwest Illinois. Further to the southeast, including much of Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, totals were near normal with totals generally between 75 and 125 percent of normal. Below normal areas, from 25 to 50 percent of normal, were common from western Minnesota to Missouri and southern Illinois along with Lower Michigan.
- June began with no drought in the region and just under 14 percent of the region classified as abnormally dry according to the May 31st release of the US Drought Monitor. The areas of dryness were mostly in the western half of the region at the onset of the month, with Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Lower Michigan all free of drought and abnormally dry conditions. Areas of abnormally dry, and a few areas of drought, were introduced and expanded as the month went on. As of the June 28th release, drought covered 3.4 percent of the region and another 23.6 percent was abnormally dry. The moderate drought areas included west central Minnesota, southeast Iowa, northeast Missouri, and west central Illinois. Dryness touched all Midwest states except Wisconsin.
- The corn crop in the Midwest was nearly all planted by the beginning of the month and the remaining acres were quickly finished in the first week or so of June. The soybean crop was well over half way planted at the beginning of the month and was nearly all in the ground by the latter part of the month. Corn condition, according to the June 27th National Agricultural Statistics Service, were good or excellent for a majority of the region. Statewide conditions of good or excellent ranged from 86 percent in Wisconsin to 63 percent in Missouri and Michigan. Soybeans were similar with good or excellent conditions ranging from 84 percent in Wisconsin to 57 percent in Missouri. The warm and dry weather dried out topsoil in the region from the May 30th to June 27th reports, particularly in Missouri (7 to 51 percent short or very short topsoil moisture) and Michigan (28 to 60 percent).
- Severe weather was spread across the month of June with the 7th being the only day with no reports of severe weather. Several other days only had a handful of reports but there were also many days with widespread severe weather. All nine Midwest states had multiple days with severe weather reported and six of the states had tornadoes reported in June (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin). The northern half of the Midwest was more active in June than the southern Midwest. Among numerous tornadoes in northern Illinois on the 22nd, were two EF2 tornadoes, one of which near Pontiac, Illinois was responsible for four injuries. A microburst in Kentucky on the 15th killed one, while thunderstorm winds in Minnesota on the 19th caused one death and one injury. Large hail, over 2 inches (51 mm) in diameter, fell from storms, on several days (8th, 19th, 22nd, and 25th) over Minnesota and also one day (15th) over Wisconsin. The largest report was 4 inch (102 mm) hail on the 19th in Minnesota.
- For further details on the weather and climate events in the Midwest, see the weekly and monthly reports at the Midwest Climate Watch page.
- Southeast Region: (Information provided by the Southeast Regional Climate Center)
- Temperatures were above average across much of the Southeast region, with numerous extremes observed during June. The greatest departures were found across portions of central and northern Alabama, northern Georgia, South Carolina, and western North Carolina, where mean temperatures were 3 to 4 degrees F (1.7 to 2.2 degrees C) above average. Fort Lauderdale, FL (1913-2016) tied its third warmest June mean temperature on record (83.1 degrees F; 28.4 degrees C), and Columbia, SC (1887-2016) observed its fourth warmest June mean temperature on record (83.0 degrees F; 28.3 degrees C). With 20 days at or above 85 degrees F (29.4 degrees C) during the month (tied for fourth greatest June count on record), Asheville, NC (1877-2016) tied its third warmest average maximum temperature for June on record (85.7 degrees F; 29.8 degrees C). Several stations, including Tampa, FL (1890-2016) and Charleston, SC (1938-2016), recorded average minimum temperatures that were ranked within their top 3 warmest values for June on record. Temperatures were also above average in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands during the month, as Juncos, PR (1931-2016) observed its third warmest mean temperature for June on record (82.1 degrees F; 27.8 degrees C). The warmest weather of the month occurred on the 24th and 25th, as the Bermuda High expanded westward across the region. Daily maximum temperatures exceeded 95 degrees F (35.0 degrees C) across much of the southern portion of the region, with several locations reaching the lower 100s F (38.3 to 39.4 degrees C). In contrast, the coolest weather of the month occurred on the 18th and 19th, as a continental high pressure system ushered in cooler air from the northwest. Daily minimum temperatures fell below 70 degrees F (21.1 degrees C) across much of the region north of Florida, with a few elevated locations in western North Carolina reaching the lower-to-middle 40s F (5.0 to 7.8 degrees C).
- Precipitation was highly variable across the Southeast region during June, with numerous extremes recorded. The driest locations were found across portions of eastern Alabama, central and northern Georgia, Upstate South Carolina, western North Carolina, and the Florida Keys, where monthly precipitation totals were between 5 and 50 percent of normal. Anderson, SC (1949-2016) observed its fifth driest June on record with only 0.63 inch (16 mm) of precipitation, and Toccoa, GA (1893-2016) observed its fourth driest June on record with only 1.27 inches (32.3 mm) of precipitation. In contrast, the wettest locations were found across portions of Florida, southern Georgia, the eastern Carolinas, and central Virginia, where monthly precipitation totals were between 150 and 400 percent of normal. Cape Hatteras, NC (1893-2016) observed its third wettest June on record with 10.51 inches (267 mm) of precipitation, and St. Petersburg, FL (1893-2016) observed its fourth wettest June on record with 14.80 inches (376 mm) of precipitation. In addition, Lexington, VA (1889-2016), a town located about 45 miles northeast of Roanoke, observed its third wettest June on record with 8.58 inches (218 mm) of precipitation. Several extreme rainfall totals were observed in Florida with the landfall of Tropical Storm Colin on the 6th. Gainesville, FL (1891-2016) recorded its second wettest June day and tied its eighth wettest day all time with 5.65 inches (144 mm) of precipitation. From 0700 EDT on the 5th through 0700 EDT on the 8th, a three-day storm total of 17.99 inches (457 mm) was measured at the 1 ENE Seminole CWOP station near Clearwater, FL. Precipitation was generally above normal across western Puerto Rico and below normal across eastern Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands during the month.
- There were 995 severe weather reports across the Southeast during the month, which is near normal (based on the median frequency of 977 reports for June during 2000-2015). At least one severe weather report was recorded within the region on 26 days during the month, but over 40 percent of the reports (423 of 995) occurred on just two of these days (16th and 17th). At least 75 severe weather reports were recorded in every state across the region, with the greatest numbers occurring in Virginia (283; 28 percent of total) and Georgia (205; 21 percent of total). There were seven reports of large hail (i.e., at least 2 inches in diameter or hen egg-sized) during the month, including 3-inch hail in Loudoun County, VA on the 16th. Strong thunderstorm winds accounted for 90 percent (895 of 995) of all severe weather reports during June. On the 16th, winds associated with a vigorous squall line caused widespread areas of downed trees and power lines across Virginia, with sporadic damage to homes and vehicles. A 77 mph wind gust was recorded near Lynchburg as the line of thunderstorms moved through central Virginia. The next day, another squall line produced extensive damage and resulted in at least 6 reported injuries across parts of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and the Florida Panhandle. Strong winds from this squall line caused a large oak tree to fall onto a house in Troup County, GA, killing an infant inside. Only four tornadoes (2 EF-0s, 1 EF-1, 1 unrated) were confirmed across the region during the month, which is well below the short-term (2000-2015) median frequency of 16 tornadoes observed during June. On the 25th, an EF-0 tornado touched down in Carteret County, NC. Several mobile homes were damaged, and one resident was injured while trying to prevent yard furniture from blowing away. On the 6th, Tropical Storm Colin made landfall along the Big Bend of Florida with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. The Sunshine Skyway Bridge near St. Petersburg, FL was temporarily closed due to the high winds, as a 51 mph wind gust was recorded that morning at St. Petersburg – Clearwater International Airport. During the month, a total of two fatalities and eight injuries were reported from lightning strikes in coastal Florida and South Carolina.
- Drought conditions intensified and expanded in coverage across several areas of the Southeast region during June, including northern Georgia, northern Alabama, and western portions of the Carolinas. By June 28th, severe (D2) drought conditions, with a few localized pockets of extreme (D3) drought, had developed across nearly 25 percent of Georgia and 15 percent of Alabama. Small areas of severe drought also emerged in far western portions of the Carolinas. Drought conditions did not change across Puerto Rico during the month, as a small southeastern portion of the island remained under moderate (D1) drought. A persistence of above-average temperatures and lack of rainfall during June severely stressed field crops (corn, cotton, and soybeans) and pastures across Alabama and Georgia. Many livestock producers in these areas had to begin a supplemental feeding for their herds due to a shortage of forage grasses. Unfavorable growing conditions resulted in well below average wheat yields in Virginia and North Carolina, and over 50 (25) percent of the peach crop in Virginia (North Carolina) was reported to be in poor condition, primarily due to the two freeze events in early April. Some corn fields in South Carolina were infested with an unusually large number of stink bugs, which can be partially attributed to a mild winter season.
- 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 )
- A major pattern change occurred in the High Plains in June, as cooler and wetter conditions in May abruptly transitioned to warmer and drier weather to start the summer season. Such extremes in moisture were evident in Concordia, Kansas, which went from having its 10th wettest May to its 10th driest June on record (period of record 1885-2016). Grand Island, Nebraska continuously missed out on rainfall, receiving only 0.05 inches (1 mm) of precipitation and having its driest June on record (period of record 1896-2016). Above-normal temperatures also returned to the region. Several locations reached 100 degrees F (37.8 degrees C), including Colorado Springs, Colorado, which has an elevation of over 6,000 feet (1,829 m). Locations that had a top 10 warmest June were common across the entire region. Impressive records occurred in Alamosa, Colorado, which had its 2nd warmest June, and Scottsbluff, Nebraska, which tied for its 2nd warmest June on record (Alamosa period of record 1906-2016, Scottsbluff period of record 1893-2016). Heat waves occurred on several occasions, especially during the first two-thirds of the month, as ample atmospheric moisture combined with high temperatures to create uncomfortable conditions.
- The warmth and dryness experienced in June caused impacts around the region. Drought developed in the eastern Dakotas and south-central Nebraska, and it intensified rapidly in western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming. Topsoil dried out quickly, and subsoil moisture began to decline. However, as of the end of June, drought conditions appeared to have caused only localized impacts to crops or rangeland. Despite the high temperatures and lack of adequate precipitation and soil moisture, crop and pasture conditions were mostly in good shape. This was likely due in part to cool and wet conditions in May, although this is likely to change if dryness continues into July. Dry weather also had positive impacts around the region, as it accelerated maturation of small grains in North Dakota and allowed for harvesting of winter wheat in Kansas.
- June was very warm across the High Plains region, as most locations experienced temperatures of 3.0-6.0 degrees F (1.7-3.3 degrees C) above normal. Many locations had a top 10 warmest June on record, and all six states in the High Plains had at least one location with a top 5 warmest June. In Nebraska, Omaha and Lincoln hit 80 degrees F (26.7 degrees C) every day during June, which happened for the first time on record for both locations, according to a meteorologist at the NWS Omaha Weather Forecast Office (WFO) (Omaha period of record 1871-2016, Lincoln period of record 1887-2016).
- The heat was most evident during the first two-thirds of the month. High temperatures combined with a moist atmosphere to create sultry conditions, prompting several NWS WFOs to issue heat advisories for high heat index values. To demonstrate the danger of heat inside an enclosed vehicle, staff at the NWS Omaha WFO cooked bacon and eggs and baked cookies inside a vehicle on one of the especially hot days!
- Several locations hit 100 degrees F (37.8 degrees C) for the first time this year, including a few high-elevation cities in Colorado and Wyoming, which was particularly impressive. For instance, Casper, Wyoming and Colorado Springs, Colorado both experienced their earliest 100 degrees F (37.8 degrees C) day on record (Casper period of record 1939-2016, Colorado Springs period of record 1894-2016). In fact, Colorado Springs hit 101 degrees F (38.3 degrees C) on the 21st, which tied with June 26, 2012 for its highest temperature on record. Reaching 100 degrees F (38.3 degrees C) is uncommon in Colorado Springs; it has only happened 8 times since record-keeping began in 1894.
- The wet pattern that was present in May throughout the High Plains was reversed in June, as most of the region experienced below-normal precipitation. Departures were greatest in southeastern Nebraska and eastern Kansas, as precipitation in these areas was about 3.00-5.00 inches (76-127 mm) below normal. Grand Island, Nebraska had its driest June on record, receiving only 0.05 inches (1 mm) of precipitation and smashing the previous record of 0.43 inches (11 mm) set in 1922 (period of record 1896-2016). Other locations that had a top 5 driest June included Lincoln, NE (3rd driest), Omaha, NE (tied for 4th driest), and Sheridan, WY (5th driest).
- Warm and dry weather led to drought expansion and parched soils across the region. At the end of May, soil moisture was adequate in most areas due to the widespread excessive precipitation that was received throughout the month, but it declined rapidly in June. This was especially the case in South Dakota and Nebraska. At the beginning of the month, topsoil moisture was just 12 percent short to very short in South Dakota, but that number more than quadrupled to 50 percent by the end of the month. In Nebraska, topsoil moisture went from 7 percent to 33 percent short to very short during June. Subsoil moisture also suffered regionwide, as South Dakota was faring the worst at the end of the month with 39 percent short to very short, followed by 31 percent in Wyoming. The deficiencies in soil moisture were impacting agriculture, as visual stress to corn was reported in southern Nebraska and northeastern South Dakota.
- The High Plains experienced some positive impacts as a result of the dry weather. While June is typically one of the most active months for severe weather in the region, fewer storm systems moving across the country limited occurrences of such weather nationwide. According to the Storm Prediction Center, the preliminary number of tornadoes in June was far below the 2013-2015 average and down significantly from the preliminary number of tornadoes in May. In addition to fewer occurrences of severe weather, some crops benefited from the dryness. In North Dakota, dryness aided crop maturation of small grains. Oats, barley, and spring wheat entered the heading stage early, and the percent headed was far ahead of the 5-year average. Dryness was welcomed by winter wheat producers in Kansas, as it allowed them to get out in their fields to harvest the crop.
- Warm and dry conditions in June caused streamflows to decline in some areas of the High Plains. Streamflows were below normal to much below normal in the Upper Missouri River Basin, including most of Montana, northern Wyoming, and the western Dakotas where it had been especially dry since May. These areas received 50 percent of normal precipitation in June, at best. However, in some areas, streamflows were still high from snowmelt and excessive precipitation in May. Higher streamflows were present in Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas, and especially along the North Platte River in western Nebraska. Despite June dryness, an extremely wet May and rapid snowmelt in the Rockies caused streamflows in these areas to continue to be above normal. However, flooding is not expected in these areas through the first half of July.
- The warmth and dryness experienced across most of the region in June caused expansion of drought conditions in several locations. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the area experiencing drought or abnormally dry conditions (D0-D4) increased from about 9 percent to over 27 percent in the last month. The largest area in drought extended from far southwestern North Dakota southward to include most of western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming. Dryness that has been present since spring has caused several impacts, such as increased fires, low productivity of rangeland, reductions in livestock, hay losses, and early irrigation. The continued dryness prompted the introduction of severe drought (D2), and then extreme drought (D3), to part of the region by U.S. Drought Monitor authors.
- A second area of drought developed in northeastern South Dakota/southeastern North Dakota in June. This region has been rather dry since May. The combination of high temperatures and little precipitation was causing stress to lawns and corn.
- Dryness also developed across central/eastern Nebraska and eastern Kansas during June, prompting the introduction of widespread abnormal dryness (D0) to the region, as well as a small area of moderate drought (D1) in south-central Nebraska. Dry topsoil was being reported by extension educators in eastern Nebraska. If above normal temperatures and dry conditions continue into July, drought is likely to spread and intensify across the region.
- For more information, please go to the High Plains Regional Climate Center Home Page.
- Southern Region: (Information provided by the Southern Regional Climate Center)
- With the exception of southwestern Texas, the Southern Region experienced a warmer than normal June. Temperature anomalies were quite consistent throughout the region, with most stations averaging 2-4 degrees F (1.11-2.22 degrees C) above their monthly expected values. The statewide monthly average temperatures were as follows: Arkansas reporting 78.90 degrees F (26.06 degrees C), Louisiana reporting 80.70 degrees F (27.06 degrees C), Mississippi reporting 80.40 degrees F (26.89 degrees C), Oklahoma reporting 79.20 degrees F (26.22 degrees C), Tennessee reporting 76.50 degrees F (24.72 degrees C), and Texas reporting 80.10 degrees F (26.72 degrees C). The state-wide temperature rankings for May are as follows: Arkansas (fifteenth warmest), Louisiana (thirty-first warmest), Mississippi (eighteenth warmest), Oklahoma (twenty-first warmest), Tennessee (eleventh warmest), and Texas (fifty-first warmest). All state rankings are based on the period spanning 1895-2016.
- As expected during the month of June, precipitation in the Southern Region was predominantly controlled by convective activity. This ultimately resulted in a very scattered pattern of precipitation, with islands of both negative and positive precipitation anomalies. In general, precipitation in the Southern Region averaged below normal. Conditions were quite dry in western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma, with stations reporting less than twenty-five of normal. Conversely, conditions were quite wet in west central Texas, with stations reporting over one hundred and fifty percent of the monthly normal. The state-wide precipitation totals for the month are as follows: Arkansas reporting 2.99 inches (75.95 mm), Louisiana reporting 6.33 inches (160.78 mm), Mississippi reporting 4.16 inches (105.66 mm), Oklahoma reporting 3.14 inches (79.76 mm), Tennessee reporting 3.75 inches (95.25 mm), and Texas reporting 3.42 inches (86.87 mm). The state precipitation rankings for the month are as follows: Arkansas (thirty-eighth driest), Louisiana (thirtieth wettest), Mississippi (fifty-sixth wettest), Oklahoma (forty-seventh driest), Tennessee (fifty-third driest), and Texas (thirty-eighth wettest). All state rankings are based on the period spanning 1895-2016.
- Drought conditions across the Southern Region have did not change much in the Southern Region from the month of May. As of July 5, 2016, Arkansas and Texas remain drought-free. There is some new moderate (D1) drought in central Oklahoma, and conditions have deteriorated in Mississippi, which is now showing a fair amount of moderate and some severe (D2) drought in the central counties. In Tennessee, drought conditions have improved in the north-central counties, however, conditions have gotten a bit worse in the southern counties of middle Tennessee. An area of severe (D2) drought now covers the south central counties of the state.
- On June 13, 2016, a tornado was reported in Potter County, Texas. There were no reports of damage, or casualties.
- Dozens of wind reports occurred throughout the state of Mississippi on June 17, 2016. There were no reports of injuries or fatalities, and most of the damage was limited to trees and power lines.
- In Texas, there were many fatalities due to adverse weather conditions. Sixteen people died toward the beginning of the month due to drowning from the floods in Northern Texas. Of those killed, nine of them were Fort Hood soldiers, who were trapped under their truck which flipped and went under the floodwaters. Over three thousand people had to evacuate their homes and there were at least a reported three hundred high water rescues. Governor Greg Abbott issued disaster declarations to forty-six counties from flooding and severe weather. In addition to this, he requested for federal aid from President Obama, who granted the request to twelve counties affected by the recent flooding. This extra aid would help the citizens hit the hardest by the floods and severe weather to rebuild their lives. FEMA was also available to grant assistance to people in need. Sadly so far forty-seven children age ranging from two months to seventeen years old have died due to drowning (Information provided by the Texas Office of State Climatology).
- Texan farmers ranged from the over watering issues from floods to over heating throughout the month bringing them hardships with their crops. During the flooding many farmers could no longer reach their crops with their equipment due to it being too dangerous, limiting harvesting, spraying pesticides, and performing other maintenance, resulting in an overall harvest delay; harvesting was already six percent behind schedule at the beginning of the month. Some areas in East Texas received a break and had a dry spell where they were able to make hay bails before the next round of storms could roll into their area. Storms also damaged crops and caused everything from delays in planting to changing crops, which farmers thought would fair better in the weather conditions, to newly planted seeds and sprouts just washing away in oversaturated soils (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)
- Temperatures were well above normal this month in a wide swath from southern California northeast to southeastern Montana. Above normal precipitation was observed in the lee of the Sierra Nevada, southern Nevada, southern and central Arizona and several other scattered locations in the West. The Inland Northwest, northern Rockies, California, northern Nevada, and much of Utah were drier than normal.
- A few low-pressure systems impacted the West at mid-month, bringing late season precipitation to some areas. Red Bluff, in northern California, observed 1.27 in (32 mm) rainfall, 270% of normal and the 7th wettest June since records began in 1933. Further east, Ely, Nevada recorded 1.56 in (40 mm) for the month, 233% of normal. The orientation of these storms favored the lee of the southern Sierra Nevada, where Bishop, California, logged 0.5 in (13 mm), 263% of normal and the 8th wettest June since records began in 1895. The Southwest received some precipitation associated with these systems, though above normal precipitation in this area was dominated by pre-monsoon activity during the last week of the month. Tucson, Arizona, observed 1.59 in (40 mm), 795% of normal and the wettest June since records began in 1946. Most of this precipitation (1.15 in/29 mm) fell on the 29th, now the second wettest June day in Tucson's record. Las Vegas, Nevada also experienced monsoon-related precipitation and recorded 0.49 in (12 mm) for the month, 700% of normal and the 3rd wettest June since records began in 1948. Isolated areas of southern New Mexico, Colorado, northeast Montana, and eastern Washington also observed above normal precipitation. Drought improvement was seen in west-central Nevada and across south-central and eastern New Mexico.
- Most of the Inland Northwest and the northern Rockies saw drier than normal conditions. Pocatello, Idaho, recorded only 0.05 in (1 mm) precipitation, 5% of normal for June and the 4th driest June in a 78-year record. In central Montana, Lewistown reported 0.76 in (19 mm), 25% of normal and 3rd driest June since records began in 1896. June is typically Lewistown's wettest month. Drier than normal conditions were observed across Utah. In the eastern part of the state, Duchesne logged 0.05 in (1mm) rainfall, 6% of normal. Much of California and northern Nevada received little or no precipitation this month, not uncommon for June. Drought conditions worsened in northeastern Oregon as well as along the eastern Montana-Wyoming border.
- Heat waves during the first week and latter half of the month brought record June temperatures to some areas of the Desert Southwest. Needles, in southeastern California, reported an average temperature of 97.5 F (36.4C) for the month, 6.8 F (3.8 C) above normal and the warmest June since records began in 1941. The temperature at Needles rose to 125 F (51.7 C) on June 20th, tying the all-time record high temperature at that location. Las Vegas, Nevada, also observed its warmest June on record at an average of 92.8 F (33.8 C), 6.1 F (3.4 C) above normal. Phoenix, Arizona, tied 2013 for warmest June on record at an average 94.8 F (34.9 C), 4 F (2.2 C) above normal. In the Great Basin, Salt Lake City, Utah, tied 2015 for warmest June at an average 77.5 F (25.3 C), 7.8 F (4.3 C) above normal. In far southeastern Montana, Broadus reported an average June temperature of 73.2 F (22.9 C), 8.1 F (4.5 C) above normal. This was the second warmest June since records began in 1920.
- Most locations throughout Hawaii observed above normal precipitation this month, though June is typically the driest month of the year across the state. On the leeward side of the Big Island, Kawaihae reported 1.63 in (41 mm), 262% of normal and the 2nd wettest June since records began in 1977. In Alaska, June was wetter than normal for the Southcentral region, some interior locations, and the North Slope. Fairbanks reported 3.29 in (84 mm), 240% of normal and the 4th wettest June in an 88-year record. Western Alaska saw drier than normal conditions; Nome reported 0.34 in (9 mm) of precipitation, 34% of normal. Temperatures were near normal for the interior of the state and above normal in coastal areas. Kotzebue, in northwestern Alaska, recorded an average June temperature of 51.2 F (10.7 C), 5.5 F (3.1 C) above normal and the 5th warmest since records began in 1897.
- June (all month): Large Fires in the West: Several large fires impacted the West this month, especially in Arizona and California. The largest in Arizona was the Cedar Fire in the east-central part of the state, which consumed 45,977 acres (18,600 hectares) since it ignited on June 15. The cause of the fire is under investigation. In southern California, the Erskine Fire burned over 47,864 acres (19,370 hectares) near Lake Isabella. Also in southern California, the Sherpa Fire charred 7,474 acres (3,020 hectares) near Santa Barbara. In northern California, by the 30th the Trailhead Fire grew to 2151 acres (870 hectares) and threatened over 2,500 homes, forcing evacuations.
- June 28-29: Monsoon-related flooding in Arizona and Nevada: Extensive flooding occurred in several parts of Arizona in association with a major monsoon storm of the year. Flagstaff's Southside neighborhood in particular saw heavy flooding and street closures. Runoff and debris from the Cedar Fire contributed to flooding and road closures in Cedar Creek in east-central Arizona. Las Vegas, Nevada, also observed heavy precipitation and flooding resulting in several rescues and road closures.
- For more information, please go to the Western Regional Climate Center Home Page.