National Climate Report - June 2020
- The average contiguous U.S. temperature during June was 70.3°F, 1.8°F above the 20th century average, ranking in the warmest third of the 126-year record.
- The primary circulation pattern during June was a ridge over the Great Plains with troughs along the East and West coasts. This brought above-average heat to the central U.S. and kept parts of the West and Southeast cooler than average.
- Above-average June temperatures were observed across portions of the West and Gulf coasts as well as from the Southwest to the northern Plains and from the Great Lakes into New England. Rhode Island, Delaware, Minnesota and Kansas ranked eighth warmest for the month.
- According to the Northeast Regional Climate Center, temperatures at the beginning of June across the Northeast were quite cold with overnight lows dropping to record or near-record levels, but temperatures quickly rebounded to much-above-average temperatures, with daytime hgih temperatures reaching into the 90s and setting records on multiple days.
- Below-average June temperatures were scattered across portions of the Deep South, Southeast and northern Rockies. However, only South Carolina ranked in the coolest third of their historical distribution for the month.
- The contiguous U.S. average maximum (daytime) temperature during June was 83.1°F, 1.7°F above the 20th century average, ranking in the warmest one-third of the record. Above-average maximum temperatures were observed along parts of the West Coast and Florida as well as from the Southwest to the Great Lakes and into New England. Below-average daytime temperatures occurred across portions of the Northwest and from south Texas to the mid-Atlantic.
- The contiguous U.S. average minimum (nighttime) temperature during June was 57.5°F, 1.9°F above the 20th century average, ranking 11th warmest on record. Above-average minimum temperatures were observed across the West Coast, from the Southwest to the Great Lakes, and from the Gulf Coast to New England.
- The Alaska average June temperature was 50.5°F, 1.3°F above the long-term mean and ranked in the warmest third of the historical record for the state. Overall, western Alaska was warmer than average while the southeastern part of the state was near or below average for the month.
- Sea ice melt in the Chukchi Sea was slower than average for this time of year. June sea ice extent was 92% of average, which is the highest amount for June observed since 2017 and much higher than the record low extent observed during June 2019.
- Wildfires, ignited by lightning northwest of Bethel, grew to encompass a total of 108,000 acres. These appear to be the largest tundra fires on record so close to the Bering Sea. See the Western Regional Climate Center highlights for additional information.
- Based on data received by July 9, there were 4,756 record warm daily high (1,575) and low (3,181) temperature records during June, which is nearly 1.7 times the 2,871 record cold daily high (1,948) and low (923) temperature records.
- Based on NOAA's Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index (REDTI), the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand during June was 130 percent of average and the 28th highest value in the 126-year period of record.
- The June precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 2.72 inches, 0.21 inch below average and ranked in the driest one-third of the historical period of record.
- Above-average precipitation was observed across portions of the Pacific Northwest, northern and central Rockies, Great Lakes, Deep South and the mid-Atlantic regions. Idaho ranked 13th wettest while an additional 10 states ranked in the wettest third of their historical distrubution for June.
- A rare Rockies derecho brought severe storms and damaging winds in a line from Utah to Wyoming and across Colorado into the Dakotas on June 6. See the High Plains Regional Climate Center highlights for additional details.
- Below-average precipitation occurred across portions of the Southwest, Great Plains, Ohio Valley, Southeast and much of the Northeast. Maine ranked 13th driest while 16 additional states ranked in the driest third of their record for June.
- Dry Saharan dust plumes contributed to precipitation deficits across Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands leading to the emergence of severe drought and water restrictions across the commonwealth.
- The Bush Fire consumed more than 193,000 acres by the end of June and is the fifth-largest wildfire in Arizona history.
- Alaska received 3.24 inches of precipitation during June, which is 0.90 inch above average and ranked seventh wettest on record. Both Juneau and Ketchikan in the Panhandle had their wettest June on record. Across the Interior, Northway, Delta Junction and Fairbanks had a top-five wettest June, while Denali National Park ranked sixth wettest.
- According to the June 30 U.S. Drought Monitor report, approximately 25.5 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in drought, up from nearly 20 percent at the beginning of June. Drought conditions expanded or intensified across portions of the Plains, Rockies, Southwest, Northwest and Puerto Rico. Drought blossomed across much of the Northeast during June as a result of above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation. Drought conditions improved across parts of Hawaii and were eliminated across the Florida Panhandle.
Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters
- Through the end of June, 10 weather and climate disaster events have been identified, with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the U.S. during 2020. All 10 events were due to severe storms, which occurred across more than 30 states from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast.
- In addition to significant economic impacts, these events resulted in 80 fatalities.
- This is a record sixth consecutive year with at least 10 separate billion-dollar disasters and is at near-record pace for billion-dollar disasters during the first half of the year — 2020 is tied with 2011 and 2016, but trailing 2017 by one event.
- Since these records began in 1980, the U.S. has sustained 273 separate weather and climate disasters where overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (based on the CPI adjustment to 2020) per event. The total cost of these 273 events exceeds $1.75 trillion.
- The year-to-date (January-June) average contiguous U.S. temperature was 50.0°F, 2.4°F above average, ranking eighth warmest on record.
- Above-average to record-warm temperatures for the year-to-date period were observed across the vast majority of the Lower 48 region. Florida ranked warmest on record for this six-month period while New Jersey ranked third warmest and Rhode Island and Massachusetts ranked fourth warmest.
- The Alaska statewide average temperature for the year-to-date period was 21.4°F, 0.1°F below average, and ranked in the middle third of the record. Above-average temperatures were located across the Aleutians, part of the West Coast region and portions of the eastern North Slope. Below-average temperatures were concentrated across much of the Southeast Interior, Cook Inlet and southern Northeast Interior regions.
- The contiguous U.S. average maximum (daytime) temperature during January-June was 61.5°F, 2.2°F above the 20th century average, ranking 12th warmest in the historical record. Above-average conditions were observed across most of the Lower 48 with pockets of near-average and below-average temperatures across the northern Rockies, northern Plains, Mississippi River Valley and Tennessee Valley. Florida ranked second warmest for daytime temperatures.
- The contiguous U.S. average minimum (nighttime) temperature during January-June was 38.4°F, 2.7°F above the 20th century average, ranking sixth warmest on record. Above-average to record-warm conditions blanketed nearly the entire Lower 48. Florida ranked warmest on record while South Carolina and North Carolina ranked second warmest and 14 additional states from the Southwest to New England ranked top-five warmest on record.
- Based on REDTI, the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand during January-June was 57 percent of average and was the sixth lowest value on record.
- The year-to-date national precipitation total was 16.32 inches, 1.01 inch above average, ranking in the wettest third of the January-June record.
- Above-average precipitation occurred across portions of the Northwest and Southwest and from Texas to the Great Lakes and into the Southeast. Tennessee ranked wettest on record, North Carolina ranked fourth wettest and West Virginia and Alabama ranked fifth wettest for this year-to-date period.
- Below-average precipitation was observed from the West Coast into parts of the central and southern Rockies and from the southern High Plains to the Northern Tier. Below-average conditions were also present across the Northeast and parts of Florida. North Dakota had the sixth driest and Colorado eighth driest January-June on record.
- The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI) for the year-to-date period was 36 percent above average and ranked in the highest one-third of the 111-year period of record. Extremes in warm minimum temperatures, wet PDSI, and days with precipitation were the major contributors to this elevated CEI value. The USCEI is an index that tracks extremes (occurring in the upper or lower 10 percent of the record) in temperature, precipitation and drought across the contiguous United States.
- On the regional scale, The Southeast ranked highest on record for this six-month period while the Northeast Region ranked fourth highest and the Ohio Valley Region, sixth highest. Most of the elevated to record-levels in extremes were due to large regions of warm maximum and minimum temperatures, as well as wet PDSI and days with precipitation. In contast, the Northwest experienced below-average extremes during the first half of the year and ranked 13th lowest on record for this year-to-date period.
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 experienced a warmer-than-normal June, with an average temperature of 66.4 degrees F (19.1 degrees C), 1.1 degrees F (0.6 degrees C) above normal. Eleven of the 12 Northeast states were warmer than normal, with nine ranking this June among their 20 warmest on record: Delaware and Rhode Island, eighth warmest; Massachusetts, ninth warmest; Connecticut, Maine, and New Jersey, 10th warmest; Maryland and New Hampshire, 13th warmest; and Vermont, 19th warmest. Average temperature departures for all states ranged from 0.5 degrees F (0.3 degrees C) below normal in West Virginia to 2.3 degrees F (1.3 degrees C) above normal in Massachusetts. Hartford, Connecticut, tied its coldest June temperature on record on June 1 with a low of 37 degrees F (3 degrees C). Caribou, Maine, tied its greatest number of June nights with a low of 32 degrees F (0 degrees C) or lower on June 1 and 2. On June 10, Dulles Airport, Virginia, tied its warmest June low temperature with a low of 74 degrees F (23 degrees C). Caribou, Maine, had its hottest June on record with an average temperature of 64.4 degrees F (18.0 degrees C), beating the old record of 64.0 degrees F (17.8 degrees C) from 2006. The site also set/tied several other temperature records in June including all-time hottest day, longest stretch of days with a high of at least 80 degrees F (27 degrees C), and greatest number of June days with a high of at least 80 degrees F (27 degrees C). In addition, Burlington, Vermont, tied their greatest number of June days with a high of at least 90 degrees F (32 degrees C).
- The Northeast had its 18th driest June since 1895 receiving 2.96 inches (75.18 mm) of precipitation, 71 percent of normal. Eleven of the 12 Northeast states were drier than normal, with four ranking this June among their 20 driest on record: Maine, 13th driest; Vermont, 14th driest; Delaware, 17th driest; and New York, 18th driest. Precipitation for all states ranged from 53 percent of normal in Connecticut and Maine to 120 percent of normal in West Virginia. Caribou, Maine, received 0.88 inches (22.35 mm) of precipitation during June, tying June 1983 as the driest June on record.
- The U.S. Drought Monitor released on June 4 showed 9 percent of the Northeast as abnormally dry, including parts of northern New England, Massachusetts and northern New York. During the month, abnormal dryness expanded to include parts of every state except New Jersey. With increasing precipitation deficits, unusually hot temperatures, much below normal streamflow, declining soil moisture, and reports of agriculture, water, and fire impacts, moderate drought was introduced in parts of New England and New York. The U.S. Drought Monitor released in June 25 showed 16 percent of the Northeast in a moderate drought and 26 percent was abnormally dry. The last time New York and New England experienced drought conditions was in the summer/fall of 2018. Moderate drought and abnormally dry conditions improved in some areas and deteriorated in other areas during the last week of June as a stalled upper-level low brought sporadic rainfall. The U.S. Drought Monitor released on July 2 showed 14 percent of the Northeast in a moderate drought and 31 percent as abnormally dry. Some crops showed signs of moisture stress in parts of New York and New England. For instance, New York farmers reported corn curling, slow growth in corn and soybeans, and reduced hay yields. In northern Maine, grain crops and non-irrigated broccoli fields were doing poorly. Growers were watering crops frequently, leaving less time for other tasks such as planting and weeding. According to the USDA, as of June 21, 38 percent of Maine’s pastures were rated very poor to poor, which is unusual for that time of year, and 88 percent of topsoil in the state was rated short to very short.
- Officials in Maine reported an increased number of bear complaints in Aroostook, Washington, and Hancock counties due in part to dry conditions reducing the food supply for bears. As of June 23, Maine had seen 712 wildfires, the state’s second greatest number of fires in a decade, with the Maine Forest Service suspending online burning permits. The suspension was lifted on June 30 due to moderate to heavy rainfall in parts of the state. As of June 24, officials in Westbrook, Maine, were not issuing fireworks permits for the July 4th weekend due to dry conditions. St. Lawrence County, New York, implemented a burn ban on June 27, citing dry conditions and numerous brush fires. Streams in parts of New York and New England had low flows more typical of late summer and early fall. As of June 25, 94 water systems in New Hampshire had enacted outdoor water restrictions. Lake levels also dropped in New Hampshire. Dam releases were reduced in some New Hampshire locations, resulting in many small hydropower plants no longer being able to generate power. Numerous locations in Massachusetts and some in New York and Connecticut also enacted water restrictions, while there were reports of wells going dry in Maine. Water was discolored in the town of Tewksbury, Massachusetts, due to high volumes of water being pumped by the water treatment plant because of drought and increased water usage. Similarly, Aquarion noted some of its water customers in Connecticut could see discolored water or experience low water pressure.
- The first two days of June were quite cold in northern parts of the Northeast. While Hartford, Connecticut, tied its coldest June temperature on record, several other sites, including Caribou, Maine, had one of their 10 coldest June days on record. The Caribou National Weather Service Office issued its first freeze warning in June since 2009. The rest of June, especially June 18 through 24, featured unusually warm temperatures in northern areas. Caribou, Maine, set numerous June temperature records (see first paragraph above). The site also recorded four days in June with a high of at least 90 degrees F (32 degrees C), its second greatest number for June (and tied as fourth greatest for all months). In fact, four of Caribou’s ten hottest June temperatures occurred between June 18 and 23 this year. The Northeast, particularly southern areas, experienced several rounds of severe weather during the month. On June 3, a line of intense thunderstorms with wind gusts of up to 93 mph (42 m/s) raced across Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The event, which qualified as a derecho, caused widespread damage, downing trees and wires, knocking out power to more than 500,000 customers, and causing four deaths. There were more than 250 wind damage reports in the Philadelphia/Mt. Holly National Weather Service forecast area. Severe thunderstorms on June 10 produced an EF-2 tornado and straight-line winds of up to 80 mph (36 m/s) in western Pennsylvania. According to the Pittsburgh National Weather Service, it was the strongest tornado in Beaver County in more than 30 years. Storms associated with a stalled upper-level low dropped up to 3 inches (76 mm) of rain on parts of West Virginia on June 14, resulting in flash flooding. Floodwaters entered homes and businesses and submerged roads, with several water rescues performed. Strong to severe thunderstorms in parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and West Virginia from June 18 to 25 produced localized flooding rains that led to road closures, as well as damaging winds that downed trees and wires. A funnel cloud was observed in eastern West Virginia. With only sporadic rainfall from scattered storms, a large portion of the Northeast saw below-normal rainfall most of the month, with the greatest deficits generally in parts of New York and New England. Both Burlington, Vermont, and Caribou, Maine, had their driest June 1 through 28 period on record, seeing less than an inch (25 mm) of rain. However, from June 28 to July 1, a stalled upper-level low pressure system produced hit-or-miss rainfall across the region. The heaviest rain was concentrated in portions of New Hampshire and southern/western Maine, which saw up to 7 inches (178 mm) of rain. Elsewhere, rainfall was highly variable. Some areas, such as southeastern Massachusetts, experienced flash flooding, with reports of closed roads, water in basements and yards, and cars stuck in floodwaters. Other areas, such as northern Maine, saw little precipitation. Storms associated with the stalled system also produced golf ball-sized hail and strong winds that downed trees and wires and damaged buildings. Including precipitation from the end-of-June storm, Hartford, Connecticut, had only five days in June with measurable precipitation, tying as the third fewest number on record for June.
- For more information, please visit the Northeast Regional Climate Center Home Page.
Midwest Region (Information provided by the Midwest Regional Climate Center)
- June precipitation varied considerably with values ranging from less than 50 percent of normal to more than 150 percent of normal. Regionwide precipitation was 3.90 inches (99 mm) which was 0.34 inches (9 mm) below normal. Some of the wettest areas were northwestern and southeastern Minnesota, western Wisconsin, eastern Iowa, and western Kentucky. These areas had precipitation totals that exceeded normal by more than 3.00 inches (76 mm). Areas around Duluth, Minnesota, southwestern Iowa, and southwestern Missouri had totals that fell 2.00 inches (51 mm) short of normal. Two significant rainfall events impacted the region. On June 8th to 10th, the remnants of Tropical Storm Cristobal crossed the Midwest on its way to Canada. June 28th to 30th had heavy rains and flooding in two areas of the region, the greater Minneapolis, Minnesota region and parts of western Kentucky, southern Illinois, and southern Indiana.
- June temperatures ranged from near normal in Kentucky to 5 degrees F (3 C) above normal near the Iowa-Minnesota-south Dakota border. The average temperature for the Midwest 70.7 degrees F (21.5 C) which was 2.1 degrees F (1.2 C) above normal. Above normal temperatures were common throughout most of the month, with cooler temperatures mid-month associated with increased cloudiness and rain due the passing of Tropical Storm Cristobal.
- The remnants of Tropical Storm Cristobal impacted the Midwest from June 8th to 10th. The storm was one of the west-most tracking tropical storms in recorded history. Cristobal was only the 2nd storm to track through Iowa and only the third to track through on-shore Wisconsin. The remnants of Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 tracked across maritime southeast Wisconsin. The storm impacted all nine states in the region with a mixture of heavy rain, strong winds and severe weather. Most of the heavy rain and non-thunderstorm winds were recorded on May 9 through Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and western Indiana. Wind gusts over 50 mph were common, with both Chicago, Illinois airports recording wind gusts of 60+ mph (97 kph). More than 80 daily precipitation records were broken as well. On June 10, severe thunderstorms impacted the eastern third of the region. Lower Michigan, northeastern Indiana, Ohio and eastern Kentucky had widespread thunderstorm wind damage, with gusts over 60 mph (97 kph). Several reports of 2-inch (5-cm) hail were also reported.
- Drought was introduced in the Midwest on June 2nd for the first time in 29 weeks according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The streak of drought-free conditions in the region was the 2nd longest in the history of the U.S. Drought Monitor (2000-2020), with the longest lasting 32 weeks from January 1-August 6, 2019. In June, moderate drought expanded across portions of west-central and northeastern Minnesota, where limited rainfall and increased evapotranspiration were contributing factors. Meanwhile, warmer temperatures and limited rainfall led to an expansion of abnormally dry conditions across Indiana and portions of Illinois, Iowa and western Missouri. As of the June 30 U.S. Drought Monitor, only slightly more than 3 percent of the Midwest was in moderate drought, but nearly a quarter of the region was considered abnormally dry.
- Severe weather increased in June across the Midwest. More than 1400 reports of strong winds, hail and tornadoes were reported in the region’s climatologically most active month. This compared to more than 1800 reports in June 2019. Most of these reports were from strong thunderstorm winds, with more than 80 reports of strong winds over 75 mph (120 kph). There were also 18 reports of hail over 2.00 inches (5 cm) in diameter. However, tornadoes in the Midwest were significantly lower through June 2020, with only 176 reports, only 24 in June. In 2019 there were 348 reports through June and 186 reports through June 2018.
- Significant rainfall from June 28th to 30th led to flooding and flash flooding in southeastern Minnesota, western Wisconsin, and southwestern Kentucky. Extreme flooding near Baldwin, Wisconsin occurred on June 28th, where radar-estimated amounts of rain were up to 9 inches (229 mm). At least eight households were evacuated, five motorists rescued from flooding, and one fatality from driving over a water-covered road. In Kentucky, two people were rescued from their vehicle in high water near Willisburg, one person later perished in the hospital. A voluntary evacuation was also ordered from flooding near Beaver Dam, Kentucky.
- 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 near average across much of the Southeast region for the month of June, with above-average temperatures observed across much of the Florida peninsula, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Monthly mean temperatures were within 2 degrees F (1.1 degrees C) of normal for over 90 percent of the 194 long-term (i.e., period of record equaling or exceeding 50 years) stations across the region. There were only a handful of stations that observed monthly mean temperatures that were ranked within their five warmest values on record, including St. Croix, USVI (1951-2020; T-1st warmest), Guayama, PR (1911-2020; 2nd warmest) and Tampa, FL (1890-2020; 3rd warmest). Maximum temperatures ranged from 4 degrees F (2.2 degrees C) above normal in Christiansted, USVI (1951-2020) to 6.4 degrees F (3.6 degrees C) below normal in Carlisle, SC (1893-2020). Daily temperature minimums ranged from 4.8 degrees F (2.7 degrees C) above normal in La Fayette, GA (1892-2020) to 3.8 degrees F (2.1 degrees C) below normal in Fairhope, AL (1917-2020). The coldest weather of the month across the Southeast occurred on the 1st and 2nd, as the circulation around a departing mid-latitude cyclone ushered in unseasonably cold, dry air from Canada. Daily minimum temperatures ranged from 50 to 65 degrees F (10 to 18.3 degrees C) across portions of every state north of Florida, with numerous locations in the higher elevations of North Carolina and Virginia falling below 50 degrees F. On June 15th – 16th, an upper-level low slowly moved across the Carolinas, producing many record low daily maximum temperatures, as much of the area did not get above 65 degrees F (18 degrees C). In contrast, the warmest weather of the month occurred from the 28th through the 30th, as the circulation around the Bermuda High, situated off the Atlantic coast, transported warm, humid air over much of the Southeast region. Daily maximum temperatures exceeded 90 degrees F (29 degrees C) across much of the region, with portions of central Florida, and Georgia reaching 95 degrees F (35 degrees C) or higher. On June 26th, Tampa, FL (1890-2020) tied the warmest daily maximum temperature on record at 99 degrees F (37 degrees C). Miami, FL (1895-2020) observed it’s record warmest 7-day period with a mean temperature of 88.8 degrees F (31.6 degrees C), ending June 30th.
- Precipitation varied across the region for June, with the driest locations found across much of Georgia, South Carolina, western North Carolina, the panhandle of Florida, and Puerto Rico. Monthly precipitation totals ranged from 70 to less than 25 percent of normal across these locations. Indeed, Roosevelt Roads, PR (1942-2020) only observed 0.9 inches (22.9 mm) of precipitation, which was more than 3 inches (76 mm) below average and the 5th driest June on record. In contrast, the wettest locations were located across southern Virginia, southeastern North Carolina, western Alabama, and northeastern Florida. Precipitation totals ranged from 150 to 300 percent of normal. Only six long-term stations (i.e., period of record equaling or exceeding 50 years) observed June precipitation that ranked top five wettest on record, including Pulaski, VA (1920-2020; 1st wettest), which received 11.69 inches (297 mm) of precipitation, over 8 inches (203 mm) above normal. From the 6th through the 8th, Tropical Storm Cristobal impacted the region, providing beneficial rainfall to the Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama. Mobile, AL (1871-2020) received over 6 inches (152 mm) of rain from the storm. From the 15th through 16th, a slow-moving upper-level low ushered in a deep stream of moisture from the southeast across the Carolinas, with 2-day precipitation totals exceeding 5 inches (127 mm) and numerous reports of localized flooding. A couple were rescued in Nash County, NC, when rising flood waters swept their vehicle off the road. In contrast, the Tampa International Airport tied it’s 3rd longest streak of 14 consecutive days with no measurable precipitation during Florida’s rainy season (June 1- September 30).
- There were 502 reports of severe weather across the Southeast during June, which is 68 percent of the median monthly frequency of 735 reports during 2000-2018. There were 6 confirmed tornadoes reported for the month (4 EF-0, and 2 EF-1), half the monthly average of 12. The strongest of these tornadoes occurred with a supercell thunderstorm that formed over Mobile County, AL on June 24th. Maximum wind speed was estimated at 110 mph (49 m/s). This tornado produced significant tree damage, with fallen tree limbs damaging a few houses. Fortunately, no injuries or fatalities were reported. Another tornado developed over Orange County, FL on June 6th, starting as a waterspout that came onshore with peak winds reported at 90 mph (40 m/s). Multiple vehicles were damaged due to fallen large tree branches. No injuries were reported, however. There were 35 reports of hail for the month, with the largest being golf-ball sized (1.75 inches) in Seminole County, FL on June 24th. There were 373 wind reports for the month, which is a little more than half of the average (633 reports). Damaging straight line winds impacted the Daytona Beach Flea and Farmers Market on June 6th, with the strongest reported gust at 65 mph (29 m/s). Damage consisted of trees down and roof debris blown onto portions of Interstate 95, causing the roadway to be closed for several hours. No injuries or fatalities were reported. The Saharan Air Layer (SAL) moved through the Southeast and Caribbean from the 25th -28th. Puerto Rico reported hazy conditions and poor air quality, while in Asheville, NC visibility decreased to 3 miles due the high dust concentrations.
- Drought conditions were eliminated across the Southeast for June but have expanded in Puerto Rico. Only a few small pockets of abnormally dry conditions (D0) remain in Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle. By the end of June, severe drought (D2) expanded through southern Puerto Rico and the eastern part of the USVI. Most of eastern Puerto Rico is under moderate drought conditions (D1) with abnormally dry conditions (D0) stretching westward. The citrus growing region in Florida experienced warm and dry conditions, however normal grove activities continued with extra irrigation. Recent rains in the northern part of the Florida Peninsula put disease pressures, army worms, and white mold on the peanut crop. At the end of the month, some corn was still under water, as corn growers feared the potential development of corn rust. Cattle and pastures remained in good condition throughout the state. The rain was welcomed in Georgia, as intermittent showers kept row crops and pastures hydrated. Although air quality was impacted by the Saharan dust, there was no noticeable impact on crops. Plant bugs have been spotted in some cotton fields in Alabama, due to the rainfall; however, most crops benefitted from the rain and were looking good. Soils have begun to dry out in Virginia due to the hot and dry conditions. Although the lack of rainfall allowed for field work, some crops were behind normal growth stages during the second half of the month.
- For more information, please visit the Southeast Regional Climate Center Home Page.
High Plains Region (Information provided by the High Plains Regional Climate Center)
- Hot and dry conditions contributed to a rapid expansion of drought across the High Plains region this month. As of June 30th, nearly 40 percent of the region was experiencing drought (D1-D4), which was about double the areal coverage at the end of May. With drought expanding and deteriorating, many impacts have been reported, from cattle sell-offs to winter wheat failures, particularly in eastern Colorado and western Kansas. Low relative humidities and high winds often accompanied this month’s hot and dry weather, which increased the evaporative demand and depleted soil moisture reserves. Although the month was predominantly dry, a notable severe weather event occurred just on the heels of a very slow start to the severe weather season. On June 6th, parts of the High Plains region experienced a rare western U.S. derecho. The long-lived, high wind event started in eastern Utah and tracked over 750 miles across parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Montana, until it finally ended in North Dakota. According to the Storm Prediction Center, there was a total of 339 wind reports during the event, 44 of which were 75 mph (121 km/hr) or greater. Interestingly, 41 of these 44 high wind reports were directly measured. The highest measured wind gust was 110 mph (177 km/hr) at the Winter Park Ski Area, located just west of Denver, Colorado. Although quite high, this wind gust was much lower than Colorado’s unofficial highest gust of 148 mph (238 km/hr) that was recorded at the Monarch Pass AWOS station in February of 2016. Derechos in this part of the country are exceptionally rare, with the Storm Prediction Center indicating that only two other derecho events occurring in the western U.S. have been documented in the literature. At the end of the month, another rare event occurred. A large, dense plume of Saharan dust traversed across the Atlantic Ocean throughout the month, eventually creating hazy skies and poor air quality across portions of Kansas and Nebraska during the last weekend of June. While Saharan dust routinely reaches the U.S. each year, this particular dust cloud was one of the most intense on record, according to NASA.
- Temperatures were, in general, above normal across most of the High Plains in June. In fact, the region had the greatest temperature departures in the country, with widespread departures of 4.0-6.0 degrees F (2.2-3.3 degrees C) above normal and localized departures of up to 8.0 degrees F (4.4 degrees C) above normal. The highest departures mostly occurred in pockets of Nebraska and South Dakota. Farther west, across portions of western Wyoming and northwestern Colorado, temperature departures were generally within 2.0 degrees F (1.1 degrees C) of normal. With much of the area observing above-normal temperatures, there were many locations that nearly set records this month. The following locations ranked in the top 10 warmest Junes on record: Sioux Falls, SD (3rd warmest); Bismarck, ND (4th warmest); Concordia, KS (5th warmest); Valentine, NE (6th warmest); Omaha, NE (7th warmest); Goodland, KS (8th warmest); Topeka, KS (9th warmest); and Dodge City, KS (10th warmest). One location that was rather warm this month was Wichita, Kansas, which had its 11th warmest June on record with an average temperature of 80.3 degrees F (26.8 degrees C). The warmest June in Wichita was in 1953 with an average temperature of 83.1 degrees F (28.4 degrees C) (period of record 1888-present). Though this June did not rank in the top 10 warmest, Wichita did tie 1911 for the most number of 90.0 degrees F (32.2 degrees C) days for the month of June, with 25 days. In addition to Wichita, a number of locations in the southern part of the region ranked in the top 10 for most number of 90.0 degrees F (32.2 degrees C) days for the month of June.
- June was a dry month for the High Plains, with portions of each state receiving less than 50 percent of normal precipitation. These areas included southern and eastern Kansas, western Colorado, eastern Wyoming, western South Dakota, western and central North Dakota, and a swath running from eastern Colorado through northeastern Nebraska. In eastern parts of North Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas, this translated into deficits of 3.00-5.00 inches (76-127 mm). Large deficits are hard to overcome at this time of the year, as May and June are typically the wettest two months for the Plains. Even in areas that managed to pick up near-normal precipitation, deficits continued to mount. Bismarck, ND received 2.64 inches (67 mm) of precipitation in June, which was 83 percent of normal. Interestingly, June’s precipitation total accounted for over half of this year’s precipitation in Bismarck, 4.49 inches (114 mm), making 2020 rank as the 6th driest January-June time period on record (period of record 1874-present). Despite the widespread dryness, there were a few areas that received above-normal precipitation. The areas with the largest departures, up to 200 percent of normal precipitation, were generally confined to western portions of Colorado and Wyoming, as well as pockets of central Kansas, southeastern and north-central Nebraska, eastern South Dakota, and southern North Dakota. Within these areas, a few locations ranked among the top 10 wettest. One location was the Russell, KS airport station, which had its 8th wettest June with 6.29 inches (160 mm) of precipitation. Russell’s wettest June on record occurred in 1951 when it received 10.45 inches (265 mm) (period of record 1949-present). Although summer had already started, wintry weather impacted portions of the region during a very late-season snowstorm. On June 8-9, a storm system brought heavy, wet snow to areas of southern Wyoming and northern Colorado. The highest totals were located in the Laramie, WY area. For instance, Laramie 4SE, WY had a daily total of 12.0 inches (30 cm), which was the 3rd largest one-day snowfall total in the station’s 21-year history (period of record 2000-present). When compared to other stations in the area, it is evident that this snowstorm was one of the largest for the Laramie area for this late in the year. The wet, heavy nature of the event caused power outages that impacted more than 10,000 people. The snowstorm also briefly led to the closure of I-80 between Laramie and Cheyenne, WY.
- This month, drought conditions continued to expand and worsen in many places across the High Plains region. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the area experiencing drought (D1-D4) in the region increased by nearly 20 percent between May 26th and June 30th. A combination of above-normal temperatures, high winds, and below-normal precipitation led to an increase in abnormally dry and drought conditions during the month of June. Abnormally dry conditions (D0) increased in coverage across portions of the High Plains region during the month of June, including areas of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Areas of moderate drought (D1) conditions expanded across portions of North Dakota, Kansas, Wyoming, and western South Dakota. D1 conditions also developed over portions of southwestern Nebraska. One area of slight improvement was across west-central Kansas where there were reductions in severe drought (D2) conditions. New spots of D2 conditions did develop, however, in areas of northeastern Wyoming and central North Dakota. Extreme drought (D3) conditions also expanded across southern and eastern Colorado, and in southwestern Kansas as well. A small pocket of exceptional drought (D4) conditions developed at the end of the month across southeastern Colorado and southwestern Kansas. As of June 30th, over a third of Colorado was in extreme or exceptional drought.
- Rocky Mountain snowpack continued to melt throughout the month of June, and had nearly melted off in the Upper Missouri Basin by the end of the month. Monthly streamflows were mixed across the region. Streamflows were below normal across western Colorado, portions of Wyoming, western North Dakota, and southwestern Nebraska. Some of the lowest streamflows were located along the Republican River in southwestern Nebraska. Across Kansas, eastern Nebraska, South Dakota, and eastern North Dakota, streamflows were generally near normal or above normal, with some of the highest streamflows being located along the James River in eastern South Dakota. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the June 1st runoff forecast for the Upper Missouri Basin was 32.3 MAF, which is above normal.
- For more information, please visit the High Plains Regional Climate Center Home Page.
Southern Region (Information provided by the Southern Regional Climate Center)
- Temperatures for the month of June varied spatially across the Southern Region, but a general pattern was apparent with above-normal temperatures in the north and west and below-normal temperatures in the south and east. Parts of eastern Tennessee, northern, central, and southwestern Mississippi, eastern and central Arkansas, east-central Louisiana, and southern Texas experienced temperatures 1 to 2 degrees F (0.56 to 1.11 degrees C) below normal. Parts of eastern, central, and western Tennessee; northern, central, and southern Mississippi; eastern, central, and southern Arkansas; central and southern Louisiana; and eastern and southern Texas experienced temperatures 0 to 1 degrees F (0.00 to 0.56 degrees C) below normal. Conversely, parts of central Tennessee, northwestern and southern Arkansas, northern, western, and southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Oklahoma, and eastern and central Texas experienced temperatures 0 to 1 degrees F (0.00 to 0.56 degrees C) above normal. Parts of northwestern Arkansas, southeastern Louisiana, eastern, central, and northern Oklahoma, and northern and western Texas experienced temperatures 1 to 2 degrees F (0.56 to 1.11 degrees C) above normal. Parts of northern and western Oklahoma as well as parts of northern and western Texas experienced temperatures 2 to 3 degrees F (1.11 to 1.56 degrees C) above normal, parts of northern Texas as well as western and northeastern Oklahoma experienced temperatures 3 to 4 degrees F (1.56 to 2.22 degrees C) above normal, and parts of the Oklahoma/Texas Panhandle experienced temperatures 4 to 5 degrees F (2.22 to 2.56 degrees C) above normal. The statewide monthly average temperatures were as follows: Arkansas – 76.30 degrees F (24.61 degrees C), Louisiana – 79.60 degrees F (26.44 degrees C), Mississippi – 78.20 degrees F (25.67 degrees C), Oklahoma – 78.80 degrees F (26.00 degrees C), Tennessee – 73.60 degrees F (23.11 degrees C), and Texas – 80.60 degrees F (27.00 degrees C). The statewide temperature rankings for June were as follows: Arkansas (fifty-fifth coldest), Louisiana (fiftieth coldest), Mississippi (fifty-fourth coldest), Oklahoma (twenty-ninth warmest), Tennessee (fifty-seventh coldest), and Texas (thirty-sixth warmest). The region as a whole experienced its fifty-fourth warmest June on record. All state rankings are based on the period spanning 1895-2020.
- Precipitation values for the month of June were primarily below normal across the Southern Region. Parts of eastern, central, and western Oklahoma; northern, western, central, and eastern Texas; northwestern Arkansas; and western Louisiana received 50 percent or less of normal precipitation. Parts of northeastern and western Oklahoma as well as northern, central, and western Texas received 25 percent or less of normal precipitation, while parts of western and central Texas received 5 percent or less of normal precipitation. In contrast, parts of southern Texas, central, eastern, and southeastern Arkansas, northeastern and southeastern Louisiana, and southern, central, and northern Mississippi received 150 percent or more of normal precipitation, while parts of central Arkansas, southern Texas, and central Mississippi received precipitation 200 percent or more of normal. The statewide precipitation totals for the month were as follows: Arkansas – 4.56 inches (115.82 mm), Louisiana – 5.28 inches (134.11 mm), Mississippi – 6.49 inches (164.85 mm), Oklahoma – 2.10 inches (53.34 mm), Tennessee – 3.83 inches (97.28 mm), and Texas – 2.16 inches (54.86 mm). The state precipitation rankings for June were as follows: Arkansas (forty-fourth wettest), Louisiana (forty-fifth wettest), Mississippi (sixteenth wettest), Oklahoma (seventeenth driest), Tennessee (fifty-seventh driest), and Texas (fortieth driest). The region as a whole experienced its fifty-ninth wettest June on record. All state rankings are based on the period spanning 1895-2020.
Drought and Severe Weather
- At the end of June, drought conditions both improved and deteriorated across the Southern Region. Extreme drought conditions developed across north-central and western Oklahoma as well as northern Texas. Severe drought classifications were no longer present across southern Mississippi and reduced in size across southern Texas, but severe drought conditions expanded across western Oklahoma and northern Texas and developed across north-central Oklahoma and western Texas. Moderate drought classifications decreased across southeastern Louisiana and southern Texas, but moderate drought conditions developed or expanded across central, western and northern Texas as well as western, northern, and central Oklahoma. There was an increase in the overall area experiencing abnormally dry conditions, despite the improvement of abnormally dry conditions across southern Texas and southern Louisiana. This is because the area experiencing abnormally dry conditions increased across northeastern Oklahoma, western, central, and eastern Texas, northwestern Arkansas, southwestern and northeastern Louisiana, northeastern and southwestern Mississippi, and western and central Tennessee.
- In June, there were approximately 457 storm reports across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi. There were 19 tornado reports, 112 hail reports, and 326 wind reports. Mississippi tallied the most tornado reports (9) while Texas tallied the most hail (71) and wind (109) reports. Texas tallied the most reports (182) while Louisiana tallied the fewest (28). Every state except for Arkansas and Oklahoma reported tornadoes while every state except for Louisiana tallied at least 1 hail report.
- A tropical cyclone impacted the Southern Region in early June. Tropical Storm Cristobal made landfall in Louisiana on June 7, which made Cristobal the earliest third-named storm on record. Parts of coastal Mississippi received 12 to 14 inches (304.80 to 355.60 millimeters) of rain while parts of southeastern Louisiana received 6 to 8 inches (152.40 to 203.20 millimeters) of rain. Storm surge greater than 7 feet (2 meters) was reported in areas along the Louisiana and Mississippi coastline.
- On June 3, 2020, a wind gust of 61 mph (98.17 kph) was reported near Lake McClellan, Texas, while wind gusts of 60 mph (96.56 kph) were reported near Harrison, Arkansas and Silverton, Texas.
- On June 4, 2020, three tornadoes were reported in western Tennessee. Lime sized hail was reported near Allmon, Texas. A wind gust of 94 mph (151.28 kph) was reported near Graham, Texas, while a wind gust of 80 mph (128.75 kph) was reported near Cheyenne, Oklahoma. Several wind reports also detailed damage to power lines, transmission poles, and structures such as houses and barns.
- On June 5, 2020, there were 78 wind reports across Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Damage was mainly confined to trees and power lines, although a couple of structures were damaged as well.
- On June 10, 2020, a wind gust of 61 mph (98.17 kph) was reported near Hidalgo, Texas.
- On June 17, 2020, a wind gust of 75 mph (120.70 kph) was reported near Welch, Texas, while a wind gust of 71 mph (114.26 kph) was reported near Earth, Texas.
- On June 18, 2020, a wind gust of 83 mph (133.58 kph) was reported near Lomax, Texas, while a wind gust of 61 mph (98.17 kph) was reported near Big Springs, Texas. Additionally, straight-line winds resulted in damage to several residences near Sullivan City, Texas.
- On June 19, 2020, a landspout tornado was reported near Groom, Texas. Teacup-sized hail was reported near Odessa, Texas, while lime-sized hail was reported near Amarillo, Texas. A wind gust of 98 mph (157.72 kph) was reported near Boise City, Oklahoma while a wind gust of 83 mph (133.58 kph) was reported near Kenton, Oklahoma. Additionally, a wind gust of 69 mph (111.05 kph) was reported near McAdoo, Texas.
- On June 20, 2020, teacup-sized hail was reported near Odessa, Texas. Additionally, a wind gust of 60 mph (96.56 kph) was reported near Marathon, Texas.
- On June 21, 2020, there were 39 wind reports across Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. Teacup-sized hail was reported near Balko, Oklahoma. A wind gust of 70 mph (112.65 kph) was reported near Elmwood, Oklahoma while a wind gust of 69 mph (111.05 kph) was reported near Hobart, Oklahoma.
- On June 22, 2020, there were 54 wind reports across Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. A brief tornado was reported near Dawn, Texas. Hail slightly larger than apples was reported near Vega, Texas. A wind gust of 77 mph (123.92 kph) was reported near Morton, Texas while a wind gust of 75 mph (120.70 kph) was reported near San Angelo, Texas.
- On June 23, 2020, there were three tornado reports near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Additionally, a wind gust of 75 mph (120.70 kph) was reported near San Angelo, Texas.
- On June 24, 2020, there were eleven tornado reports across Mississippi and Louisiana.
- On June 25, 2020, a wind gust of 68 mph (109.44 kph) was reported at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Additionally, a wind gust of 60 mph (96.56 kph) was reported near Prairieville, Louisiana.
- On June 29, 2020, a wind gust of 70 mph (112.65 kph) was reported near Ozona, Texas.
- For more information, please visit the Southern Regional Climate Center Home Page.
Western Region (Information provided by the Western Region Climate Center)
- A stronger-than-normal and westward-displaced Pacific High and deeper-than-normal Aleutian Low favored anomalous westerly flow along the northern tier of the western U.S. during June. This brought well-above-normal precipitation and cooler-than-normal temperatures to northern areas. Warm and dry conditions persisted in the drought-stricken central and southern tiers of the West. Most high elevation SNOTEL stations indicated well-below-normal snowpack during June following notable snowpack losses throughout May, with a few exceptions in the northern Rocky Mountains of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. By the end of June, all snow-observing stations had melted out. This early melt-out will contribute to earlier peak flows and to lower late season flows in mountain rivers and streams.
- Temperatures during June were near-normal throughout the western two-thirds of the region. Warmer-than-normal conditions occurred in coastal California and the eastern third of the western U.S. (Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico) with average temperatures around 2-4°F (1.1-2.2°C) above normal. Fort Collins, Colorado had its 12th warmest June (69.5°F; 20.8°C) with average temperatures 3°F (1.7°C) above normal. Records in Fort Collins began in 1893. Below-average temperatures were observed in the northern intermountain west regions of northeastern Washington, Idaho, western Montana, northern Nevada and Utah, and western Wyoming. Riggins, Idaho observed its 9th coldest June since 1896 with an average temperature of 61.6°F (16.4°C), which is 4.7°F (2.6°C) below normal.
- The anomalous westerly flow in the Pacific Northwest and the northern Intermountain West contributed to above-average precipitation during June 2020. Boise, Idaho reported its second wettest June since 1940 with 3.27 in (83 mm) of rainfall, which is 470% of normal. At Rome State Airport, Oregon, 2.01 in (51 mm) of precipitation fell during June. This was 245% of normal, making June 2020 the wettest on record since records began in 1950. Plymouth, Utah also observed its wettest June since 1940 with 3.46 in of rainfall (88 mm; 332% of normal). Because June precedes the normal onset of the North American Monsoon, it is typically the southwestern U.S.’s driest month. Many desert regions in Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada observed less than 0.25 in (6.4 mm) of precipitation in June 2020. Other areas of the west were also drier-than-normal, including northern California and southern Oregon, where severe drought conditions have taken hold following a dry winter. For example, Crescent City, CA experienced its 9th driest June since 1950 with 0.65 in of rain (17 mm; 38% of normal).
- Sea surface temperature anomalies in the tropical Pacific remained 1-2°F (0.5-1.0°C) above average. This led to warmer-than-average temperatures on the Hawaiian Islands. Lihue Airport averaged 79.3°F (26.3°C), its 5th warmest since 1950 at 1.2°F (0.7°C) above normal. Molokai Airport averaged 79°F (26.1°C; 2.4°F (1.3°C) above normal). This was the 4th warmest June since 1949. Hilo International Airport recorded its warmest June since 1950 with average temperatures of 77.7°F (25.4°C; 2.5°F (1.4°C) above normal). Precipitation was below- or near-average on all islands except the normally rain-shadowed western portion of the Big Island, which experienced wetter-than-normal conditions. Honolulu Airport received 0.10 in (2.54 mm) of rainfall (38% of average), the 19th driest since 1940.
- Consistent with the anomalously deep Aleutian Low that promoted wetter conditions in the northwestern U.S., Alaska also experienced an unusually wet June. 7.3 in (185 mm) of rain fell at Juneau (228% of average), the second wettest since records began in 1937. Drier-than-normal conditions occurred in southwestern Alaska. For example, with only 0.82 in (21 mm) of rain (50% of average), King Salmon had its 14th driest June since 1917. June sea ice extent was 92% of the 1981–2010 average in the Chukchi Sea. Slower melt was also taking place in the Beaufort Sea, with just a few areas along the northeastern coast showing open water. Statewide, the month was largely absent of hot weather, however, air temperatures were anomalously warm in the Arctic. With an average temperature of 51.5°F (10.8°C), Nome had its 9th warmest June since 1900 (3.7°F (2.1°C) above normal).
- Lightning-Ignited Tundra Fires in Alaska: June marks the onset of lightning season in Alaska. Numerous convective thunderstorms brought lightning and thunder to Alaska during June 2020. Nine days of thunder were reported at Fairbanks (the 2nd most in June, one short of the record) and for the first time since records started in 1953, three consecutive days of thunder in Anchorage. Lightning from these storms triggered fires throughout the state early in the month, though generally cool and wet conditions helped slow fire growth. Several lightning-started fires northwest of Bethel on May 31st grew to approximately 108,000 acres (43,700 ha). These are some of the largest tundra fires on record (since record keeping began in the 1940s) located with such close proximity to the Bering Sea.
- Out-of-season Santa Ana Winds in southern California: The warm and dry conditions associated with Santa Ana winds bring critical fire weather to southern California during the fall through spring. The passage of an anomalous out-of-season trough to the north during early June established the necessary inland–coastal pressure gradient that drives air from the deserts down to the coast. An early season heat wave resulted, with multiple days of well-above-average temperatures (~25°F (14°C) above normal), single-digit relative humidity, and 50-60 mph (22-27 ms-1) winds. Daily records were set at locations including San Diego, Los Angeles, El Cajon, and Anaheim. Luckily, fire activity was minimal.
- For more information, please go to the Western Regional Climate Center Home Page.
Citing This Report
NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: National Climate Report for June 2020, published online July 2020, retrieved on August 12, 2020 from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/202006.