California drought still intensifying
FRISCO — The average June temperature across the contiguous United States was 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, not near a record but still high enough to rank as the 33d warmest June on the books, according to the National Climatic Data Center’s monthly summary.
No state reported June temps ranking in the top 10, but if you’re waiting for things to cool down at night, you may be out of luck. The average minimum temperature during the first month of summer was 1.7 degrees above average — the 10th warmest average minimum temperature on record.
Many climate models project that nighttime low temps will rise faster than the overall average temperature, a worrying trend that doesn’t bode well for city dwellers, and especially for low-income residential areas, where residents are not equipped to protect themselves from extreme heat.
The NCDC also reported that precipitation for month was well above average, at 3.67 inches across the lower 48 states, making it the 10th-wettest June on record. At the same time, drought worsened across parts of the far West and the south-central U.S., with little relief in sight for a parched California. There’s some hope for Arizona and New Mexico, with signs that a developing El Niño could strengthen the summer monsoon season in the Southwest.
Arizona would benefit from plentiful monsoon moisture after reporting its third driest June on record, with 0.01 inch of precipitation, 0.28 inch below the 20th century average; only June 1916 and 1951 were drier.
For the year to date, the average temperature was just 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit above average, putting the climate year in the middle of the pack for the 120-year period of record, and marked the coldest first half of the year since 1993.
The far west, especially California, was the warmest are in the country. For California, all six months so far in 2014 have been above-average, with five falling in the “much above average” or top ten percent.
From the NCDC report:
- Above-average June temperatures were observed along the East Coast and into the Midwest. The Southwest was also warmer than average, where Arizona and California both had their 11th warmest June on record. No state had a top 10 warm June.
- Near-average June temperatures were observed from the central Gulf Coast, through the Central Plains, and into the Northwest. Below-average temperatures were observed in the Northern Rockies and parts of the Northern Plains. No state had a top 10 cool June.
- Interestingly, in much of the Lower Mississippi Valley and mid-South, afternoon temperatures were below average, while nighttime temperatures were much above average. This likely reflects a relatively wet and cloudy summer month acting to moderate both afternoon and overnight temperatures.
Read the full report here: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/2014/6.