More heat records set in Pacific Northwest
FRISCO — July 2015 was record-warm across a large part of the Pacific Northwest and the southern tip of Florida, and well above average for most of the West, with near- to below average temperatures in a big swath extending from the central U.S. into the Northeast.
Taken all together, the monthly average temperature for the lower 48 states was 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, ranking near the middle in the 121-year period of record, according to the latest monthly update from the National Climatic Data Center.
For the year to-date (January-July), the average temperature for the contiguous U.S. January-July was 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, making it the 10th warmest year-to-date on record.
The NCDC also reported that montlhy precipitation across the U.S. was above average for the fourth month in a row, making it the 14th wettest July on record. Above average precipitation was observed across much of the West, Great Plains, and Ohio Valley. Below-average precipitation was observed in parts of the Southern Plains, Southeast, and Northwest.
Parched California had its second wettest July on record, with 0.64 inches of precipitation, but not enough rain to make a big dent in the drought, even with the mid-month remnants of Hurricane Dolores bringing record July rains to Los Angeles and San Diego. According to the NCDC, the precipitation did little to improve long-term drought conditions or improve wildfire conditions in northern parts of the state.
The Northwest continued to be the nation’s hotspot, with Oregon and Washington each reporting their warmest year-to-date on record, with temperatures more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit above average. Ten states were much warmer than average, including Alaska which had its second warmest January-July in the 91-year period of record. After a record warm first half of 2015 in California, the near-average July bumped 2015 to the second warmest year-to-date, behind 2014.
Information compiled from the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: National Overview for July 2015, published online August 2015, retrieved on August 7, 2015 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/201507.