Wild World Weather – Summer Edition

In January of this year, I posted a chart and highlights from the State of the Climate report, published by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

Each month, NOAA/NCDC publishes a State of the Climate Report and accompanying charts, highlighting significant climate anomalies and events.

With the devastating news about the extreme drought now affecting more than 1/2 of continental US, I am posting the June, 2012 State of the Climate report, with information on world weather, and U.S. drought /wildfire-related information.

World Weather

While most of the world — including a majority of North America and Eurasia, and northern Africa — experienced higher-than-average monthly temperatures, Australia had below average temperatures during June, and New Zealand experienced its coolest daily maximum temperatures in 130 years.

Click on the map to view a larger version of Selected Significant Climate Anomalies and Events for June 2012

  • June marked the 36th consecutive June and 328th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average temperature June was June 1976 and the last below-average temperature month was February 1985.
  • The Arctic lost a total of 2.86 million square kilometers (1.10 million square miles) of sea ice, the largest loss of sea ice on record for June, since satellite records began in 1979.
  • Austria recorded its highest ever June temperature of 99.9°F (37.7°C) by a full degree Fahrenheit on June 30th in two locations: the capital city of Vienna and in German-Altenburg, Nope.
  • The United Kingdom experienced its wettest June since national records began. England and Wales each tied with 1860 as the wettest June since their records began in 1766.
  • Stockholm, Sweden received four times its average precipitation during June, making this month the city’s wettest ever since records began in 1786.
  • In China, copious rain fell throughout much of June, leading to the evacuation of 5 million people and flooding of 50,000 acres of farmland.
  • In parts of the Philippines, Typhoon Mawar brought 185 km/hr winds, resulting in heavy rains, flash floods and landslides.

US Weather – Drought and Wildfires

  • June 2012 was another warmer- and drier-than-average month (14th warmest and tenth driest June on record, based on data back to 1895) when weather conditions are averaged across the country.
  • Wildfires blazed across 1.36 million acres of the U.S. during June, fed by antecedent drought conditions and unparalleled heat.
  • At month’s end, 57 large wildfires were active in 15 U.S. states, mostly in the West, but also in Central and South Atlantic areas, and even in Alaska and Hawaii. The amount burned in the single month was more than half the total acreage burned by wildfires in the country since January, based on National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) statistics.
  • Based on the Palmer Drought Index, severe to extreme drought affected about 33 percent of the contiguous United States as of the end of June 2012, an increase of about 10 percent from last month. About 4 percent of the contiguous U.S. fell in the severely to extremely wet categories.
  • About 55 percent of the contiguous U.S. fell in the moderate to extreme drought categories (based on the Palmer Drought Index) at the end of June.

To view current drought related reports, click on the map below or here to link to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s drought monitoring website.