July 2012: hottest month in U.S. history

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:16 PM GMT on August 10, 2012

During the 1930s, a series of epic heat waves gripped the U.S., drying up the soil in an unprecedented drought that brought about the great Dust Bowl. The most intense heat hit during July 1936, which set a record for hottest month in U.S. history that stood for 76 years. That iconic record has now fallen, bested by 0.2°F during July 2012, which is now the hottest month in U.S. history, said NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) this week. So far in 2012, we've had the warmest March on record, 3rd warmest April, 2nd warmest May, and warmest July. These remarkably warm months have helped push temperatures in the contiguous U.S. to the warmest on record for the year-to-date period of January - July, and for the 12-month period August 2011 - July 2012. Twenty-four states were record warm for that 12-month period, and an additional twenty states were top-ten warm. The past fourteen months have featured America's 2nd warmest summer (in 2011), 4th warmest winter, and warmest spring. The summer of 2012 is on pace to be a top-five warmest summer on record, and could beat the summer of 1936 as the warmest summer in U.S. history.


Figure 1. When the temperature peaked at an all-time high of 108° in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 14, 1936, the want-ad staff at the 'St. Paul Daily News' was provided with 400 pounds of ice and two electric fans to cool the air in the press room. Photo from the Minnesota Historical Society.


Figure 2. Year-to-date temperature, by month, for 2012 (red), compared to the other 117 years on record for the contiguous U.S., with the five ultimately warmest years (orange) and five ultimately coolest years (blue) noted. The 2012 data are still preliminary. The year-to-date period of January - July was the warmest on record by a huge margin--1.0°F. Image credit: NOAA/NCDC.


Figure 3. For the fourth consecutive month, a new U.S. record for hottest 12-month period was set in July 2012. Five of the top-ten warmest 12-month periods in the contiguous U.S. since 1895 have occurred since April 2011. Image credit: NOAA/NCDC.

Most extreme January - July period on record
NOAA's U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI), which tracks the percentage area of the contiguous U.S. experiencing top-10% and bottom-10% extremes in temperature, precipitation, and drought, was 46% during the year-to-date January - July period. This is the highest value since CEI record-keeping began in 1910, and more than twice the average value. Remarkably, 83% of the contiguous U.S. had maximum temperatures that were in the warmest 10% historically during the first seven months of 2012, and 74% of the U.S. of the U.S. had warm minimum temperatures in the top 10%. The percentage area of the U.S. experiencing top-10% drought conditions was 20%, which was the 16th greatest since 1910. Extremes in 1-day heavy precipitation events were the 24th greatest in the 103-year record.


Figure 4. NOAA's U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI) for January - July shows that 2012 has had the most extreme first seven months of the year on record, with 46% of the contiguous U.S. experiencing top-10% extreme weather.

Little change to the U.S. drought during the past week
The great U.S. drought of 2012 remained about the same size and intensity over the past week, said NOAA in their weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report issued Thursday, August 9. The area of the contiguous U.S. covered by drought dropped slightly, from 63% to 62%, and the area covered by severe or greater drought stayed constant at 46%. The area of the country in the worst drought categories (extreme to exceptional drought) doubled from 10 percent last month to 22 percent this month. The extreme dryness and excessive heat devastated crops and livestock from the Great Plains to Midwest. During July, the area of the U.S. covered by moderate or greater drought was 57%, ranking as the 5th largest drought in U.S. history:

1) Jul 1934, 80%
2) Dec 1939, 60%
3) Jul 1954, 60%
4) Dec 1956, 58%
5) Jul 2012, 57%



Video 1. This is Not Cool: Peter Sinclair's July 2012 video from the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media couples historical footage with contemporary clips and news segments. In one of the latter, for instance, NBC anchor Brian Williams opens the network’s flagship news program with the words: “It’s now official. We are living in one of the worst droughts of the past 100 years.” NASA scientist James Hansen is featured testifying about risks of “extreme droughts” in the nation’s breadbasket, and I'm featured in a few clips talking about the drought of 2012.

I'll have a new post by noon Saturday.

Wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt has a post looking back at the great Heat Wave of July 1936.

Jeff Masters


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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00z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
TD #7

Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)






Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmosweather:


Wow you should have!

And yeah, the arguments around here now pale in comparison to the trolls and personal attacks we used to see a few years ago lol. I remember a few times when blog administrators had to intervene in serious matters...


I really should have joined then. One wonders why there are so many lurkers, even now. I would read the comments and was amazed. I remember the first time I got banned. I was so embarrassed. My family made me a little dunce cap and told me to go stand in the corner.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting AegirsGal:


Aerial spraying for mosquitoes on along the South Shore of Mass has been happening as well. The little nasties up here have been found to be carrying Tripoli(sp?) in many areas. I have heard a lot of folks up here complaining that the winter was so mild that the usual crop didn't die off as expected.

As the spraying wont be selective in its chemical nature, then all the little insects in the sprayed area will be obliterated.
Whatever imagination you care to invoke and I wont expand into reams, this is going to cause all sorts of problems.
Nothing more to be added, until we count the cost, of ,those ,who ,were ,lost?
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Sometimes when it gets really boring out in the Atlantic, I like to browse through the more exciting moments since 2005. Like Ernesto 2006 being predicted to become a major in the Gulf, Dean and Felix being monsters, Humberto, Ike's landfall, Igor, Julia and Karl all being hurricanes at once, Irene becoming a major hurricane, and Beryl 2012's landfall in Florida are generally the most interesting WU moments I can think of being on here.


Add to that list the week leading up to Katrina's landfall (STORMTOP anyone?!) and my personal favorite, the night when Wilma went mad in the Caribbean.
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Be a lurker for 5 years, from Zachary, Louisiana, I have to say I like

Patrap's Style


"Read Between the lines"
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Blob to the NW of TD7 is in an environment that's been enhanced by the remnants of Flo over the last 48 hours. Still amazed at how it mirrors TD7 so well. Anyone else have an opinion about this mirroring effect? I wouldn't be shocked to see a yellow circle around this disturbance later tonight.
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Quoting Grothar:


I used to read the blog but didn't join until 2009. I didn't feel I had anything to say.

(too many kids causing trouble then, too!) :)


Wow you should have!

And yeah, the arguments around here now pale in comparison to the trolls and personal attacks we used to see a few years ago lol. I remember a few times when blog administrators had to intervene in serious matters...
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Quoting AegirsGal:


Aerial spraying for mosquitoes on along the South Shore of Mass has been happening as well. The little nasties up here have been found to be carrying Tripoli(sp?) in many areas. I have heard a lot of folks up here complaining that the winter was so mild that the usual crop didn't die off as expected.


They are spraying for EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis)

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Quoting Grothar:


You know about that. Very few people do. I'm impressed. Interesting part of American history. Have you read about the destruction of the hurricane?

TWO hurricanes, back to back. They tried to rebuild, then next year another leveled them.

One of the most ironic take-aways from those 20-30 years was the use of (largely German) immigrants and Mormons to be human buffers against the newly rampaging Comanche. But the Comanche were enchanted by the new people and their industry, and not only left them alone but traded with them. This all happened within shouting distance of me, on the Colorado river.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


floaters retagged it 94E


Aw, oh well! Thanks for that though :)
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I got bored and decided to look back at some of the comments from Dr. Masters very first blog. Noticed some people we know now.



Sometimes when it gets really boring out in the Atlantic, I like to browse through the more exciting moments since 2005. Like Ernesto 2006 being predicted to become a major in the Gulf, Dean and Felix being monsters, Humberto, Ike's landfall, Igor, Julia and Karl all being hurricanes at once, Irene becoming a major hurricane, and Beryl 2012's landfall in Florida are generally the most interesting WU moments I can think of being on here.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting LoneStarWeather:

Nein! Deutsche alles nacht!


That would be "Deutsch nur, die ganze Nacht", but good try.
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Quoting LoneStarWeather:

Nein! Deutsche alles nacht!


Translation: No! German tonight!
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I'm off to watch " Yes Prime Minister"

Much more fun than TD7

Back tomorrow. Good night all
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931. JLPR2
It doesn't help that ASCAT missed TD 7. :\

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:


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Not bad at all.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
The storm in the Arctic is just nuts. The implications huge.

http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/blog/archives/110 38

Meanwhile, it snowed in South Africa?
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Quoting Grothar:


English, please!

Nein! Deutsche alles nacht!
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...Doom cough talk

heh heh

: )
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Quoting sunlinepr:


Take a big bite of crackers and say FOSFORITO...


I don't smoke.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
924. JLPR2
Quoting kmanislander:


This map says the 850 mb vort is still there but that is 5000 feet up.

The real question is whether we still have a closed surface low



We will have to wait and see what the HHs find tomorrow, that's the only way for us to know what is really happening over there.
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Quoting muddertracker:


Omas or Friessenhaus?

Yes! :)
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Quoting muddertracker:


Omas or Friessenhaus?


English, please!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmosweather:


You got that right haha ;P I think that comment was made on one of the nights that me and a user named Alec went on a 'blog attack' while everyone was bored lmao


I used to read the blog but didn't join until 2009. I didn't feel I had anything to say.

(too many kids causing trouble then, too!) :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting LoneStarWeather:

Where are you located? They have a couple of really good German restaurants in New Braunfels.


Omas or Friessenhaus?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting PlazaRed:
So, here's my solar powered computer opperating from dust obscured moonlight.
note of the night. Link first for a change, skye will love this if shes about.

http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/08/10/4172555/d allas-county-allows-aerial-spraying.html

DALLAS — Suffering from the nation's deadliest outbreak of West Nile virus this year, Dallas County authorized aerial spraying of insecticide on Friday for the first time in nearly five decades to help fight the mosquito-born illness.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/08/10/4172555/da llas-county-allows-aerial-spraying.html#storylink= cpy


Aerial spraying for mosquitoes on along the South Shore of Mass has been happening as well. The little nasties up here have been found to be carrying Tripoli(sp?) in many areas. I have heard a lot of folks up here complaining that the winter was so mild that the usual crop didn't die off as expected.
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Quoting JLPR2:
Here is an example of the 925mb map being wacky.



Notice where it places Ernesto's vort while it was in the Bay of Campeche.

So I'm 90% TD 7's vort is still there, but there is always the possibility it dissipated in 3 hrs.

Small storms can fall apart quickly.


This map says the 850 mb vort is still there but that is 5000 feet up.

The real question is whether we still have a closed surface low

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Quoting redwagon:


And the Germans that survived the trip and the storms were largely wiped out by mosquitos, dysentery and cholera. It's a wonder anyone survived.

The settling of Austin by, well, Stephen F. Austin and the whacked and unlikely story behind how THAT happened and the subsequent move of the capitol from the Brazos to Austin ended that horrific period of disease and death.


You know about that. Very few people do. I'm impressed. Interesting part of American history. Have you read about the destruction of the hurricane?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting redwagon:

What did y'all order? German restaurants don't exist around here, so we have to live vicariously through other diners :)

Which is odd, since Centex was largely settled by Germans.

Where are you located? They have a couple of really good German restaurants in New Braunfels.
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Quoting gulfbreeze:
The southern end of 93l looks better than the northern part! Also what happen to the storm that the models where showing in the Gulf for the weekend?


I believe only the NOGAPS was showing that

Correction, the CMC
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914. JLPR2
Here is an example of the 925mb map being wacky.



Notice where it places Ernesto's vort while it was in the Bay of Campeche.

So I'm 90% sure TD 7's vort is still there, but there is always the possibility it dissipated in 3 hrs.

Small storms can fall apart quickly.

***Notice the time on the map, 00utc...

Seems the map is a fail... at 00z
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
The southern end of 93l looks better than the northern part! Also what happen to the storm that the models where showing in the Gulf for the weekend?
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
And I agree. The vort is gone...lol
I was talking to the politics of the situation.


Politics and weather. Hmmm

Interesting mix LOL
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911. Hugo5
TD 7 will have some windshear to deal with over the next 12 hours, if it survives it will have a great chance, near 80%, of becoming a tropical storm in the Carr. The new TD off of Africa was no surprise again to those of the blog, however missing any real advisory from NOAA, only admitting that it was a TD once the swhirl became so evident on satelite that they had to, not uncommon with storms just off of Africas coast. Ernesto somewhat survived the transition, diminishing to obvious reminats before reemerging over the Pacific and being given an 80% chance of becoming a TD in the next 24 hours by NOAA. Flo's reminats have gotten closer to the US coast and have meet up with some moisture from a wave that was off Floridas coast, don't expect anything to develope in the next 24 hours, but will be a spot to look at for lots of showers and thunder stroms with possible developement in the future. Honorable mention goes to a wave that developed in the Carr. yesterday that has favorable conditions for developement, no models are suggesting anything with this becoming a storm though. Till tomorrow please feel free to let me know what you think. Thanks.
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Quoting Grothar:


You should read about what they did to the early. German Immigrants in Indianola. Incidentally, a city that was wiped off the map by two hurricanes. Interesting story.


And the Germans that survived the trip and the storms were largely wiped out by mosquitos, dysentery and cholera. It's a wonder anyone survived.

The settling of Austin by, well, Stephen F. Austin and the whacked and unlikely story behind how THAT happened and the subsequent move of the capitol from the Brazos to Austin ended that horrific period of disease and death.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting kmanislander:


Not suggesting the all clear, simply observing the material difference in the 925 mb vort from late this afternoon.
And I agree. The vort is gone...lol
I was talking to the politics of the situation.
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07L/TD/XX/CX
MARK
13.89N/53.54W
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So, here's my solar powered computer opperating from dust obscured moonlight.
note of the night. Link first for a change, skye will love this if shes about.

http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/08/10/4172555/d allas-county-allows-aerial-spraying.html

DALLAS — Suffering from the nation's deadliest outbreak of West Nile virus this year, Dallas County authorized aerial spraying of insecticide on Friday for the first time in nearly five decades to help fight the mosquito-born illness.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/08/10/4172555/da llas-county-allows-aerial-spraying.html#storylink= cpy
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906. JLPR2
Quoting kmanislander:


Perhaps, but it is what it is for now


That I agree with, will have to wait for the next update to see if it appears or is really gone.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


You must have been a youngster when you joined.


You got that right haha ;P I think that comment was made on one of the nights that me and a user named Alec went on a 'blog attack' while everyone was bored lmao
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Quoting mitthbevnuruodo:
Hi all just in from work and notice on the tropical page actually lists it as 'remnants of ernesto'....so does that mean they'll keep his name even though he's technically not a storm anymore? or is it too far now and will re-name him next off the EPac list?! Just thought it odd to still list it as that if they would re-name anyway.


floaters retagged it 94E
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Quoting Grothar:


I could never say ferrocarril, without wetting everyone around me.


Take a big bite of crackers and say FOSFORITO...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Look to the Northwest of TD7 there is a blob with identical almost twin like qualities. If you look at them using funktop on satellite it shows it best. May be looking at the next invest.
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
The wording in the 11EST discussion should be interesting. It's the timing of the wave/TD into the Islands. The last discussion already hinted at some different opinions between the NHC and the Islands own officials regarding throwing up watches/warnings. In short, I don't see the open wave being the definitive NHC call for tonite. They'll wait until morning. No need to give the "all-clear" tonite just in case.


Not suggesting the all clear, simply observing the material difference in the 925 mb vort from late this afternoon.
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Quoting atmosweather:


Well me and CybrTeddy were correct...lmao.


You must have been a youngster when you joined.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting muddertracker:


It would be a lot easier to just say train. LOL!


I didn't learn that until later. I learned Spanish in Spain. I was there thix months. (just a little Spanish humor)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
lookig at TD7's Advisorys from the start lets look at the movement speed

Thurs 5pm advis#1 20MPH
Thurs 11pm advis#2 20MPH
Fri 5am advis#3 20MPH
Fri 11am advis#4 23MPH
fri 5pm advis#5 24MPH
fri 8pm interadv#5A 24MPH
its maybe getting ready to drop speed a little hmm

well I remember someone saying that TD7 being on the SE side of the ridge of high pressure being bad for it well just looking at the steering maps and it looks like it is now on the S side which is the better side

looking at the shear there is a small tongue of 20-30kt shear TD7 has to pass by in the morning if TD7 can pass it will no real major problems with its convection and/or it core I think its really gone clear and dissipation will be less likely and development can start btw anyone has the latest SHIP model text please can you post it thanks



Hope springs eternal in the mind of man
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Quoting kmanislander:


We will know soon enough
The wording in the 11EST discussion should be interesting. It's the timing of the wave/TD into the Islands. The last discussion already hinted at some different opinions between the NHC and the Islands own officials regarding throwing up watches/warnings. In short, I don't see the open wave being the definitive NHC call for tonite, even though it may be one. They'll wait until morning. No need to give the "all-clear" tonite just in case.
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lookig at TD7's Advisorys from the start lets look at the movement speed

Thurs 5pm advis#1 20MPH
Thurs 11pm advis#2 20MPH
Fri 5am advis#3 20MPH
Fri 11am advis#4 23MPH
fri 5pm advis#5 24MPH
fri 8pm interadv#5A 24MPH
its maybe getting ready to drop speed a little hmm

well I remember someone saying that TD7 being on the SE side of the ridge of high pressure being bad for it well just looking at the steering maps and it looks like it is now on the S side which is the better side

looking at the shear there is a small tongue of 20-30kt shear TD7 has to pass by in the morning if TD7 can pass it will no real major problems with its convection and/or it core I think its really gone clear and dissipation will be less likely and development can start btw anyone has the latest SHIP model text please can you post it thanks

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather