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.

Reader Comments

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1345 - 1295

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35Blog Index

1345. pcola57


DAY 1 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1251 AM CDT SAT AUG 11 2012

VALID 111200Z - 121200Z

...NO SVR TSTM AREAS FORECAST...

...SYNOPSIS...
CLOSED UPPER LOW OVER ONTARIO PROVINCE LIFTS NWD DURING SAT AS
STRONGER WINDS IN THE LOWER/MIDDLE ATMOSPHERE SHIFT NWD ALONG THE
MID-ATLANTIC/NEW ENGLAND STATES. AN IMPULSE IN THE NWLY FLOW ALOFT
MOVES THROUGH THE NRN/CENTRAL PLAINS WHILE UPPER LEVEL HIGH PRESSURE
WEAKENS OVER THE SWRN U.S.

AT THE SURFACE...LOW PRESSURE OVER ONTARIO WILL MOVE NWD WHILE A
TRAILING COLD FRONT MOVES EWD TO JUST INLAND FROM THE
MID-ATLANTIC/NERN US COAST. THE FRONT WILL EXTEND WWD ACROSS THE SE
STATES AND INTO TX...AND BEGIN TO LIFT NWD ACROSS THE SRN PLAINS
LATE IN THE DAY. A SURFACE LOW AND COLD FRONT WILL ALSO MOVE INTO
THE CENTRAL/NRN PLAINS SAT.

...MID-ATLANTIC/NEW ENGLAND AREA...
TSTMS ARE EXPECTED IN THE VERY MOIST AIR MASS IN ADVANCE OF THE COLD
FRONT SAT AS FORCING ASSOCIATED WITH THE UPPER TROUGH LIFTS NEWD
ACROSS THE MID-ATLANTIC/NEW ENGLAND COASTAL AREAS. DEEP LAYER SHEAR
IS ONCE AGAIN MORE THAN ADEQUATE FOR ORGANIZED TSTMS FROM THE
MID-ATLANTIC NWD...BUT POOR LAPSE RATES AND WIDESPREAD CLOUDINESS
WILL RESULT IN GENERALLY WEAK INSTABILITY. TSTMS DEVELOPING AHEAD OF
THE FRONT WILL HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE ISOLATED STG WIND
GUSTS.

...SERN U.S. WWD THROUGH GULF COAST/ERN TX...
LARGE-SCALE FORCING IS MORE SUBTLE THAN FARTHER NORTH THOUGH
INSTABILITY IS GREATER AND THE LARGELY UNCAPPED ENVIRONMENT SHOULD
RESULT IN SCATTERED TSTMS BY AFTERNOON. DEEP LAYER SHEAR WILL BE
SUFFICIENT FOR A FEW ORGANIZED STORMS PRODUCING DAMAGING
WINDS...WITH ISOLATED LARGE HAIL POSSIBLE.

...PORTIONS OF CENTRAL/NRN PLAINS...
A STRONG SHORT WAVE TROUGH MOVING INTO THE PLAINS WILL RESULT IN
FAVORABLE CONDITIONS FOR SVR TSTMS...WITH THE MAIN QUESTION MARK
BEING THE DEGREE OF DESTABILIZATION SAT AFTN/EVENING. GUIDANCE
GENERALLY SUGGESTS AFTN MLCAPE OF AROUND 1000 J/KG WITH WESTERLY
DEEP LAYER SHEAR OF 45 KTS. THIS REGION IS ON THE FRINGE OF AN
EML...WITH SUFFICIENTLY STEEP LAPSE RATES THAT ANY TSTM THAT FORMS
WILL HAVE THE POTENTIAL FOR LARGE HAIL/DAMAGING WINDS. IF GREATER
DESTABILIZATION THAN CURRENTLY EXPECTED DEVELOPS IN THIS AREA...THEN
HIGHER SVR PROBABILITIES WOULD BE WARRANTED.

...COLORADO RIVER VALLEY AREA OF AZ/CA...
INCREASING PWAT VALUES AND A WEAK DISTURBANCE MOVING AROUND THE
UPPER LEVEL ANTICYCLONE SHOULD RESULT IN AFTN TSTM DEVELOPMENT.
TSTMS SHOULD BE HIGH-BASED WITHIN A DEEPLY MIXED BOUNDARY LAYER WITH
A RISK OF DAMAGING WINDS.

..BUNTING/HURLBUT.. 08/11/2012

CLICK TO GET WUUS01 PTSDY1 PRODUCT

NOTE: THE NEXT DAY 1 OUTLOOK IS SCHEDULED BY 1300Z
CURRENT UTC TIME: 0750Z (2:50AM), RELOAD THIS PAGE TO UPDATE THE TIME
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1344. pcola57
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Cape Verde-type hurricane lists 5 different tracks.


Thats a frightening list of storms on that page... :(
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Cape Verde-type hurricane lists 5 different tracks.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1342. pcola57
Quoting intunewindchime:
night Pcola57.... it's been a while. Hope you are well.


G'night intunewindchime,
Been healing well and getting along fine...You take care.. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
night Pcola57.... it's been a while. Hope you are well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1340. pcola57
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


After lowering Rover Curiosity to the Martian surface...it flew away and crashed.Rover location is on the right end of white line.


So we lost the Rover itself or the apparatus that dropped it in place?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1339. pcola57
Quoting intunewindchime:
hey can you take your political discussion to your own blog page??? Seriously...this really is not the place. This is a weather blog. A mention of something off subject is ok IF it's just onece or twice mentioned. But I had to read through post after post to find the substance which is supposed to be about weather.... I hope admin picks up on this. Down time or not you guys pushed the boundaries.

Good night


I see your not waiting for a response sooo...
Those who were in "those" discussions have signed off anyway..
And Good night too you too.. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


After lowering Rover Curiosity to the Martian surface...it flew away and crashed.Rover location is on the right end of white line.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1337. pcola57
Quoting bigwes6844:
oh okay thats pretty weird!but is dat high making it do that too


That high is massive this year and farther south..just gotta wait for storm to get more embedded in order to give models a better grasp on it.. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
hey can you take your political discussion to your own blog page??? Seriously...this really is not the place. This is a weather blog. A mention of something off subject is ok IF it's just onece or twice mentioned. But I had to read through post after post to find the substance which is supposed to be about weather.... I hope admin picks up on this. Down time or not you guys pushed the boundaries.

Good night
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Mid-Level Low in the Western Caribbean, TD 7 approaching the islands, and a front draped across the Gulf Coast:



94E aka Ex-Ernesto is massive:

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting pcola57:


Usually happens when models don't have a good handle on a weak storm..give it 48 hrs. and then see how it looks.. :)
oh okay thats pretty weird!but is dat high making it do that too
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1332. pcola57
Quoting bigwes6844:
uh?? wats up with the loopy loops?


Usually happens when models don't have a good handle on a weak storm..give it 48 hrs. and then see how it looks.. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
uh?? wats up with the loopy loops?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
000
SXUS73 KGRR 110620
RERGRR

RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND RAPIDS, MI
0210 AM EDT SAT AUG 11 2012

...RECORD DAILY MAXIMUM RAINFALL SET AT GRAND RAPIDS MI...

A RECORD RAINFALL OF 1.80 INCHES WAS SET AT GRAND RAPIDS MI
YESTERDAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 1.42 SET IN 1916. THIS WAS
ALSO THE HEAVIEST 24 HOUR MIDNIGHT TO MIDNIGHT RAINFALL OF THE YEAR
TO DATE AT GRAND RAPIDS. THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 1.14 INCHES ON THE
18TH OF JUNE.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1329. pcola57
Barbados radar..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good night anyone on here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
G'night all. Very much wondering what the blob to the east of Florida will look like midday.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
... Record daily maximum rainfall set at Flint Michigan...

A record rainfall of 1.08 inches fell at Flint Michigan on August
10th. This breaks the old record of 0.89 inches set in 1993.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Here comes the rain............it's all right.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
07 is closing in on Barbados and the Windward's however. Typical T-Storm activity expected.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
What does TIA mean?

Thanks In Advance
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
What does TIA mean?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Blog update on td7/93L
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:
I'll be back later once this Weather blog goes back to talking about weather and not f'ing politics or world financial problems.

Politics is as boring as bat s***. No matter which country it's about. All world govts are corrupt, and one's that aren't wished they were.

I bid you all a good afternoon.


HWRF 126hrs...



GFS 126hrs...



CMC 126hrs...



NOGAPS 126hrs



GFDL 126hrs




All due respect but the Tropical Atl. is rather stale ATM. Constructive talk otherwise I see as beneficial, there are still big issues otherwise that plague our nation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


I'm not saying it leads to intelligence, I'm saying it gives access to knowledge.


Giving someone access to info in 10 seconds by typing a keyword compared to having to find it in the encyclopedia is a huge difference in brain function. It's why we are the "NOW" world. Now world doesn't exercise the frontal lobe nearly enough.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tribucanes:
All the younguns here are sharp as tacks though. Geo-politically not so much, but that comes in the mid to late twenties for most. Most of the highschool and college kids here are very sharp and engaging. Finding the truth geo-politically has never been harder. Gotta dig and fight like a honey-badger to get to it.


On behalf of myself and VA, I thank you.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
All the younguns here are sharp as tacks though. Geo-politically not so much, but that comes in the mid to late twenties for most. Most of the highschool and college kids here are very sharp and engaging. Finding the truth geo-politically has never been harder. Gotta dig and fight like a honey-badger to get to it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1309. sar2401
Well, the nurse's aides at the Grothar Home for Retired Weather Geeks are telling me they are going to give me an extremely painful shot if I don't get off the computer. Y'all have fun arguing about education and I'll see you in the later, after the aides give me my morning shower. One of them is kind of cute. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting huntsvle:


I'm not trying to say anything about you personally VA, because I'm in your generation, and I look around me and see it all the time.

You are the exception to the normal.


Yeah, I know. I hope you aren't taking anything personally either haha. Just enjoying the dialogue.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting allancalderini:
you are going to receive the wrath of wunderkidcayman with these comment.

Let him bring it... all models show otherwise. I hope for a good ASCAT or OSCAT pass to really show him the truth.

He has to back up his comments also.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'll be back later once this Weather blog goes back to talking about weather and not f'ing politics or world financial problems.

Politics is as boring as bat s***. No matter which country it's about. All world govts are corrupt, and one's that aren't wished they were.

I bid you all a good afternoon.


HWRF 126hrs...



GFS 126hrs...



CMC 126hrs...



NOGAPS 126hrs



GFDL 126hrs

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting huntsvle:


It give access to knowledge, THAT YOU SHOULD ALREADY HAVE...is the point.


Why should I have random trivia stored in my brain, when I can instantly find it? I should be spending my time learning things I can't easily look up.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Msdrown:



Yea, but wasn't Wilma going through GOM IN hi 80's to low 90's which 7 isn't???


Low SST's would be an underlying factor that is exaggerated in fast moving storms.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Still there is great individual intellect. People still do seek. Just saying if you don't have a reason why we've gone from number one to behind Eastern Europe in the last 25 years then please; silence of the lambs. Many, individually are still as sharp as ever, if not more so. In America though, as a rule, we've become so much more selfish and dumb. They do go hand in hand. Not saying that is the case for individuals. Many do not fit the norm in America. Many excel and give me hope. Most do not.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


I'm not saying it leads to intelligence, I'm saying it gives access to knowledge.


I'm not trying to say anything about you personally VA, because I'm in your generation, and I look around me and see it all the time.

You are the exception to the normal.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:
HWRF 0-126hrs Total Precipitation


I don't think TD-07 will make it to the islands as a TD, it will be a T-wave by morning.
you are going to receive the wrath of wunderkidcayman with these comment.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tribucanes:
Those who would argue that American's are smarter now than previous generations are fools. We've gone from the smartest in the world to lesser than Eastern Europe. We've fallen off the intellectual train in the last twenty in the states. Technology has mirrored this drop in intellectualism. Some tell it like it might be. I tell it like it is.


Most likely why I will vote to take steps forward and vote more dems in the house. We are so far behind already. It's time for these investors and business tycoons to forge a new path to wealth.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


I'm not saying it leads to intelligence, I'm saying it gives access to knowledge.


It give access to knowledge, THAT YOU SHOULD ALREADY HAVE...is the point.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If Gordon don`t come out of td 7 tomorrow it probably will never come out of it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1345 - 1295

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35Blog Index

Top of Page

Category 6™

About

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