The June 2012 U.S. heat wave: one of the greatest in recorded history

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:34 PM GMT on July 03, 2012

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Intense heat continues to bake a large portion of the U.S. this Tuesday, with portions of 17 states under heat advisories for dangerously high temperatures. The heat is particularly dangerous for the 1.4 million people still without power and air conditioning due to Friday's incredible derecho event, which is now being blamed for 23 deaths. The ongoing heat wave is one of the most intense and widespread in U.S. history, according to wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt. In his Sunday post, The Amazing June Heat Wave of 2012 Part 2: The Midwest and Southeast June 28-30, Mr. Burt documents that eighteen of the 298 locations (6%) that he follows closely because of their long period of record and representation of U.S. climate broke or tied their all-time heat records during the past week, and that "this is especially extraordinary since they have occurred in June rather than July or August when 95% of the previous all-time heat records have been set for this part of the country." The only year with more all-time heat records than 2012 is 1936, when 61 cities of the 298 locations (20%) set all-time heat records. The summer of 1936 was the hottest summer in U.S. history, and July 1936 was the hottest month in U.S. history.

According to wunderground analysis of the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) extremes database, during June 2012, 11% of the country's 777 weather stations with a period of record of a century or more broke or tied all-time heat records for the month of June. Only 1936 (13% of June records broken or tied) and 1988 (12.5%) had a greater number of all-time monthly June records. I expect when NCDC releases their analysis of the June 2012 weather next week, they will rank the month as one of the top five hottest Junes in U.S. history.


Figure 1. Across the entire Continental U.S., 72% of the land area was classified as being in dry or drought conditions as of June 26, 2012. Conditions are not expected to improve much over the summer: the NOAA Climate Prediction Center’s latest drought outlook shows much of the U.S. in persistent drought conditions, with very few areas improving. The rains brought by Tropical Storm Debby did help out Florida and Georgia, however. Image credit: NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory.

The forecast: hot and dry
July is traditionally the hottest month of the year, and July 2012 is likely to set more all-time heat records. The latest predictions from the GFS and ECMWF models show that a ridge of high pressure and dry conditions will dominate the weather over about 80 - 90% of the country during the next two weeks, except for the Pacific Northwest and New England. This will bring wicked hot conditions to most of the nation, but no all-time heat records are likely to fall. However, around July 11, a sharp ridge of high pressure is expected to build in over the Western U.S., bringing the potential for crazy-hot conditions capable of toppling all-time heat records in many western states.

The intense heat and lack of rain, combined with soils that dried out early in the year due to lack of snowfall, have led to widespread areas of moderate to extreme drought over much of the nation's grain growing regions, from Kansas to Indiana. The USDA is reporting steadily deteriorating crop conditions for corn and soybeans, and it is likely that a multi-billion dollar drought disaster is underway in the Midwest.

The wunderground Extremes page has an interactive map that allows one to look at the records for the 298 U.S. cities that Mr. Burt tracks. Click on the "Wunderground U.S. Records" button to see them.

Quiet in the Atlantic
There are no threat areas to discuss in the Atlantic, and none of the reliable computer models are developing a tropical cyclone over the next seven days.

Have a great 4th of July holiday, everyone, and I'll be back Thursday with a new post.

Jeff Masters

Sheep Mountain Ablaze! (turbguy)
The Squirrel Creek Fire spread rapidly last night, and topped the crest of Sheep Mountain as we watched last night. This is a telephoto shot from our west patio. The line of light below the fire is Harmony Wyoming. Sheep mountain is 22 air miles away from us...
Sheep Mountain Ablaze!
Derecho Damage (apphotos)
A woman makes a photograph of Mike Wolfe's pick-up truck as it lies under a fallen tree in front of his house after a severe storm in Falls Church, Va., Saturday, June 30, 2012. Wolfe's daughter Samanth Wolfe created the for sale sign as a joke. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Derecho Damage
Derecho in Catlett (Lokigrins2)
Ground strike reflected off car
Derecho in Catlett
Mink Creek Fire (troxygirl48)
Fire currently burning on mink creek to johnny creek. the fire has claimed 10 house that i know of. My hearts go out to the families.
Mink Creek Fire

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Quoting Tazmanian:





that dos not help me sorry
maybe he is trying to say that they switch servers.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4312
Quoting rcmjones:


"We're a community. Learn to respect that>" EXACTLY! A community in which each person should respect the proper place for presenting themselves to others. If we prefer nudity, we don't walk down the street naked, because it would be disrespectful to our neighbors and their children. And, as you stated, "Korthie's preferences may not be of relevance to the blog" So there, I'm not "bitten" as you say, just wishful that amidst all of the "gay celebration" in our society today, that it could be realized that the great majority of folks simply don't care.


In my opinion, what Kori should have done without going into all the detail he did - was just state that he had a problem and that any of his friends on here, or other people that were interested in helping him with it, to please contact him via an email address or his private message email on here (if there is one) .

I actually think you have a legit point in expressing what you did (up there in the quoted test). No, it's probably not all that "politically correct", but people seem to forget that respect should go both ways, not just in favor of a certain group. Airing personal relationship issues in detail on a weather newsgroup/ blog is inappropriate. Kori could and should have used better judgment in what he posted. Had he done what I suggested above, I don't think anyone would have taken issue at all with it.
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


see #331





that dos not help me sorry
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115084
Quoting Tazmanian:
by the way is it me or is the blogs loding fast tonight


see #331
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5222
Have a good night everyone...I'm off to bed.
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Happy 4th of July everyone.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4312
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Well yesterday was 40 minutes ago lol. Pretty amazing though.

BTW: Happy Independence Day! & night

Same to you!
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Quoting nigel20:

Yeah, i read it yesterday.
Well yesterday was 40 minutes ago lol. Pretty amazing though.

BTW: Happy Independence Day! & night
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Not sure if anyone is into physics but a leaked video of researches have seemed to have confirmed the discovery of the Higgs boson. Read the story on reddit earlier but its now the featured story on CNN. This is huge for physics as it shows that the standard model is in fact correct ( Or we are at least on the right track). An official announcement should be made soon.

Yeah, i read it yesterday.
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by the way is it me or is the blogs loding fast tonight
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115084
.
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115084
Not sure if anyone is into physics but a leaked video of researches have seemed to have confirmed the discovery of the Higgs boson. Read the story on reddit earlier but its now the featured story on CNN. This is huge for physics as it shows that the standard model is in fact correct ( Or we are at least on the right track). An official announcement should be made soon.

Leaked video: Link

Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
Quoting j2008:
Yea its going at full force now, supposed to be a fun few days with actual rain....


Loved them summer boomers when I was stationed at Luke AFB in Phoenix...great lightning storms!
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5222
Im getting the pages to load quickly,good throughput,wonder if they switched servers or?
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5222
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Night everyone.


Have a good night TA!
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Forgive me, but who bit you wrong? While Korthie's preferences may not be of relevance to the blog, we're a community. Learn to respect that.


"We're a community. Learn to respect that>" EXACTLY! A community in which each person should respect the proper place for presenting themselves to others. If we prefer nudity, we don't walk down the street naked, because it would be disrespectful to our neighbors and their children. And, as you stated, "Korthie's preferences may not be of relevance to the blog" So there, I'm not "bitten" as you say, just wishful that amidst all of the "gay celebration" in our society today, that it could be realized that the great majority of folks simply don't care.
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Night everyone.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32025
Quoting sunlinepr:


WV from the ITCZ invades that N latitude that usually is where the Saharan dust is flowing all the way to the C. islands... If it saturates that path with WV, then Tropical waves from Africa have more favorable conditions for development...



As you can see here dry air is the dark blue areas...


Wave close to africa seem to have a moist eviroment along his path models doent develop but its bears watching.
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Showers and thunderstorms associated with a low pressure area located about 500 miles south of Manzanillo Mexico continue to show signs of organization...
and the system could become a Tropical Depression at any time.
This system has a high chance...90 percent...of becoming a Tropical Cyclone during the next 48 hours as it moves west-northwestward at about 10 mph [16km/h].
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Invest 96E is building a respectable Central Dense Overcast.




hmmm eye walll fourming?



ok the NHC needss too make this a TD like right now
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115084
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

No. It will probably peak as a low-end Category 1 hurricane or strong tropical storm.

Thanks much!
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Quoting nigel20:

Hey TA...do you think that future Daniel will become a major hurricane?

No. It will probably peak as a low-end Category 1 hurricane or strong tropical storm.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32025
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Invest 96E is building a respectable Central Dense Overcast.


Hey TA...do you think that future Daniel will become a major hurricane?
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Quoting KoritheMan:
I don't often advertise my personal life on here, ....


Oh, I forgot to add "When using Dr. Masters' blog, please refrain from posting material not relevant to the discussion of tropical weather, or the topic of the blog entry itself." You MUST have read this when posting. If you must air your personal life, there are literally thousands of other places to do so on the internet.
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Invest 96E is building a respectable Central Dense Overcast.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32025
Quoting KoritheMan:
I don't often advertise my personal life on here, but....
So DON'T. This site and blog concerns the WEATHER. No one wants to hear about your sexual preferences EVER, ANYWHERE. Keep it to yourself FOREVER. Please....!
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I actually wrote a blog tonight, covering my thoughts on Invest 96E, and [to a lesser extent] the disturbance likely to become a named storm in the EPAC over the coming days. I mentioned the Atlantic briefly too. Check it out. :)

Invest 96E nearly a tropical depression, no threat to Mexico; Atlantic basin quiet
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32025
Quoting sunlinepr:
Remember Iniki - Hawaii





It is almost its 20th anniversary.
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Quoting KoritheMan:
Well I did some thinking, and I have an idea of what I will do. Nothing drastic, so don't worry. I would rather not discuss it though until I see how the situation unfolds. I WILL keep you guys updated, though. I promise. I love each and every one of you. Even you, Cody. ;)

I greatly appreciate everyone's concern and well-wishes. I will try and respond to my numerous WU mails tomorrow.

Until then, I leave you all with a blog I did while thinking. I'm a strong person, I can't let something like this keep me down!

This will be my last post (I won't even lurk) until tomorrow. See ya.


Kori, you actually have two issues to deal with in this situation.

First, someone made a pass at you and the biggest mistake made was the fact that the person making the pass was a fellow employee. Most companies frown on fraternization in the work place. I suggest you ignore the so called secret being passed on to you by Marah, and go about your business, as if nothing happened, until Nick confronts you personally.

As for your dad...isn't there a saying 'And the truth shall set you free'? Telling him the truth is the honorable thing to do.

Martin Luther King is quoted as saying 'Truth in defeat is more powerful than a lie triumphant'.

Sooner or later, your father will find out the truth. Time does that.

Wouldn't you rather he heard it from you, as opposed to some 'get even' person.

Or, would you want to be deathly ill and have him find out then?

I wish the best for you and your father.

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Quoting sunlinepr:
Remember Iniki - Hawaii


The same year as the infamous hurricane Andrew.
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310. j2008
Im out for the night later everyone, expecting a TD in the morning.
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RIPAG
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Remember Iniki - Hawaii



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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:

Daniel could get somewhat close to Hawaii, look at the other behind it. Maybe Emilia could make it being farther south


The future Daniel and Emilia are unlikely to threaten Hawaii as tropical cyclones, but both could bring some added rain there according to this link.
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Quoting nigel20:

Agreed...we had some rain today, but it was mostly along the northern coast.


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305. j2008
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
I think the Arizona/New Mexico Monsoon gonna get going,if it hasn't already.
Yea its going at full force now, supposed to be a fun few days with actual rain....
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Today it was not as warm and it rained in the West interior as always in the afternoon hours. Now we await the arrival of the next Tropical Wave on the 4th to see how much rain this one will bring not only to PR but to some of the NE Caribbean islandds that need it badly.

Agreed...we had some rain today, but it was mostly along the northern coast.
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I think the Arizona/New Mexico Monsoon gonna get going,if it hasn't already.
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5222
Quoting sunlinepr:
Watch out Hawaii....



Like I say almost every Daniel pass near the Hawaiian islands.be careful with these storm.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4312
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


I don't think we will see a TD.. no ATCF upgrade... so get started with handful of it
yes i accept it dear . I want it without feathers please.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4312
Sure...Watch out Hawaii....



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Quoting nigel20:

Hey Tropics...what was the weather like today?


Today it was not as warm and it rained in the West interior as always in the afternoon hours. Now we await the arrival of the next Tropical Wave on the 4th to see how much rain this one will bring not only to PR but to some of the NE Caribbean islandds that need it badly.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14253

Daniel could get somewhat close to Hawaii, look at the other behind it. Maybe Emilia could make it being farther south
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They're probably trying to see how it fares during D-MIN since two of the previous invests this season have fizzled. So far so good. It will probably be declared overnight.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32025
Kori: Brave move. While just a long term lurker I have appreciated your comments and knowledge and blog. You are smart, young and living in a time that is hoepfully understanding. As a total stranger I do wish you well.

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.