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

Share this Blog
38
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

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

Viewing: 196 - 146

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24Blog Index

Quoting roflcopter:


You'd be wrong and you're also missing the point.

He's talking about burying the power lines. That's why I didn't lose power in the storms. It's also why my brother's house DID lose power (and ended up with a power tower in their back yard)....


in my area
we bury all the wires as well
i have an actual hydro vault right in the building with the only access is by hydro repair
its enclosed with a lock steel grate on the outside nw corner of the building
right under my apartment
it has 3 transformers inside which power my building and three others
power never goes in a storm or i should say never has so far
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting Astrometeor:
96E could become a tropical depression at any time.

How about now? Or maybe now? Why is the NHC holding back? Any ideas?


My guess is that they are waiting for T-numbers to hit 2.0. 96E is away from land so there is no real hurry in classifying it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ncstorm:


Im kinda of surprised that other states havent volunteered their utility workers as when we do have a hurricane..has anyone seen any news of that happening?


Sigh...Nobody ever reads my posts. Probably because they're usually posted at 5a.m. ;)

Entergy sends help after storms

Posted: Jul 02, 2012 6:38 PM CDT Updated: Jul 02, 2012 6:51 PM CDT

Entergy workers are traveling to restore power to more than a million storm victims in parts of the Midwest and Mid Atlantic.

The storm is described as a long- lived wind storm that hit Friday, leaving up to 1.4 million customers without electricity.

Now Beaumont Entergy workers are on their way to help restore electricity in Kentucky and West Virginia.

Maggie Stephens from Ashland, Kentucky says it came without warning.

"There's a lot of stores down, a lot of trees down and power lines. There was another storm last night that caused more damage," said Stephens.

She's one of nearly 64,000 Kentuckians without power, hoping Beaumont Entergy workers can bring relief. 65 workers have been sent to Ashland and Pikeville, Ky. and west Virginia to restore power.

"I have been without power after several hurricanes, a couple just in the past few years. So here in Texas we know exactly what that feels like," said Entergy Spokesperson, Ericka English.

The heat is the main concern for Entergy workers who worry about the safety of the 1.4 million people across five states without electricity.

"If anytime there is a time to be without power, the summer would not be it," said English.

Stephens says people are desperate for help.

"I don't think we've ever been in this situation before where somebody had to come from Texas to come help, but it's really appreciated."

Entergy says it isn't certain when these people will have power again.
Experts say this storm had 60 to 100 mile an hour winds. This type of storm can travel for hundreds of miles causing damage generally along a straight path.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
CZC MIATWOEP ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
500 PM PDT TUE JUL 3 2012

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

1. 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.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER CANGIALOSI/PASCH
NNNN


why do they type those $$$.. i have been curious for a long time
ooopps I just quoted myself
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 47n91w:


You're most welcome. GRlevel3 version 2
http://www.grlevelx.com/grlevel3_2/


I was afraid you would say that. I don't mind paying them the $80 (it's an excellent piece of software, and it is worth the price), but it's Windows-only. Sort of leaves us Mac / Linux users in the dark...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
96E could become a tropical depression at any time.

How about now? Or maybe now? Why is the NHC holding back? Any ideas?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I will eat crow if 96E is not name td4 E at 11pm.soory for error.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4010
Quoting Civicane49:
96E is up to 90%.


The important sentence is this one.

CONTINUE TO SHOW
SIGNS OF ORGANIZATION...AND THE SYSTEM COULD BECOME A TROPICAL
DEPRESSION AT ANY TIME.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14014
Quoting Titoxd:


Thanks for the images. What software do you use to get the dual-pol radar data?


You're most welcome. GRlevel3 version 2
http://www.grlevelx.com/grlevel3_2/
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
96E is up to 90%.

I expect it to become a tropical depression later tonight or tomorrow, if current trends continue.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
CZC MIATWOEP ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
500 PM PDT TUE JUL 3 2012

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

1. 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.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER CANGIALOSI/PASCH
NNNN
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 954FtLCane:

For the most part these are probably the same politicians that want to slash all sorts of spending, including spending on infrastructure, but are willing to continually speak out of both sides of their mouths just to convince their constituents that they really care....
Yeah my 1000th post is a political posting. I was hoping to save it for my opinion on the GFS' next achievement.


You'd be wrong and you're also missing the point.

He's talking about burying the power lines. That's why I didn't lose power in the storms. It's also why my brother's house DID lose power (and ended up with a power tower in their back yard)....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 47n91w:


Interesting question on the HCA. The legend is for HCA (bottom-right). Big Drops, Ground Clutter, and Unknown.



Thanks for the images. What software do you use to get the dual-pol radar data?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-wire/post/ mayor-gray-says-public-is-fed-up-with-pepco-outage s/2012/07/02/gJQAfKkrIW_blog.html








Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Why not? I like reading the other blogs to see what's happenin in other basins...

I could try blogging on other basins myself...but the detailed style I use forces me to choose one basin for time sake...so I picked the Atlantic...


I just misunderstood your statement on telling other bloggers not to focus on eastern Pacific too much. My bad.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
96E needs some filling out to do to attain T.D status..and i'm not using MODEL to predict that :).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Civicane49:


Thanks, I'll try to not focus heavily on the eastern Pacific too much. I'll also focus on the Atlantic basin for tropical cyclone development. I like your blog.


Why not? I like reading the other blogs to see what's happenin in other basins...

I could try blogging on other basins myself...but the detailed style I use forces me to choose one basin for time sake...so I picked the Atlantic...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting presslord:


Thank you, sir! That's mighty kind of ya...


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting weatherh98:


thats the wind mill farm?


Yup. "Iron Ridge is the community in Dodge County closest to the Butler Ridge Wind Farm, a wind farm that contains 36 turbines that are 300 feet wide and 260 feet tall. It sits along the Niagara Escarpment, a ridge that originates in Ontario, runs through Wisconsin, and ends in Illinois."
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY
TO ALL MY FRIENDS
SOUTH OF THE BORDER


Thank you, sir! That's mighty kind of ya...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 47n91w:


Interesting question on the HCA. The legend is for HCA (bottom-right). Big Drops, Ground Clutter, and Unknown.



thats the wind mill farm?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I wrote a new blog if you're interested. The tropics are quiet right now so it's just a collection of random thoughts (that's the title actually).
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7614
Quoting Titoxd:


Sweet! So if I remember my dual-pol stuff correctly, the high differential reflectivity indicates that the targets are mostly flat, and the low correlation coefficient says that the targets are likely to be non-meteorological in origin. What does the Hydrometeor Classification Algorithm say about the turbine field?


Interesting question on the HCA. The legend is for HCA (bottom-right). Big Drops, Ground Clutter, and Unknown.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:


Global Fire Maps Period: 2012/171 - 2012/180 (06/19/2012 - 06/28/2012)

thats a lot of fires
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The 1936 Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 16, 1936,[1] and lasted until October 31, 1936. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin.

The 1936 season was fairly active, with 17 tropical cyclones including a tropical depression. Seven storms became hurricanes, of which one became a major hurricane. Despite the activity, conditions were generally unfavorable throughout the season. In addition, the season was unusual in the fact that no storms moved across large portions of the Caribbean Sea.[2] Seven storms, including three hurricanes, struck the United States. The season also set many records for the earliest date for a numbered storm, though all were surpassed by the extreme activity of the 2005 season.Will this season be similar?

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NCHurricane2009:

Good post...probably more interesting than what I've got out for the Atlantic because there is nuthin there...

Don't follow the E-pac as heavily as you guys...


Thanks, I'll try to not focus heavily on the eastern Pacific too much. I'll also focus on the Atlantic basin for tropical cyclone development. I like your blog.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting txjac:


Early wishes for a happy Forth are welcome.
It's awesome that he remembered us here in the US

Lots of 4th related activities already happening


It isthe fourth in asia
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ncstorm:


Im kinda of surprised that other states havent volunteered their utility workers as when we do have a hurricane..has anyone seen any news of that happening?


I believe they are sending help. Can't remember where I read this, but that a lot of large structures damaged in the storms require helicopters to get them into rugged locations, and right now lots of equipment is tied up in the fires in the west.

That may be part of the problem.

If anyone knows more, please add to this, or correct me if I'm misinformed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
thanks Orchid and Trib..I didnt know..its great to hear that!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
164. txjac
Quoting weatherh98:


its stil the third, and its independence day budd :)


Early wishes for a happy Forth are welcome.
It's awesome that he remembered us here in the US

Lots of 4th related activities already happening
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Civicane49:
I've made a blog entry on Invest 96E, if anyone's interested.

Good post...probably more interesting than what I've got out for the Atlantic because there is nuthin there...

Don't follow the E-pac as heavily as you guys...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting weatherh98:


its stil the third, and its independence day budd :)

I don't know about you but many people call it the fourth and it is tomorrow (a sizzling one at it)....now what was he supposed to do....hmmmm.... wait till 12:01am.... lol.... ;-)
Thanks for the well wishes KEEPER!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 954FtLCane:

For the most part these are probably the same politicians that want to slash all sorts of spending, including spending on infrastructure, but are willing to continually speak out of both sides of their mouths just to convince their constituents that they really care....
Yeah my 1000th post is a political posting. I was hoping to save it for my opinion on the GFS' next achievement.
twc.will..have.your.characters.hide.for.these.com ments
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Pretty sure it's safe to say 96E has attained tropical depression status.


at least TD, looks really good


Behind it, you can see soon to be 97E
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 47n91w:
Wind farm on dual-pol, 0.5 degree tilt, VCP 32. Color legend is for the ZDR.

Reflectivity: upper-left
Correlation coefficient: upper-right
ZDR: lower-left
KDP: lower-right



Sweet! So if I remember my dual-pol stuff correctly, the high differential reflectivity indicates that the targets are mostly flat, and the low correlation coefficient says that the targets are likely to be non-meteorological in origin. What does the Hydrometeor Classification Algorithm say about the turbine field?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Got a blog post out this morning on the Atlantic tropics...if anyone is interested....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY
TO ALL MY FRIENDS
SOUTH OF THE BORDER


its stil the third, and its independence day budd :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ncstorm:


Im kinda of surprised that other states havent volunteered their utility workers as when we do have a hurricane..has anyone seen any news of that happening?


I would think they have by now, NC. NPR was reporting yesterday or this morning that some utility companies were bringing in crew from as far away as Canada.

((edit -- Sorry, Trib!-We were answering the same post with the same basic reply, but you beat me to the punch!)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
ncstorm, other states are helping. Canadian companies have even come in. This is just an epic mess, going to take awhile to right.
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2437
Quoting Tribucanes:
Politician said people are sick of power outages. Wants power outages to not happen. Can't remember the clown's name, but the sad truth is, this is the new norm. This was an act of God, equal to what a strong cat. 4 hurricane would do to a region. If this heat doesn't break this summer more wind events will have people sweating it out again soon enough. Power companies totally overwhelmed by this. Working 14-18 hour days they are just as miserable as the people they're trying to help. Bottom line, this just sucks; best to get used to it.

For the most part these are probably the same politicians that want to slash all sorts of spending, including spending on infrastructure, but are willing to continually speak out of both sides of their mouths just to convince their constituents that they really care....
Yeah my 1000th post is a political posting. I was hoping to save it for my opinion on the GFS' next achievement.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
COPIED over from end of previous page.......

Baha, If you see this prior to reading back the comments from yesterday,
I have a request...

Dr. Masters answered many questions and it would be nice if someone copied the questions, and his answers onto a blog here for reference for others who come in...

CRS
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Pretty sure it's safe to say 96E has attained tropical depression status.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Baha, If you see this prior to reading back the comments from yesterday,
I have a request...

Dr. masters answered many questions and it would be nice if someone copied his answers onto a blog here for reference for others who come in...

CRS
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tribucanes:
Politician said people are sick of power outages. Wants power outages to not happen. Can't remember the clown's name, but the sad truth is, this is the new norm. This was an act of God, equal to what a strong cat. 4 hurricane would do to a region. If this heat doesn't break this summer more wind events will have people sweating it out again soon enough. Power companies totally overwhelmed by this. Working 14-18 hour days they are just as miserable as the people they're trying to help. Bottom line, this just sucks; best to get used to it.


Im kinda of surprised that other states havent volunteered their utility workers as when we do have a hurricane..has anyone seen any news of that happening?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Wind farm on dual-pol, 0.5 degree tilt, VCP 32. Color legend is for the ZDR.

Reflectivity: upper-left
Correlation coefficient: upper-right
ZDR: lower-left
KDP: lower-right

Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 196 - 146

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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

Local Weather

Scattered Clouds
78 °F
Scattered Clouds