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 KEEPEROFTHEGATE:




nice home grown


Wasn't Floyd a... classic Cape Verde?
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Derived from the 5July6amGMT (NHC) ATCF data for TropicalDepressionFourEast:
13.4n108.3w has been re-evaluated&altered*
13.5n108.3w-13.8n109.4w are now the most recent positions

Its vector had changed from *11.7mph(18.8km/h) WNWest to 12.8mph(20.7km/h) WNWest
MaxSusWinds had held steady at 30knots(35mph)56km/h
And minimum pressure had held steady at 1005millibars

For those who like to visually track TD.4E's path...
CSL is CaboSanLucas :: The unlabeled unconnected dot is IslaSocorro

ESEasternmost dot on the kinked line is where Invest96E was initiated
WNWesternmost dot on the kinked line is where Invest96E became TD.4E
ESEasternmost dot on the longest connected straight line-segment is TD.4E's most recent position

The longest connected straight line-segment is the straightline projection through TD.4E's 2 most recent positions to its closest approach to IslaSocorro
Northernmost dot on the unconnected dumbell is the 4July12pmGMT straightline projection's endpoint
Southernmost dot on the unconnected dumbbell is 4July6pmGMT straightline projection's endpoint
NWestern half of the blob connected to the straightline projection is 5July12amGMT's*endpoint
At 5July6amGMT, TD.4E was heading toward passage 297miles(478kilometres) South of IslaSocorro in ~13hours from now

Copy&paste csl, 16.229n112.449w, 15.687n112.482w, 14.618n112.191w, zlo, lzc, zih, aca, 9.2n95.5w- 9.2n96.4w- 9.3n97.3w- 9.5n98.1w- 9.8n99.1w- 10.1n100.0w- 10.3n100.4w- 10.5n101.0w- 10.8n101.8w- 11.1n102.8w- 11.6n104.1w- 12.1n105.3w, 12.1n105.3w-12.7n106.3w, 12.7n106.3w-13.2n107.3w, 13.2n107.3w-13.5n108.3w, 13.5n108.3w-13.8n109.4w, 13.5n108.3w-14.518n112.126w, 18.694n110.97w-14.518n112.126w into the GreatCircleMapper for more information
The previous mapping for comparison

* The previous vector and straightline projection's endpoint have been corrected on this mapping through recalculations using the most recent positions.
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


Still do!

Homegrown's all right with me.
Homegrown is the way it should be.
Homegrown is a good thing.
Plant that bell and let it ring.

The sun comes up in the morning,
Shines that light around.

One day, without no warning,
Things start jumping up from the ground.

Well, homegrown's all right with me.
Homegrown is the way it should be.
Homegrown is a good thing.
Plant that bell and let it ring.


Neil Young 1976



Yeah I had to quit. I'm allergic to it, it makes me high and hungry lol.
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


Going looking for mermaids??


Yep and Bud Light. Those know-it-all's at NOAA don't know everything. I still believe in the lady fishes.
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Quoting Tribucanes:
Keeper who in the world minuses you all the frickn time? I always have to open your comments.
It's a sign of his misspent youth.... lol

but seriously...

Set ur filter to [Show Bad]. That keeps the worst of the garbage off ur screen but allows KOTG to always be visible...

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Quoting hurricane23:


Might wanna get used to it. The way things are panning out the main development region could be shut down for most of the season. Strong high continues to pull plenty of dry air from northern Africa and placing in that region. Only a matter of time before strong upper level winds increase futher as the Walker circulation is disrupted due to the developing Nino. Close to home will be the place to watch this season but for now the tropics are closed for business for a while.
The first half of July is usually a pretty slow period most years, for the reasons you gave. Most seasons will bring increased moisture into the Caribbean and SW ATL during June, but July 1 - 20 are usually quiet days. So if u have something else to do besides watching the tropics, that's a good time to do it... lol

It's not impossible for something to spin up, but looking at the size / orientation of that high, anything that comes along will be scudding along, which also would reduce opportunities for organization and therefore cyclogenesis.
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1040. j2008
I just thought I would check in and let you all know that the monsoon was alive and well today. Don't get jelious but we recieved a record .77 at the airport and 1.15 in at my house and a funnel cloud with a hight temp of 86. Most rediculous day ever. Sorry guys I think that I stole your weather and gave you our weather. Be back tomorrow.
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Severe storms tracking through central Michigan could impact the metro Detroit area in a few hours.Link
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Pictures from severe storms yesterday with hail and mammatus. I even got hit in the head with a quarter sized piece!
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Convection firing over the coc.
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Quoting HimacaneBrees:
I used to love some nice home grown....... =)


Still do!

Homegrown's all right with me.
Homegrown is the way it should be.
Homegrown is a good thing.
Plant that bell and let it ring.

The sun comes up in the morning,
Shines that light around.

One day, without no warning,
Things start jumping up from the ground.

Well, homegrown's all right with me.
Homegrown is the way it should be.
Homegrown is a good thing.
Plant that bell and let it ring.


Neil Young 1976
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No change in the epac.

000
ABPZ20 KNHC 050532
TWOEP

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1100 PM PDT WED JUL 4 2012

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

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON TROPICAL
DEPRESSION FOUR-E...LOCATED ABOUT 480 MILES SOUTHWEST OF MANZANILLO
MEXICO.

DISORGANIZED SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY EXTENDS SEVERAL
HUNDRED MILES WEST OF COSTA RICA OVER THE FAR EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC
OCEAN. ONLY GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT OF THIS DISTURBANCE IS EXPECTED
OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS AS IT MOVES WESTWARD AT ABOUT 10 MPH. THIS
SYSTEM HAS A LOW CHANCE...20 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL
CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

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

&&
PUBLIC ADVISORIES ON TROPICAL DEPRESSION FOUR-E ARE ISSUED UNDER
WMO HEADER WTPZ34 KNHC AND UNDER AWIPS HEADER MIATCPEP4.
FORECAST/ADVISORIES ON THE DEPRESSION ARE ISSUED UNDER WMO HEADER
WTPZ24 KNHC AND UNDER AWIPS HEADER MIATCMEP4.

$$
FORECASTER BROWN


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Quoting HimacaneBrees:
WAHOOO!!!!!!!!! 6 more hours and i get to go home. Get off of this dang drilling rig for a couple weeks.


Going looking for mermaids??
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nothing for the Atlantic.


000
ABNT20 KNHC 050532
TWOAT

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 AM EDT THU JUL 5 2012

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

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

$$
FORECASTER BROWN
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4410
1030. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)


more heat this time for the west
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54627
Darned right it don' matter, KEEPEROFTHEGATE. You provide the BEST coverage of relevant weather maps & charts, as well as for other geophysical phenomena. And always have.
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ya welcome. Thank God Taz isn't on right now, I'd be getting the 3rd and 5th degree for being off topic.
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Thanks Himacane for the update.
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2437
Really more of a NCAA football fan though. I like watching the NFL but I love some college sports.
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Nope doesn't matter a bit, always one click away from the Keeper wisdom. Just seems silly and haterish.
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2437
Quoting Tribucanes:
Breese get his contract yet? Watched him at Purdue. Wisconsin vs. Purdue were awesome classics. Ron Dayne vs. Breese some of the best football I ever watched.


Yeah was some good games. Haven't heard any on the contract. He did say that he would sign the 1 yr franchise deal though if they hadn't got the long term deal done. I think they are like 1 million apart on the 5 yr deal.
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1023. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Tribucanes:
Keeper who in the world minuses you all the frickn time? I always have to open your comments.
some one that don't like me i guess or maybe just jealous it don't matter
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54627
Breese get his contract yet? Watched him at Purdue. Wisconsin vs. Purdue were awesome classics. Ron Dayne vs. Breese some of the best football I ever watched.
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2437
Keeper who in the world minuses you all the frickn time? I always have to open your comments.
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2437
I used to love some nice home grown....... =)
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Ya, Keeper you jump into that monster, it'll get you real high.
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1018. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting hurricane23:


Might wanna get used to it. The way things are panning out the main development region could be shut down for most of the season. Strong high continues to pull plenty of dry air from northern Africa and placing in that region. Only a matter of time before strong upper level winds increase futher as the Walker circulation is disrupted due to the developing Nino. Close to home will be the place to watch this season but for now the tropics are closed for business for a while.




nice home grown
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54627
Keeper, like my teachers always told me, "Your too darn slow kid!" Missed it again. All good Keeper, I'm trying to do ten things at once here. Hope ya'll had a really good fourth!
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2437
A record high of 102F was set at Detroit yesterday which beat the old record of 98F by 4 degrees. This is really hot for Michigan. Hot weather is expected to continue with excessive heat warnings and watches until Friday evening. I had 100 degree heat, severe storms, an awesome fireworks show, and celebrated my dad's birthday which was yesterday(4th) so I had an excellent 4th.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
tribucanes here is what i posted it will stay for 2 mins


I seen it for like 30 seconds. Moses did it again
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1014. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
tribucanes here is what i posted it will stay for 2 mins
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54627
alright i tried to fix it but i screwed it up even worse. Anyway I'm excited, I get to go home soon.
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Patrap, glad to hear it was a dry success.
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edited below (an incomplete double post)
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875 Tazmanian: You're going to end up banned for using foul language.

And you are gonna end up banned for quoting the word.
If it shouldn't have been said, it should not be quoted.
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1009. Patrap
Thunderstorms, Tree downed, Ribs were Fab, Puppies were fun, Fireworks awesome.


Twas a fine Holiday break fo sho.





Nice civility here seems.

TWC thing was a bad dream, Im glad it wasnt true.

Phew.....

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128871
okay i don't know y that posted twice
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Quoting HimacaneBrees:
WAHOOO!!!!!!!!! 6 more hours and i get to go home. Get off of this dang drilling rig for a couple weeks.
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1006. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Tribucanes:
Keeper, I missed the edited part.......sure it was good. :)
hang on i will sent it again
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54627
WAHOOO!!!!!!!!! 6 more hours and i get to go home. Get off of this dang drilling rig for a couple weeks.
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Quoting TomTaylor:
Tropics absolutely suck right now, who's down to go on strike?




Might wanna get used to it. The way things are panning out the main development region could be shut down for most of the season. Strong high continues to pull plenty of dry air from northern Africa and placing in that region. Only a matter of time before strong upper level winds increase futher as the Walker circulation is disrupted due to the developing Nino. Close to home will be the place to watch this season but for now the tropics are closed for business for a while.
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Keeper, I missed the edited part.......sure it was good. :)
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2437
Quoting WxGeekVA:
Okay so here goes why I'm mad

- I'm at my date at the Fairfax Fireworks
- Its going good about to get better ;)
- Technical Difficulties in the launch pit
- "Folks, we have to cancel, technical difficulties are too much and there is a storm coming"
- Panic in the crowd
- Have to walk my date to her car and then run to mine, lost my hat in the crowd
- Rolled my ankle walking down the hill
- Got to car... Almost got hit by amateur fireworks
- Got home... Power flicker and now wind gusts
- Night = Ruined
- And all because of storms
Hope the next one is a big and wonderful date.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4410
1001. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Tribucanes:
Daughter just saw her first fireworks tonight, she loved it! One of the only ones in the area in Central Wisconsin going on. Firefighters sprayed down the grounds every day for the last four here to make it happen. It went off without a hitch. Reverse biblical here, 40 days and 40 nights of no rain and counting.


EDIT
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54627
Quoting Slamguitar:
Thunderstorms over the northern Lake Michigan area are taking on a more organized shape.
Link
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54627
Thunderstorms over the northern Lake Michigan area are taking on a more organized shape.
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Quoting Tribucanes:
TD4e may become a hurricane or a moderate hurricane. It will traverse in a direction towards Hawaii but will not make it as an organised storm. Worse case this hits Hawaii as a very weak TD. No real threat to land.
Thanks, I know people who will be heading to Hawaii this weekend so I wondered if they would get anything.
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WeatherWannabe, kids are just the best! I'd even consider doing it all over again. :) Glad you and yours had a great night!
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2437

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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.

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