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 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

Ahhh that really sucks dude. Better luck next time.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32249
Quoting WxGeekVA:


There's always Friday...
Some good movies being released this week in theaters.I know that sounds so clique..
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17069
Quoting Grothar:


Don't you ever watch anything of substance, like Cheers?


never ;>
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Ah man.Better luck next time?.


There's always Friday...
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Still TD Four-E at 11pm.
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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
Ah man.Better luck next time?.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17069
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Syfy channel..the Best of the Twilight Zone. Right now, one of the classics..To Serve Man.
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Syfy channel..the Best of the Twilight Zone. Right now, one of the classics..To Serve Man.


Don't you ever watch anything of substance, like Cheers?
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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
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Looks like a good Blechhütten setting up in the SW Caribbean.

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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Syfy channel..the Best of the Twilight Zone. Right now, one of the classics..To Serve Man.



Thanks - agreed - classic
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Maybe this has already been discussed ad nauseam, but does anybody think that wave (the one with the yellow circle) has any chance for development? I know there is no model support, but if it holds together past Cuba the shear is considerably lower. Note that 0% is for the next 48 hours, past that point could it (possibly) develop? Or will it fall apart? What do you (all) think?
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Syfy channel..the Best of the Twilight Zone. Right now, one of the classics..To Serve Man.
Thanks.
I think I've seen it 400 times, but it never dissapoints.
I'll watch it again.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


I'm okay. Certainly doing a lot better than yesterday. Although it still sucked that I had to work on Independence Day. I work every holiday. Dammit!


Glad to hear that today is better than yesterday. A day is just another drop of water in the bucket. :)
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933. wxmod
These are satellite photos from today. The top is of the US and shows smoke from a few fires. See the Great Lakes on the upper right. The bottom photo is of Russia and shows the smoke from some of Russia's fires. The two photos are the same in scale.


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Quoting hydrus:
That looks very good...:) This post definitely deserved a bump....I want to wish everyone a happy and safe forth of July..Someone slam a brew for me for I cannot...:)

Slam I am Hydrus.
Happy 4th to you and all my other WU heroes.
Thanks for all the insight!
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It's super hot and muggy outside.Feels like someone is covering you with a blanket.Once the thunderstorms hit this air mass all bets are off.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17069
Syfy channel..the Best of the Twilight Zone. Right now, one of the classics..To Serve Man.
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Melting ice the greatest factor in rising sea levels

Melting glaciers and ice sheets have contributed more to rising sea levels in the past decade than expansion from warming water, according to modelling in the latest report by the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems (ACE) Cooperative Research Centre.

Before 2000 thermal expansion was the biggest factor in rising sea levels.
The shift was “a fairly sure sign that you’re getting out of the normal balance”, said report author Dr John Hunter, an oceanographer and expert in rising sea levels at the ACE.

Report Card: Sea Level Rise 2012 provides a summary of the past decade of peer-reviewed scientific research into sea-level rise, and is the most recent update since a report in 2008.

During the 20th century sea levels rose at a rate unmatched for 6,000 years, the report says. Satellite measurements have confirmed the global average rise of 1.9mm a year, as measured in tide gauges. “This present sea-level rise is due to a combination of thermal expansion of a warming ocean and the melting of glaciers and ice sheets.”

“We’ve been better able to match up two things: observed sea level rises – which we get by looking at tide gauges until about 20 years ago, then after that tide gauges and also records from satellites – and estimates of sea level rises, which we get by looking at ocean temperatures and observing ice on land, the two biggest components, among other things,” Dr Hunter said.

“If we can get those estimates to agree with the observations from tide gauges and satellites, then we have a good understanding of sea level rise. At the time of the last assessment, that wasn’t all that well done, and we didn’t know very much about ice. We’ve got a better understanding now.”
But estimating the future rate of ice loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets remained the largest uncertainty in projecting sea-level rise over the next century, he said.

From 1993 to 2009, reconstructed tide-gauge data shows a rise of 2.8mm per year and satellite data shows a rise of 3.2mm per year.
Since 1972, thermal expansion contributed about 45% to total sea level rise, glaciers and ice caps another 40%, with most of the remainder from the ice sheets, the report says. Since 1993 the contribution of the ice sheets to sea-level rise has increased to about 30%.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has estimated that projected sea level rise over the next century could vary from about 10-20cm to about 80cm.

Dr Hunter said it was “only just about now that we’re starting to observe melting from ice is starting to overtake thermal expansion. If you disturb the earth, the first thing that happens is that you just get thermal expansion from the heating of the water, and there’s quite a lag before melting from the ice starts to kick in, and eventually the ice becomes a greater contributor. This is always a fairly sure sign that you’re getting out of the normal balance.”

The two biggest impacts of the rising sea level will be flooding from inundation along hard shoreline, and coastal recession along soft shoreline, the report says. A relatively modest increase in mean sea level of 50cm will increase the frequency of flooding by a factor of roughly 300.
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928. JRRP
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Quoting OldLeatherneck:
"Dinner for Two....Texas Style"

Here is hoping that everyone, here in the U.S., has had a wonderful 4th of July.

We have been blessed to live in a great country. It is my sincerest hope and prayer that this country can re-unite and face the future with an honest appreciation for the many perils we face. While many of the issues we face seem more imminent, it is climate change that poses the greatest long-term risk, if wisdom and leadership do not prevail.

GOD BLESS AMERICA!!
That looks very good...:) This post definitely deserved a bump....I want to wish everyone a happy and safe forth of July..Someone slam a brew for me for I cannot...:)
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Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


its pulling a 95E?

I don't think so... It will end up as a high end TS most likely.
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Bit of a hook on this storm near Methuen, MA...

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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Yeah... It's very large and broad, and convection isn't very well organized... I actually was expecting an upgrade though... I feel like there's probably some 40mph winds in there...



its pulling a 95E?
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Quoting KoritheMan:
I know I have my own problems, but I'm putting that aside for now to wish Cody and his family the best. Godspeed.

Hey Kori, Happy 4th of July. Hope all is well with you.
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i think they will upgrade some time they dont follow the acf site

this



CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
2.9 /1001.9mb/ 43.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
2.9 3.0 3.0


and this

05/0000 UTC 13.3N 108.1W T2.5/2.5 04E -- East Pacific



both show its at lest a 40 or 45 mph TS
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115247
Quoting OldLeatherneck:
"Dinner for Two....Texas Style"

Here is hoping that everyone, here in the U.S., has had a wonderful 4th of July.

We have been blessed to live in a great country. It is my sincerest hope and prayer that this country can re-unite and face the future with an honest appreciation for the many perils we face. While many of the issues we face seem more imminent, it is climate change that poses the greatest long-term risk, if wisdom and leadership do not prevail.

GOD BLESS AMERICA!!


Well i dont really like everything about the US of A, but damn do i like uncle sams food!!!!!!!!! Send me some of that Americana!

Happy 4th everybody!
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Looks pretty ragged.



not compared to this am
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5234
Quoting KoritheMan:


Looks pretty ragged.

Yeah... It's very large and broad, and convection isn't very well organized... I actually was expecting an upgrade though... I feel like there's probably some 40mph winds in there...

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Quoting KoritheMan:


I'm okay. Certainly doing a lot better than yesterday. Although it still sucked that I had to work on Independence Day. I work every holiday. Dammit!

Feel the pain. Holidays were just another duty day for almost 29 years. Now I get holidays off but I think of those who must work. My hat off to you all.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
No Daniel at 11...

EP, 04, 2012070500, , BEST, 0, 134N, 1083W, 30, 1005, TD


Looks pretty ragged.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 582 Comments: 20768
Quoting sunlinepr:



looks like td 4e making comeback from its sickly look this am
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5234
Quoting BahaHurican:
Independence Day


OOOOOHHHHH! Smacks forehead. Now I get it. Lol. Gotcha Taz. :)
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No Daniel at 11...

EP, 04, 2012070500, , BEST, 0, 134N, 1083W, 30, 1005, TD
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Quoting Tribucanes:
How are you Kori? I'm busy ruffling feathers today, still in disbelief at the human race and our tendencies to repeat history.



you can say that again.......lol
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5234
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821
Repost:

Quoting Civicane49:
I've made a blog entry on Tropical Depression Four-E, if anyone is interested. Happy 4th of July everyone!

Tropical Depression Four-E in the Pacific; other areas to watch


I'll be out for now.
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


space/time travel


Time Travel: Einstein's big idea (Theory of Relativity)
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How are you Kori? I'm busy ruffling feathers today, still in disbelief at the human race and our tendencies to repeat history.
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"Dinner for Two....Texas Style"

Here is hoping that everyone, here in the U.S., has had a wonderful 4th of July.

We have been blessed to live in a great country. It is my sincerest hope and prayer that this country can re-unite and face the future with an honest appreciation for the many perils we face. While many of the issues we face seem more imminent, it is climate change that poses the greatest long-term risk, if wisdom and leadership do not prevail.

GOD BLESS AMERICA!!
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There is a decent little line of storms dipping across the MA/NH border right now, into the Merrimac Valley.
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I know I have my own problems, but I'm putting that aside for now to wish Cody and his family the best. Godspeed.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 582 Comments: 20768
http://radar.weather.gov/radar.php?rid=JUA&product= N0Z&overlay=11101111&loop=yes..fast.mover.slowdown .near.s.fl
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Quoting ncstorm:


I read back over my post at least 4 times..very positive I didnt say the word "development"..I said "start to see something"..

I will say this about the blog..consistency of naysayers if nothing else..
Yeah define "something" for me. To me it looked like you were calling out the nogaps now because you thought it showed something interesting. When I looked at the run I didn't see anything of interest in the Atlantic.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


space/time travel


spacetime continuum

everything made of nothing just attracted to higgs bosons.
but then what is the matter we feel, is that just a rejection to higgs bosons from the attraction our particles have to them?



CANT STAND PHYSICS
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Was just trying to remember the average return rate / strike or brush rate for the Florida coastline... looking at that 04 - 05 list, it just looks like FL filled its quota for the next 6 years... maybe why only had, what, Fay until this year?

lol


Well this is for a Cat 1...

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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


you guys have more storms?
Dont worry, ill scare them away.
never fails
Hope you do scare them away.Don't need anymore server ones for the rest of the summer.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17069
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


what do we need spaceships for?


space/time travel
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Independence Day


i know he said that but i still dont get it.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


what do we need spaceships for?
Independence Day
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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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