July 2012: hottest month in U.S. history

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:16 PM GMT on August 10, 2012

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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

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1745. aspectre
4:25 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
1679 Tazmanian: You need to go look at the NHC site before you start doing that

Nope.
1) The NHC.Advisory was for 3pmGMT. My historical mapping was for 12pmGMT.
2) The AutomatedTropicalCycloneForecasting file is the NHC's official report-of-record. When the NHC re-evaluates&alters the numbers on the ATCF report-of-record, I reflect that change on the next mapping.
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1744. Patrap
4:09 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
The Storm Remains the Same ?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
1743. HurrikanEB
3:57 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
well advisory is out TD7 is now a tropical wave however they now make it seem that it could regenerate which I think it could and would once it has entered the Central Caribbean

"THE WAVE WILL BE MONITORED FOR SIGNS OF REGENERATION...AND
ADVISORIES WOULD BE RE-INITIATED IF NEEDED."

I think that when it does enter the central caribbean it will be in good enough conditions for quick redvelopment and strengthening so all in the central and western Caribbean keep you eye on Tropical Wave 7/EX-TD 7

models should keep on running through out its "zombie" period


Maybe pull a Bonnie.. regenerate to depression status in the western Caribbean, and then a storm in the Gulf. Don't personally know if any of the models are suggesting that, but so far its essentially taken the same path through into the islands and at the same intensity... now if it can just stay far enough away from south america. None of the models forecasted regeneration with Bonnie.
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1742. Tazmanian
3:55 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
i think ex TD 7 will have a better ch in a few days
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1741. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
3:55 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
1740. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
3:53 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Quoting Tazmanian:
in other news

Powerful earthquake strikes northwestern Iran




DUBAI (Reuters) - Two strong earthquakes struck northwest Iran on Saturday and at least 50 people were taken to hospital, but there were no reports of any deaths, Iranian media said.

The U.S. Geological Survey measured the first quake at 6.4 magnitude and said it struck 60 km (37 miles) northeast of the city of Tabriz at a depth of 9.9. km (6.2 miles) at 12.34 GMT.

It said a second earthquake measuring 6.3 struck 49 km (30 miles) northeast of Tabriz 11 minutes later at a similar depth. Three more lesser aftershocks have followed since then.

The second quake struck near the town of Varzgan, Fars news agency said. "The quake was so intense that people poured into the streets through fear," it said.

Fifty people in the town had been taken to hospital, Fars said.

Other reports said the earthquake had broken telephone communications, making rescue efforts more problematic.

Iran is straddled by several major fault lines and has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent times, the last which struck the city of Bam in 2003, killing more than 25,000 people.

(Reporting by Marcus George; Editing by Jon Hemming


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
1739. SLU
3:53 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 5356
1738. Patrap
3:51 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Caribbean - Rainbow Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
1737. wunderkidcayman
3:51 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Quoting allancalderini:
Looks like td 7 will be the first td of the season to not become a ts hate when a td doesn`t strength to a ts.

hold on wait watch what it does in the caribbean its not dead and gone yet it has just weakened to a tropical wave
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12509
1736. Msdrown
3:51 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
These dissipating East Pac storms always look so cool on visible:



MAweatherboy1; here are the post earlier this morning that addressed your question about the Sun gash. 961,972,983,1215. I'll do some research and get back to you. This has been a interest of mine for a couple of years too. Don't get to crazy with this right now, theres nothing you can do about it anyway.
Member Since: August 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 255
1735. Patrap
3:48 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
www.solarham.net


Updated 8/11/2012 @ 13:55 UTC

M1.0 Flare

A long duration M1.0 solar flare took place this morning and was centered around Sunspot 1540. There was some interaction with Sunspot 1544 as well. Watch as plasma is magnetically pulled back in towards 1544 located to the east.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
1734. Tazmanian
3:47 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
in other news

Powerful earthquake strikes northwestern Iran




DUBAI (Reuters) - Two strong earthquakes struck northwest Iran on Saturday and at least 50 people were taken to hospital, but there were no reports of any deaths, Iranian media said.

The U.S. Geological Survey measured the first quake at 6.4 magnitude and said it struck 60 km (37 miles) northeast of the city of Tabriz at a depth of 9.9. km (6.2 miles) at 12.34 GMT.

It said a second earthquake measuring 6.3 struck 49 km (30 miles) northeast of Tabriz 11 minutes later at a similar depth. Three more lesser aftershocks have followed since then.

The second quake struck near the town of Varzgan, Fars news agency said. "The quake was so intense that people poured into the streets through fear," it said.

Fifty people in the town had been taken to hospital, Fars said.

Other reports said the earthquake had broken telephone communications, making rescue efforts more problematic.

Iran is straddled by several major fault lines and has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent times, the last which struck the city of Bam in 2003, killing more than 25,000 people.

(Reporting by Marcus George; Editing by Jon Hemming
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1733. SFLWeatherman
3:47 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
12Z GFS is coming out now
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1732. hydrus
3:46 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
This is over some really warm water. I am watching it.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21762
1731. Msdrown
3:45 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Quoting Patrap:
Huge Stripe On The Sun - Is Earth In Serious Danger?
10 August, 2012


MessageToEagle.com - The Sun's odd behavior has been mentioned on many occasions recently. As we all await the Solar Cycle 24, scientists keep a close eye on the Sun.

Now astronomers have discovered huge dark strip on the surface of the Sun. It is estimated this filament is about 800,000 km in length!

Astrophysicists presume dark spots on the Sun are areas where the temperature is lower. However what we see here is not a normal sunspot and it is growing at an alarming rate.

According to researchers the region has increased to almost one million kilometers in just three days.

NASA forecasts that in September 2012, there will be outbreaks of unprecedented power. We can expect huge solar flares that can have serious effect world-wide.

Commenting on the study of the dangers of "space weather", astrophysicist Daniel Baker claimed that the effects will be comparable to a nuclear war or the fall of a giant asteroid


MAweatherboy1; These are the numbers of the posts that were discussed eralier this morning inregards to your Sun gash. 961,972,983,1215, I will do more research and get back to you. This has been something I've been watching in regards to CME'S
Member Since: August 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 255
1730. allancalderini
3:44 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Looks like td 7 will be the first td of the season to not become a ts hate when a td doesn`t strength to a ts.
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1729. Patrap
3:44 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Mucho Gracias on the Rain here.

75.8 F currently as well.

: )
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1728. Tazmanian
3:43 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
i was wanting too no what happen too ex Florence lift overes where did they all go?
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1727. wunderkidcayman
3:40 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Quoting SLU:
http://manati.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/ascat_images/c ur _50km/zooms/WMBds26.png

intresting double circulation its like a spitting image of Ernesto when he was in that same area but the only this is that it is weaker
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1726. SLU
3:39 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
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1725. Patrap
3:39 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
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1724. SLU
3:39 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 5356
1723. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
3:39 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
1722. Patrap
3:38 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
1721. unknowncomic
3:38 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
1012MB south of cuba
Would not surprise me if something develops there in next few days.
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1720. Skyepony (Mod)
3:36 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
With all the lift in the EPAC was expecting atleast one early cycle model to go hurricane on 94E..none do.
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1719. SLU
3:35 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
http://manati.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/ascat_images/cur _50km/zooms/WMBds26.png
Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 5356
1718. wunderkidcayman
3:35 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
1012MB south of cuba


nope
no low in the area only in upper levels

pressure here in Grand Cayman 1015mb and rising
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1717. Skyepony (Mod)
3:34 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Oh wait..lookout CA..NAM:)

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1716. Skyepony (Mod)
3:31 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
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1715. Skyepony (Mod)
3:30 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
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1714. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
3:29 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Quoting Patrap:
94E Rainbow Loop

to me it appears to not be spinning right and the convection could wane right out by mid afternoon
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
1713. hurrtracker1994
3:28 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Alright everyone, I am going to be out and about for the next few hours. Tomorrow I am going down to NHC to work on the ghost of Ernesto in the EPAC. If anyone needs anything just post it on my blog. Link
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1712. Tribucanes
3:28 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Comment1703 response: hydrus, not nearly as silly as my blob thoughts from about a month ago :). You, NHC, some models, and many many of the experts thought TD-07 would get a name before reaching the islands. Certainly not a crow eating offense. Now watch it spin up quickly again just to toy with the NHC. Conditions are far too unfavorable for that to happen though. May be Tuesday or Wednesday before it's back to TD strength.
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2437
1711. wunderkidcayman
3:28 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Quoting luvtogolf:
So are we still expecting a Cat 3/4 in the NW Caribbean?

I know you are talking to me so I'll give you your answer and it is HELL NO

BUT I do see regeneration as a good possiblity in the Central Caribbean

I'm going to go a bit with the SHIPS with that I think if this does regenerate it could become close to a CAT 1 of 75MPH just S of Jamaica maybe a 70MPH TS unlike SHIPS that does bring it up to CAT 1

I will bring out My models soon also I'm including my NEW multi Model tracks too

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1710. Tazmanian
3:27 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Quoting hurrtracker1994:


Some models have been hinting at a possible course into Baja California.



how far N dos 94E go
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1709. weatherh98
3:26 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
chat anyone?
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1708. TropicalAnalystwx13
3:22 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
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1707. SFLWeatherman
3:21 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
1012MB south of cuba
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1706. hurrtracker1994
3:21 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Quoting Tazmanian:



thanks looks like 94E is heading for CA


Some models have been hinting at a possible course into Baja California.
Member Since: May 23, 2010 Posts: 6 Comments: 128
1705. Tazmanian
3:20 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Quoting hurrtracker1994:


Shear could possibly be an issue for 94E. However, it is developing a rather healthy anticyclone over top of it which should help fend of the shear.




thanks looks like 94E is heading for CA
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1704. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
3:19 PM GMT on August 11, 2012


93 needs some warmer waters till then nothing it may be deactivated as well over the next 48 to 72 if nothing pops up
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1703. hydrus
3:19 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Quoting Tribucanes:
Several here, if not many, were calling for the tropical depression to weaken to a wave days ago. Certainly read several posts yesterday that predicted the demise. Was moving way too fast and had dry air and shear adversely affecting it. Not a big surprise to most of us here. NHC had to do it over, they probably would have left it an invest. During the last 48hrs. TD-07 was probably below 35mph. Koritheman did a blog two days ago predicting just what has happened to TD07.
My prediction was this would get a name before hitting the islands. Glad I am not too picky about my fodder..:)
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1702. MAweatherboy1
3:18 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
These dissipating East Pac storms always look so cool on visible:

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1701. hurrtracker1994
3:17 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The MJO should help Invest 93L in a few days.



That is an old image. The MJO is almost already here.

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1700. hydrus
3:16 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The MJO should help Invest 93L in a few days.

Might even help 07 later.
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1699. TropicalAnalystwx13
3:14 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
The MJO should help Invest 93L in a few days.

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1698. Tribucanes
3:14 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Comment 1682 lol, ya I'd love to see them even try to explain that. They've been cunningly biding their time to name Ernesto something else. I harped on this pretty good yesterday, so I won't be long winded again, but Ernesto never died and shouldn't have been reinvested.
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1697. wunderkidcayman
3:14 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
huh the funny thing is guys is that after NHC degenerates TD7 it starts to look better on barbados radar

Link

anyway I think what will happen is that EX-TD7 will move into the Eastern Caribbean as tropical wave and start to catch up in the central caribbean near 70/73W
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12509
1696. hurrtracker1994
3:13 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
Quoting Tazmanian:



ok thanks


Shear could possibly be an issue for 94E. However, it is developing a rather healthy anticyclone over top of it which should help fend of the shear.

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1695. Patrap
3:13 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
94E Rainbow Loop

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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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