Weather Extremes

Rare Coastal California Lightning Storm Kills One and Injures 12

By: weatherhistorian, 8:00 PM GMT on July 29, 2014

Rare Coastal California Lightning Storm Kills One and Injures 12

A freak thunderstorm quickly developed off the Pacific coastline near Los Angeles Sunday afternoon and moved onshore at popular Venice Beach in Los Angeles County. Frequent lightning strikes killed one man and injured a dozen others. This may be the only time that a summertime beach lightning fatality has occurred in California history.



Lightning strikes across the U.S. on Sunday July 27th. Note the small cluster of blips in southern California and even off the coast of central California. This was due to the summer monsoonal flow sliding further west than is normal. Lightning flash map from VAISALA’s Lightning Detection Network.

Although summer thunderstorms are common in the Sierra Nevada and desert southeast regions of California during the Southwest summer ‘monsoon’ season of July-September, it is unusual for the monsoonal flow to track further west and over the coastal portions of the state (as occurred on Monday/July 28). When this does occur, climatology dictates that the thunderstorms that do form (when this situation arises) normally impact the coastal hills and the Antelope Valley region of L.A., not the coastside.



Lightning flash density map for the greater Los Angeles region during the monsoon season of July-September. Data from 1987-2000. Map produced by Jamie Meier and Richard Thompson of NWS-Los Ageles from this monograph on the subject.

The lightning death at Venice Beach was only the 33rd to occur in California since 1959. As the map below illustrates, lightning fatalities in California are exceptionally rare given the state’s large population:



Lightning fatalities by state for the period of 1959-2013. Aside from Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington, California has the lowest per-capita fatality rate due to lightning strikes of any state in the U.S. Map derived from NCDC data.



It is interesting to compare the ‘fatalities-by-state’ map with the one above which displays the ‘lightning flash density’ per square mile per year across the U.S. based on the POR of 1997-2010. The reason Florida leads (by far) the number of lightning deaths becomes obvious. Map produced by VAISALA using their proprietary National Lightning Detection Network.

On the rare occasion when there is a lightning fatality in California it almost always occurs in the Sierra Nevada where high mountain hiking, camping, and lake fishing are popular summertime pursuits.



One of the 33 fatal lightning events that occurred in California since 1959 was that which happened in August 1975 when a group of hikers posed on top of Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park as a thunderstorm developed overhead. Lightning struck these two boys a second after this photograph was snapped by their sister. All were seriously injured and another hiker standing just outside the frame was killed. Photo by Mary McQuilken of her brothers Sean (left) and Michael (right).

In spite of yesterday’s fatality, the year 2014 has been close to normal so far as lightning caused fatalities nation-wide to date.



Annual lightning fatalities by gender for the period of 2006-2014 (to-date). Over the years lightning deaths have decreased substantially from an average annual toll of over 100 in the 1950s-1980s to fewer than 50 for this current decade. Greater weather awareness and more accurate storm forecasting can account for this decline. Hopefully, this trend will continue into the future. Table from NOAA.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian


Extreme Weather Lightning

Updated: 11:46 PM GMT on July 29, 2014

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June 2014 Global Weather Extremes Summary

By: weatherhistorian, 10:08 PM GMT on July 26, 2014

June 2014 Global Weather Extremes Summary

June was globally the warmest such on record according to NOAA/NCDC. See Jeff Masters' blog about this posted last Thursday. The month featured heat waves in portions of Japan, China, Western Europe, Central Asia, and Mexico. Late season cold and even some snowfall were observed in Estonia, Russia, and Scandinavia mid-month. Deadly flooding occurred in Bulgaria, Paraguay, Afghanistan, India and Sri Lanka. An intense dust storm struck Tehran, Iran on June 2nd. Yet another intense hurricane (Cristina) formed in the Eastern Pacific.

Below are some of the month’s highlights.

NORTH AMERICA

Temperatures and precipitation both averaged above normal for the contiguous U.S. during June (it was the 33rd warmest June since 1895 and the 6th wettest). It was the wettest June on record for Minnesota.





Statewide ranking for temperature (top map) and precipitation (bottom map) for this past June. Alaska endured its 2nd wettest June on record. Maps from NOAA/NCDC.

The hottest temperature measured in the U.S. during June was 120°F (48.9°C) at Death Valley, California on June 8th and 9th, and the coldest 12°F (-11.1°C) at Bodie, California on June 23rd.

It has been the driest 3-year period on record for California. The state concluded its water year on June 30th and the past 3 water seasons (water year of July 1-June 30) totaling a state-wide aggregate of 22.27” below normal precipitation, thus surpassing the previous 3-year period of such set in 1974-1977 which was 20.84” below the long term average (POR 1895-2014). Third place were the years of 1928-1931 with a -20.19” deficit. (The wettest 3-year period for the state was 27.13” above average July 1, 1981 to June 30, 1984). The annual average for the entire POR of 1895-1914 is 22.44” (67.32” for a 3-year period).

In contrast to the drought in California, some locations in the Midwest saw their wettest month (any month) on record, as was the case in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with a 13.70” (348 mm) total and an amazing 19.65” (499 mm) at nearby Canton, the greatest monthly precipitation on record for the entire state of South Dakota.

Northern Mexico endured some intense heat early in the month with readings of 49.5°C (121.1°F) at Hermosillo and 50.5°C (122.9°F) at El Oregano on June 3rd (a dubious reading of 51.5°C/124.7°F was also reported from Moris in Chihuahua State).

Hurricane Cristina formed in the Eastern Pacific on June 9th and intensified into a CAT 4 storm with 150 mph (240 km/h) winds. It was the second major hurricane of the season (after Hurricane Amanda in May), and the first time on record that two such powerful hurricanes formed so early in the season.



Hurricane Cristina at its strongest off the Mexican coast on June 12th with 150 mph sustained winds. Fortunately, the storm never made landfall in Mexico. NASA/MODIS image.

The coldest temperature measured in the northern hemisphere during June was -31.2°C (-24.2°F) at GEO Summit station in Greenland on June 2nd.

SOUTH AMERICA and CENTRAL AMERICA

Widespread flooding affected the Argentinean provinces of Misiones and Formosa at the end of the month forcing 3000 families from their homes. Heavy rains also caused flooding in Paraguay along the Parana and Paraguay Rivers resulting in the evacuation of some 300,000 inhabitants.



Flooding along the River Paraguay on June 12th displaced up to 300,000 people. Photo annp.gov.py

EUROPE

June in Europe saw a mixed bag of extreme weather with a record early month heat wave in Germany, France, and Switzerland followed by cold and even snow in Estonia and Latvia. It was the most intense heat wave for so early in the season on record for Germany and surrounding countries. The temperature in Germany peaked at 37.9°C (100.2°F) at Ihringen on June 9th, just short of the national June record of 38.2°C (100.8°F) set at Frankfort back in late June 1947. More about the European heat wave can be found in this blog I posted in June. The coldest temperature observed at a non-mountainous site in Germany during the month was 0.0°C (32.0°F) at Deutschneudorf-Bruderwiese on June 2nd and the greatest 24-hour precipitation 55.4 mm (2.18”) at Greifswald on June 11th. It was France’s 5th warmest June on record (since 1900). Reykjavik, Iceland had its 4th warmest June on record (since 1871), and the site of Stykkisholmur in western Iceland had its warmest June ever observed, (records there date back to 1845).

A rare late-season snowfall occurred in Estonia and Latvia on June 17th resulting in minor accumulations at Valke-Maarjain in Estonia. Snow was also reported at mid-level elevations in the mountains of Scandinavia on June 18-23 and also in portions of northwestern Russia on June 24-25.



Snow falling at Vlake-Maarja, Estonia on June 17th. The last time it snowed in June here was in 1982 (also on June17th). Photo courtesy of Daneile Ingemi.

A deadly flood struck the Bulgarian Black Sea port city of Varna on June 19th. At least 10 fatalities were reported as a result of the flooding.



Automobiles are swept away in the city of Varna, Bulgaria on June 19th during a torrential rainstorm. 165.3 mm (6.51”) of rain fell on the city over the course of a five-day period June 16-20. At least 10 lives were lost. AP photo.

In the U.K. June was warmer (tied as the 9th warmest) and a bit drier than normal. The warmest temperature observed was 27.0°C (80.6°F) at Cupar, Fife on June 18th and the coldest 0.9°C (33.6°F) at Altnaharra, Sutherland on June 26th. The greatest 24-hour precipitation observed was 56 mm (2.20”) at Nunraw Abbey, East Lothian on June 4-5.

AFRICA

A cold wave affected South Africa mid-month with a reading as low as -18.3°C (-0.9°F) at Buffelsfontein on June 11th and an all-time record low of -11.7°C (10.9°F) at Franfort on June 12th. In spite of the cold wave, the hottest temperature observed anywhere in the southern hemisphere during June was a 37.2°C (99.0°F) reading at Mtunzini, South Africa on June 4th.

ASIA

Extreme heat scorched much of Asia during June. All-time record temperatures were tied on Hokkaido Island, Japan early in the month with readings as high as 37.8°C (100.0°F) observed on June 3rd. See my blog of June 10th for details about the early June heat waves across the northern hemisphere. Later in the month, extreme heat affected portions of Turkmenistan (up to 46°C/114.8°F), Uzbekistan (up to 45°C/113.0°F), And Kazakhstan. The Orenburg area of Russia (near the Kazakh border) saw temperatures peak at 42°C (107.6°F), close to the all-time Asian portion of Russia record of 42.7°C (108.9°F) set at Ust Kara on June 27, 2010. It was also very hot in the Middle East with 51.0°C (123.8°F) measured at Makkah (Mecca), Saudi Arabia on June 30th which tied Larkana, Pakistan for the hottest temperature measured on earth during the month (it was 51.0°C at Larkana on June 6th). In Israel the temperature peaked at 46.6°C (115.9°F) at Eilat on the Red Sea and Cyprus reached 43.6°C (110.5°F) at Lefkonico. The heat in northern India was so bad (temperatures up to 47.8°C (118.0°F) that power stations shut down, unable to keep up with demand for air conditioning and fans. Riots broke out and several electric substations were burned down by mobs.



The climate table for Agra, India which was near the core of the hottest weather during the month. Note how almost every day exceeded 40°C (104°F) and the minimum temperature of 32.8°C (91.0°F) on June 21st. The 9-day period of June 4-12 saw daily highs exceed 45°C (113°F) every day. Table from OGIMET.

The heat wave in India was followed by monsoon storms that caused deadly flooding in the Assam region of northeastern India leaving at least 11 dead in and around the city of Gauhati. In Sri Lanka floods and mudslides caused the deaths of at least 22 in early June following a period of torrential monsoonal rains.

Afghanistan also suffered catastrophic flooding during the first week of June. In Baghlan Province 850 homes were destroyed and at least 80 lives lost.

A massive dust storm struck Tehran, Iran on June 2nd damaging structures and resulting in the deaths of at least five people.



A massive dust storm bears down on Tehran on June 2nd. The storm produced winds up to 70 mph (130 km/h). Photo from Iran News Update.

AUSTRALIA

This past June in Australia precipitation averaged 32% below the long-term normal nationwide with temperatures averaging just slightly above normal. Two strong cold fronts brought heavy snow to the Alpine regions of New South Wales on June 24th and June 29-30th. Snow fell as low as 700 m (2300’) elevation.






Temperature (top map) and precipitation (bottom map) deciles for the month of June in Australia. Maps courtesy of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

The highest temperature observed was 35.9°C (96.6°F) at Bradshaw, Northern Territory on June 1st and the coldest -8.7°C (16.3°F) at Liawenee, Tasmania on June 9th. The greatest calendar day precipitation was 118 mm (4.64”) at Weeragua, Victoria on June 15th.

NEW ZEALAND and OCEANIA

It was the warmest June on record for New Zealand with temperatures averaging 1.9°C (3.4°F) above normal nationwide. 13 sites experienced their warmest June monthly mean temperatures and another 20 their 2nd warmest. The highest temperature observed during the month was 22.2°C (72.0°F) at Waione, North Island on June 8th and the coldest -7.4°C (18.7°F) at Hanmer Forest, South Island on June 1st. The greatest calendar day rainfall observed was 137 mm (5.39”) at Te Puke, North Island on June 11th.

In Micronesia the Yap atoll recorded 35.9°C (96.6°F) on June 8th, just 0.2°C (0.4°F) short of the Micronesian record of 36.1°C (97.0°F) set at Pohnpei, Palikir on August 24 and 25, 2001.

ANTARCTICA

The coldest temperature in the southern hemisphere and the world during June was –78.9°C (-110.0°F) recorded at Concordia on June 6th. It was an unusually ‘mild’ month on the Antarctica Plateau with few very low temperatures observed. The South Pole station never touched -70°C (-94°F).

KUDOS Thanks to Maximiliano Herrera for global temperature extremes data, Jeremy Budd and NIWA for New Zealand data, and Michael Theusner of Klimahaus for German data.


Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

Extreme Weather

Updated: 5:01 PM GMT on July 28, 2014

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Warmest Days of the Year for the U.S.

By: weatherhistorian, 5:35 PM GMT on July 09, 2014

Warmest Days of the Year for the U.S.

NOAA recently produced an interesting map showing when the hottest day of the year is likely to occur in the contiguous U.S. Complimenting this map is one produced by Brian Brettschneider of Borealis Scientific, LLC, which illustrates the date of summer’s midpoint (peak of summer average temperatures) which was reproduced in my blog posted last August. Brian has also produced maps of such for the Fall, Winter and Spring seasons. There is also some other great material from Brian herein.

Below is the map that NOAA recently published:



The above map shows in what date range the HOTTEST DAY of the year falls on average (that is the daily maximum temperature, not daily average temperature). Map from NOAA.

And a similar map that Brian Brettschneider produced last summer (2013):



Brian’s map above shows what date range the maximum DAILY AVERAGE temperature normally falls, not the hottest daily temperature as in the NOAA map. This helps explain the differences between the two maps. Map produced by Brian Brettschneider.

Note the sharp difference in dates from Texas to the Southwest. The early peak of heat in the Southwest is because in late June or early July the summer monsoon begins to ramp up in the Southwest, and thus the associated clouds and rainfall keep afternoon temperatures lower for most of July and August versus June. Also note how the coastal areas of California, Oregon, and Washington normally experience their warmest temperatures during September, or even later, due to the summer coastal fog that dominates these regions between June and August.

Brian adds the following comments concerning the map he created:

Many people were surprised to learn that the annual march of temperatures begins to fall in portions of the desert southwest and the Ohio River valley several weeks before they reach their seasonal peak along the Gulf coast. Both maps use the same data set: NCDC 1981-2010 climate normal temperatures for over 7,000 stations, but have some subtle differences. My [Brian’s] map shows the peak date of the daily normal temperature (normal high plus normal low divided by two) while NOAA’s map shows the peak date of the highest temperature to be expected. In many cases, there is a 3-4 day difference between those two dates. Also, the NOAA map uses 15 color categories while my [Brian’s] map uses 8 color categories. It is worth mentioning that if a series of days all have the same daily temperature, the middle of the dates was assigned as the peak temperature date. For example, the normal daily average temperature for Minneapolis is 74.1° on July 11th-17th. Therefore, the middle of those dates, July 14th, was assigned as the peak summer temperature for the summer midpoint map.

Below is Brian’s map version for the ‘Winter’ months:



Map above produced by Brian Brettschneider.

The same methodology as used for the summer map can also be used to determine the date when winter temperatures reach their seasonal minimum; i.e., look for the date(s) where the daily normal temperature is lower than surrounding dates (see map above). Computationally this is a little challenging due to some dates falling before the New Year.

Factors determining midpoint dates

Brian explains: Summer midpoints are a little more straightforward to explain than winter midpoints since there is no snow variability to account for. Snow is never an issue in summer, it is always snow-free. What we find is that the annual temperature range is a strong predictor of when temperatures reach their summer peak. Annual temperature range is largely driven by the proximity to large bodies of water. Since the Gulf of Mexico water reaches its annual peak temperature in early August, most Gulf coastal stations reach their annual temperature peak at that time as well. In the middle latitudes, the influence of maritime air from the Gulf is greatly reduced. Farther east, the prevailing westerlies limit the influence of warm, maritime air from the Atlantic Ocean.

In most cases there is a strong relationship between temperature range and the summer midpoint date. Stations with large temperature ranges usually have an earlier summer midpoint and stations with small temperature ranges have a later summer midpoint. Stations along the immediate west coast and in Hawai’i do not follow this trend as they experience very low annual average temperature ranges. In addition to the annual temperature range, as an explanatory variable, seasonal variations in cloud cover and precipitation also have an impact on the date of the peak (and minimum) temperature dates (as seen in the Southwest during the summer).



Fall and Spring maps






For the Fall and Spring maps Brian has the following comments.

Deciding what constitutes the middle of fall and spring from a climatological perspective is not as straightforward as that for summer and winter. For starters, when exactly does spring or fall start and end? In the absence of a good definition, I [Brian] have arbitrarily decided that the middle of spring can be defined as the point exactly half way between the middle of winter and the middle of summer. Similarly, the middle of fall was defined as the point exactly half way between the middle of summer and the middle of winter. The above maps show the middle point for fall and spring respectively. Here is a selection of stations representing different climatological (temperature) figures for all seasons:



Dates of the summer, winter, spring, and fall midpoints for several stations across the U.S. The difference (°F) between the summer peak temperature and the winter minimum temperature is also shown.

Video Time-lapse Visualizations of Temperature Changes over the Course of a Year

Here is something really fantastic that Brian has created. It is a visualization of the progression of normal temperatures throughout the year as a cycle through all 365 daily normal temperatures for both the winter minimum and summer maximum temperatures. Brian has also generated a side-by-side mosaic of annual average temperatures using the same NCDC normal temperature data that the previous figures utilized. The link is found here. Be sure to check these out! They are awesome!

KUDOS: Brian Brettschneider of Borealis Scientific, LLC for his maps and commentary.

I will be away for vacation July 10-July 25. My next blog, ‘June Global Weather Extremes’ will be posted on July 26th. Please excuse my absence and the tardy posting of the ‘June Global Weather Extremes’ summary that I would normally post around the 15th of each month.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

Extreme Weather Temperature

Updated: 6:54 PM GMT on July 09, 2014

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California Water Season and Drought Update

By: weatherhistorian, 7:05 PM GMT on July 07, 2014

California Water Season and Drought Update

The water year for California came to a close on June 30th (the water year being July 1-June 30) and it was one of the driest on record for the state as a whole, preliminarily ranked as the 3rd driest such. Here are some details.



Final water-year precipitation totals for selected cities in California arrange geographically from north to south.

As one can see in the table above the dryness was evenly spread statewide with percentages of normal ranging within a narrow 38%-53% margin. Given the size of California this is exceptionally unusual (it would be like the Northeast or Southeast of the U.S. experiencing similar precipitation departures for their entire respective regions. For California it appears 2013-2014 will go down as the 3rd driest water season on record (with around 12.44” statewide average) falling short of the driest such of 1923-1924 (11.24”) and 2nd place 1976-1977 with 11.36”.

In spite of how dry it was this past year, there were no all-time records set for minimum seasonal precipitation at any sites of consequence. Below is a chart of how the rainfall in the greater Los Angeles area ranked relative to all-time records:



Table from NWS-Los Angeles office.

The past water season was not record-breaking precipitation-wise but the drought is close to if not already the worst in modern state history. This is because the precipitation for the 2012-2013 season was also exceptionally minimal: the 17th driest on record (since 1895) as was 2011-2012, the 19th driest on record statewide. For Los Angeles, the two-season total of 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 has been the driest ever observed:



Table from NWS-Los Angeles office.

The latest drought monitor (released on July 3rd) has shown that the portion of the state experiencing ‘Extreme Drought’ (D3) and ‘Exceptional Drought’ (D4) is gradually expanding week-by-week.



The areal coverage of ‘Exceptional Drought’ has increased by 10% statewide over the past week (as of July 3rd) according to the latest drought monitor report. Map from NOAA et al.

Surprisingly, water restrictions remain voluntary for most of the state’s residential consumers and most of the reservoirs still seem to have fairly adequate water supplies, averaging about 45% of normal capacity for this time of the year. This is probably because of the decent snowfall that occurred in February and March, now melted and run off, which helped stabilize the reservoir levels. Of course, as the next several months wear on with no chance of any further significant precipitation until, at best, next October, rationing is almost certainly on the horizon. Last January California Governor, Jerry Brown, requested consumers to cut their usage by 20% but so far the reductions have only amounted to 5% on average statewide.



Aside from the drought, the biggest fear California’s residents face at this time is that of wild fires. Already some unseasonably early fires have broken out. The latest being two in Napa County north of San Francisco. The ‘Butts’ fire burned 4,500 acres and destroyed two homes last Thursday-Friday, and now a 6,500 acre fire, the ‘Monticello’ fire is out of control and threatening more homes in the same region.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

Extreme Weather Drought Precipitation Records

Updated: 9:50 PM GMT on July 07, 2014

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Hailstorms Pound Tokyo, Japan and Valencia, Spain

By: weatherhistorian, 6:50 PM GMT on July 03, 2014

Hailstorms Pound Tokyo, Japan and Valencia, Spain

A couple of unusually severe hailstorms have occurred recently, one that struck Tokyo on June 24th and another in Valencia, Spain on July 1st.

Tokyo, Japan

The Tokyo hailstorm was said to be the most intense to strike Japan since an even more damaging storm hit the Chiba and Ibaraki Prefectures on May 24, 2000 (that event damaged over 4000 homes). In Tokyo last June the hail fell for about 30 minutes and stones up to 3 cm (1”) in diameter accumulated up to 10 cm (4”) in depth on level in the city’s Mitaka area. Very heavy rain accompanied the storm with 68 mm (2.68”) falling in just one hour in the Chofu City section of Tokyo.





A couple of images from the Tokyo hailstorm of June 24th. In the lower image, hail was washed into drifts several feet deep in some city streets that were lower than surrounding areas. Photos via Tweets to Rocket News 24, Tokyo.

The severe thunderstorms that caused the hail, flooding rains, and intense lightning (three people were struck and injured) was caused by extreme instability in the atmosphere with very cold temperatures aloft, warm surface temperatures and a strong jet stream streak passing over the island nation.



This storm analysis map was prepared by JMA, Japan’s Meteorological Agency.

Valencia and Murcia Provinces, Spain

Other violent hailstorms struck the Valencia and Murcia Provinces in southern Spain on June 24th as well as on the afternoon of July 1st. Hail the size of golf balls damaged 45,000 hectares of agricultural land (mostly fruits and melons) in Valencia and 12,000 hectares in Murcia. In Valencia an estimated 60-100% of the citrus, persimmon, melon, and stone fruit crops were destroyed according to the Valencian Farmers Association (AVA-ASAJA).

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

Extreme Weather Mini Blog Hail

Updated: 1:02 AM GMT on July 07, 2014

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Record Wet June for Portions of the Upper Midwest

By: weatherhistorian, 7:39 PM GMT on July 01, 2014

Record Wet June for Portions of the Upper Midwest

The wettest June on record has finally come to an end for portions of Minnesota, South Dakota, and Iowa. In a few cases it was not only the wettest June on record but also the wettest single month (any month) as well. Here are a few details.

The focal point of the most anomalous rainfall during June was centered on northwestern Iowa and southeastern South Dakota.



Total precipitation in inches for the region around Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Sioux City, Iowa both of whom established all-time monthly precipitation records. Note the small area east of Sioux City that appears to have had over 20” of rain during the month. The all-time Iowa state record for monthly rainfall (any month) is 22.18” at Red Oak in June 1967. It remains to be seen if this record may have been beaten at some location this past June. Map from NWS-Sioux Falls.

South Dakota

Only the extreme southeastern portion of South Dakota saw exception rainfall this past month. This included Sioux Falls that has established an all-time monthly record (any month) with 13.70”. This crushed (by 45%) the previous wettest month on record of 9.42” in May 1898 (POR began in 1893). The 4.56” of rain that fell in 24 hours on June 14-15 was just short of its all-time 24-hour record for such of 4.59” set on August 1, 1975.

Just south of Sioux Falls, near the Iowa border, an official COOP site near Canton (actually four miles west-northwest of Canton) received 19.65” of rain during the month. This is officially a new state monthly precipitation record according to a press release by the South Dakota State Climatologist's office, surpassing the 18.61” measured in Deadwood (in the Black Hills) during May 1946.

Iowa

The entire state of Iowa saw much above normal precipitation during June, although only the northwestern section saw record-breaking amounts. Sioux City totaled an incredible 16.65”, almost doubling its previous June record and smashing its previous all-time monthly (any month) record of 11.78” set in May 1903. Seven days of the month saw 1”+ including 5.05” on June 14th which was just short the city’s all-time 24-hour rainfall record of 5.50” set on July 17, 1972. Normal June precipitation is 3.89” for the site.



June record precipitation rankings for both Sioux City and Sioux Falls. It is remarkable to see such a wide margin between first and second place for these sites given their long periods of record (since 1871 in Sioux City and 1893 in Sioux Falls). Table from NWS-Sioux Falls.

Eastern Iowa has also been drenched. Parnell, about 20 miles southwest of Iowa City, picked up 6.20” of rain during a thunderstorm yesterday (June 30th) bringing their monthly total to 14.45”.

Minnesota

Some of the worst flooding in June occurred in Minnesota. Minneapolis received a June record amount of rainfall at its official site at the International Airport with a 11.36” accumulation (previous record 9.82” in June 1990). This has made the period of January 1-June 30 its wettest on record with 25.83” so far (the average annual precipitation for Minneapolis is just 29.96”!).



Accumulated precipitation for Minneapolis so far this year. Note how its running almost 100% above normal at this time. Graphic from NWS-Minneapolis.

Wisconsin has also been extremely wet with Eau Claire getting 9.84” of rain during June, short of their all-time June record of 10.42” set in 1990 and ditto for La Crosse with 10.26” but just short of their record 10.79” set during the June of 1993. Eastern Nebraska has also been soggy with Omaha catching 10.52” (short of the June record 12.70” in 1883) and Norfolk getting 11.39” (short of their June record 12.28” in 1924).

Meanwhile, in California one of the driest water years (July 1-June 30) has come to a close. In fact, for Los Angeles, the back-to-back combined water years of 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 have been THE driest such on record. I’ll blog about this on Thursday.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

Extreme Weather Precipitation Records

Updated: 6:20 PM GMT on July 02, 2014

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About weatherhistorian

Christopher C. Burt is the author of 'Extreme Weather; A Guide and Record Book'. He studied meteorology at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison.