June 2011 Global Weather Extremes Summary
June 2011 Global Weather Extremes Summary
I’ve been on holiday the first two weeks of this month so sorry for this tardy global weather extremes blog for this past June. Significant events include the intensifying drought in the south central and southeast of the U.S.A. with some all-time record heat, flooding in the upper Plains, and a freak tornado hits Springfield, Massachusetts. A world calendar day maximum minimum temperature record was set at Khassab, Oman on June 27th with a low of 107.1°F. A new record low temperature for all of Oceania has been uncovered in New Zealand (-14.1°F back in 1903). The humidity fell to 0.6% in Las Vegas on June 28th, perhaps he lowest such ever measured in the United States.
Below are some of the month’s highlights.
June was the hottest month on record (any month) for several major cities in Texas including Midland (avg. was 88.0°, old record 87.2° in August 1964), Lubbock (avg. was 85.9°, old record 85.4° in July 1966), and San Angelo (avg. 88.6°, old record 88.2° in August 1952). Some all-time absolute maximum temperatures were also broken or tied including an amazing 111° in Amarillo on June 26th which broke its previous record of 109° set just three days earlier (previous record was 108° on June 28, 1998. All-time maximum temperatures were also broken at Tallahassee, Florida with 105° on June 15th (old record 104° on several previous occasions), and at Dodge City, Kansas where a 110° reading on June 26th tied their previous record set on June 29, 1998. Several towns in Texas reached 117° on June 26th and a reading of 115° at Hugoton, Kansas that day came within 1° of tying the Kansas state hottest June temperature ever measured (116° at Clay Center in 1911).
The drought in the south central and southeast of the United States reached epic proportions. Carlsbad, New Mexico went 233 days with no measurable precipitation until a meager .01” fell on June 2nd and it has not rained again since (as of July 15th). Pecos, Texas just received .02” of precipitation on July 14th, its first measurable amount since September 23, 2010 (293 consecutive dry days). Albuquerque, New Mexico has only had .19” of precipitation since January 1st (as of July 15th).For the period of January through June this year has so far been the driest on record (117 years) for the states of New Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana. Arizona and New Mexico both experienced their largest wild fires in history during June and July.
Meanwhile the wettest spring on record continued into June for portions of the West and Upper Plains. Pierre, South Dakota recorded its wettest single month on record with an 8.31” accumulation (old record 7.66” in June 2008). The Missouri River reached near record crests from North Dakota to Missouri and the Souris River in North Dakota flooded Minot when it broke its record flood stage. California had its wettest June in at least 117 years when two remarkable late season rainstorms struck the state on June 4th and on June 28th, the latter being the wettest summer storm ever recorded. During the June 4th event Mining Ridge (in the mountains just south of Big Sur in Central California) recorded 8.31” in 24 hours, the heaviest such rainfall in June in California history.
A winter-like storm approaches the California coast on June 4th. This was one of the most powerful late-season storms ever to strike the state. Water vapor image from NOAA.
Snow pack in the Sierra Nevada, Wasatch Mountains of Utah, Tetons of Wyoming, and all mountain areas in northern Nevada maintained their deepest snow packs on record for so late in the season. As of July 10th a snowdrift remained along the banks of the Snake River in Jackson Hole at an elevation of 6,500’ (I just witnessed that--first time in the 50 summers I've spent in Jackson Hole to see such). The Teton Ski Resort measured 732” of snowfall at its mid-mountain site (Raymer Plot) at 9,300’ elevation, the most snowfall in a season ever measured anywhere in Wyoming. Other locations reporting their snowiest winter season ever include Ely, Nevada: 110.4” total; Glasgow, Montana: 108.6” total; Williston, North Dakota: 107.2” total; Youngstown, Ohio: 115.6” total; and Tulsa, Oklahoma with 26.1” season total.
A powerful tornado struck Springfield, Massachusetts on June 1st killing four and injuring at least 33. There were also reports of two other tornadoes around the state. This was one of the most severe tornado outbreaks in the state’s history.
The Springfield tornado crossed the Connecticut River on the afternoon of June 1st and literally sucked the river water into its vortex. Still image from a video taken above the river.
A late night heat burst swept over Wichita, Kansas between 12:22 and 12:42 a.m. on June 9th. The temperature spiked from 85° to 102° in that twenty minute period before retuning to normal.
The dew point at Las Vegas fell to -22° at 4:30 p.m. on June 28th while the air temperature stood at 107° resulting in a 0.6% humidity reading, probably the lowest ever measured at any site in the United States.
The coldest temperature reported in the northern hemisphere this past June was -35.5°F (-37.5°C) at Summit station, Greenland on June 1st.
SOUTH AMERICA and CENTRAL AMERICA
Although not a meteorological event, the eruption of Chile’s Puyehue volcano created a spectacular lightning storm in its ash cloud June 4-8.
A spectacular image of the ash cloud electric storm generated by the eruption of the Puyehue volcano near Osomo city in southern Chile. Photo by Ivan Alvarado.
A large thunderstorm complex drifted over Haiti for two days in early June dropping over 10” of rain and causing floods that killed at least 23 people.
The warmest temperature recorded in the Southern Hemisphere this past June was 37.7°C (99.9°F) at Conceicao do Araguaia, Brazil on June 29th.
The United Kingdom recorded its coolest June in 10 years (since 2001). This comes on the heels of one of its warmest springs, especially April that was actually warmer than June in some locations.
Meanwhile a heat wave in late June in France and Spain broke over 30 monthly records at various sites. Bordeaux, France peaked at 39.6°C (103.8°F) on June 26th, its warmest June temperature on record.
The warm and dry spring resulted in the earliest snow melt in the Alps on record.
South Africa experienced one of its wettest Junes on record with precipitation averaging 10 to 25 times above normal.
A single bolt of lightning killed at least 23 and injured 47 at a primary school in Kiryandongo, Uganda on June 28th. This is perhaps the deadliest single lightning event on record (aside from aircraft brought down by lightning) in the world eclipsing the 21 killed by a single bolt near Mutare, Zimbabwe on December 23, 1975
Flooding in China’s Hubei Province resulted in approximately 260 deaths during June monsoonal rains that were further aggravated by the remnants of Tropical Storm Sarika. It was also the 2nd warmest June on record in China since weather data collection began in 1951.
Russia’s Arctic became entirely snow-free for the first time on record by mid-June. Forest fires have broken out in many Siberian regions (1.5 million acres have so far been consumed and three fire fighters have died). the summer is looking ominous in this regard for much of Russia and officials fear that the situation could even become worse than last summer’s situation.
A remarkable world record was set at Khassab (airport), Oman on June 27th when the minimum temperature for the day failed to fall below 107.1°F (41.7°C). This is the highest minimum temperature ever recorded in the world to date.
The hottest temperature in the northern hemisphere and the world during the past June was 126.5°F (52.5°C) recorded at Sulaibya, Kuwait on June 1st.
AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND
Australia finally had a fairly normal month weather-wise in June. The exception being that the Northern Territory recorded its coldest average minimum temperatures on record.
Map of average minimum temperature anomaly for Australia during June. The Northern Territory reported its coldest such on record. Graphic from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
The national extremes for the month ranged from a high of 34.4°C (93.9°F) at Noonamah, Northern Territory on June 26th to a low of -13.0°C (8.6°F) at Charlotte Pass, New South Wales on June 28th. The wettest day brought 250mm (9.84”) of rainfall to Woolgoolga, New South Wales on June 14th.
New Zealand has experienced its 3rd warmest June on record. An interesting aside is that the New Zealand Meteorological Office uncovered a new national all-time minimum temperature of -25.6°C (-14.1°F) apparently recorded at Ranfurly on July 17, 1903. This surpasses the heretofore record of -21.6°C (-6.9°F) at Ophir on July 3rd, 1995 and is also a new record for all of Oceania since it is lower than Australia’s record of -23.0°C (-9.4°F) set on June 29, 1994.
The coldest temperature recoded in the Southern Hemisphere and the world during this past June was -112.2°F (-80.1°C) at Concordia station on Antarctica on June 15th.
KUDOS Thanks to Maximiliano Herrera for global temperature extremes data and other useful information like the new New Zealand all-time record low temperature of 1903 that was recently uncovered..
Christopher C. Burt is the author of 'Extreme Weather; A Guide and Record Book'. He studied meteorology at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison.
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