June 2012 Global Weather Extremes Summary
June featured many notable extreme weather events from around the world. Extreme heat in the U.S. from Colorado to the East Coast, record-breaking rainstorms and floods in Duluth, Minnesota and Pensacola, Florida, and a powerful derecho event that caused extensive damage and fatalities from Illinois to Virginia. Britain suffered its wettest and cloudiness June on record. Typhoons and drought plagued portions of East Asia, and massive monsoon floods wreaked havoc in India and Bangladesh.
Below is a summary some of the month’s highlights.
The most notable event of the month was the extraordinary heat wave (and wild fires) that enveloped the U.S. from Colorado to the East Coast. Details about this event may be read in my previous two blogs. The fires in Colorado near Colorado Springs and Fort Collins were the worst in the state’s history, destroying over 600 homes and killing three. On June 29th one of the most powerful derechos on record swept across the country from Illinois to Virginia killing 26, leaving up to 3.5 million without power and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.
Taken aboard the International Space Station about 240 miles above earth, this NASA photo shows the large Fonteniel Fire burning in west-central Wyoming on June 30th. NASA image credit.
Maine received over 8” of rain in some places (8.42” at Bridgeton) on June 3-4 as a low-pressure system skirted the Atlantic Coast. Training thunderstorms deluged Duluth, Minnesota with 7.24” of rain, 6.90” of which fell in just 24 hours on June 19-20, an all-time record amount (previous record was 5.79” on Aug. 22-23, 1978). Pensacola, Florida was deluged with 15.05” on June 9-10 when a sub-tropical wave of moisture moved inland from the Gulf of Mexico. West Pensacola reported an astonishing 21.70” in a 24-hour period.
A car fell into a huge sink hole on Skyline Parkway in Duluth following the record 7.24” of rain that fell on June 19-20. Photo by Bob King/Duluth News.
Later in the month Tropical Storm Debby crossed over northern Florida from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic deluging some areas around Tallahassee with flooding rains.
A powerful late-season cold front moved through Nevada on June 6th dropping the temperature from a record high of 90° on June 3rd to a record low of 24° on June 5th at Eureka, Nevada. For the first time known in June measureable snow was reported at Winnemucca (just 0.1”) and Elko (0.5”) on June 6th.
Unusual late spring heat baked the shores of Hudson Bay in Canada on June 10-11 when temperatures reached 35°C (95°F) at Moosonee, Ontario and Waskaganish, Quebec. In Quebec this was close to the hottest temperature on record for the site.
The coldest temperature measured in the northern hemisphere during June was -29.9°C (-21.8°F) at Summit, Greenland.
SOUTH AMERICA and CENTRAL AMERICA
After a year of drought, Chile finally received some substantial rainfall in mid-June. Santiago recorded about 35mm of rainfall (1.5”). In 2011 it recorded only a total 110 mm (4.32”) of rainfall (30% of normal). The June rainstorm, however, led to mudslides in the mountains causing damage at Farellones, a ski resort in central Chile.
A record June temperature for Brazil was reached at Oeras, Piau State on June 22nd when 38.7°C (101.2°F) was recorded. This was also the warmest temperature measured in the southern hemisphere during the month of June.
The U.K. suffered through its wettest June since at least 1910 and coolest such since 1991. The miserable weather did little, however, to dampen the enthusiastic Diamond Jubilee celebrations for the Queen.
A departure from average precipitation map for the U.K. for this past June, the wettest June in modern U.K. records. Map from U.K. Met Office.
Flooding rains occurred in Wales and other sections of the Isles with 93.8mm (3.69”) in Blencathra, Cumbria being the greatest 24-hour total on June 22-23. The coldest temperature during the month was -3.5°C (25.7°F) at Loch Glascamoch in Scotland on June 5th and the warmest 28.6°C (83.5°F) at Gravesend, Kent on June 28th.
Very warm weather affected the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, and other European locations during the month. Sonnblick, Austria (a mountain top weather station situated at 3100m (about 10,200’) measured its warmest temperature on record (going back to 1886) when 15.3°C (59.5°F) was measured on June 30th.
Landslides in the eastern Ugandan district of Bududa (caused by torrential rains) killed an undetermined number of people on June 25th. Some reports claimed hundreds had perished with at least 30 confirmed fatalities.
A temperature of 1.6°C (34.9°F) was recorded at Karoi, Zimbabwe on June 12th, an all-time cold record for the site.
A heat wave in the Middle East during the first week of June resulted in the all-time heat record for Mecca, Saudi Arabia, being broken on June 2nd when the temperature hit 51.4°C (124.5°F). This was also the hottest temperature measured in the world during the month. Blistering heat also affected Iraq (50.5°C/122.9°F at Fao) and Kuwait (50.9°C/123.6°F at Mitribah).
A couple of locations in India also broke their all-time heat records: 47.3°C (117.3°F) at Kakinada and 46.7°C (116.1°F) at Bhubaneswar during June.
The monsoon season has been especially devastating so far along the banks of the Brahmaputra River in northeast India and Bangladesh. Over 2000 villages have been flooded and at least 190 deaths reported so far. Almost 20 million people in all have been displaced.
A villager makes his way through floodwaters in Kaziranga National Park in northeastern India. Some 20 million have been displaced by the floods so far. Photo by Biju Boro, AFP.
Flash floods also struck northern Afghanistan killing 37 and southern China between June 20-30 resulting in the deaths of 50-100.
Typhoon Guchol, at one point packing 140 mph winds, struck the Japanese Island of Honshu between Osaka and Tokyo on June 19th. Fortunately, the storm weakened to minimum typhoon strength before making landfall. Rainfall amounts up to 500mm/20” were reported from some mountainous locations.
Further north, the Korean Peninsula continued to endure its worst drought in at least 105 years. In poverty-stricken North Korea two-thirds of the 24 million population are facing chronic food shortages.
It was the 12th coolest June on record nationally for Australia with one all-time record minimum temperature being observed with a -3.0°C (26.6°F) at Urandangi on June 30th. The coldest temperature for the month anywhere in Australia was -11.0°C (12.2°F) at Charlotte Pass, New South Wales on June 8th and the warmest 36.0°C (96.8°F) at Timber Creek, Northern Territory on June 15th. The greatest calendar precipitation was 203.4mm (8.01”) at Reeves Knob, Victoria on June 5th.
Maps showing the rainfall decile departures (top) and minimum temperature decile departures (bottom) for Australia during June.Maps from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
NEW ZEALAND/SOUTH PACIFIC
New Zealand was unusually cold during the month with a record cold maximum of just 0.4°C (32.7°F) being set at Christchurch on June 6th (records go back to 1863 there). Snow fell down to sea level on the western coast of the South Island, a very rare occurrence. The coldest temperature reported in the country during the month was -11.8°C (10.8°F) at Darfield on June 7th. The warmest was 22.0° (71.6°F) at Wairoa on June 6th (quite a contrast just a day apart!). The heaviest calendar day rainfall was 151mm (5.94”) at Greymouth on June 5th.
The coldest temperature in the southern hemisphere and the world during June was -81.4°C (-114.5°F) recorded at Vostok on June 11th.
KUDOS Thanks to Maximiliano Herrera for global temperature extremes data, Stephen Burt for the U.K. extremes, and Jeremy Budd for New Zealand weather extremes.
I will be away from my office until July 18th and will post my next blog on July 20th.
Christopher C. Burt