July 2014 Global Weather Extremes Summary
July was the 4th warmest such since 1880 according to NOAA and the 11th warmest according to NASA data (the difference in assessments is due to several factors which I’ll discuss in a future blog). It was unusually cool in the central portion of the U.S. while record warmth was observed in parts of the U.S. Northwest, Scandinavia and the Baltic nations. Several powerful typhoons made landfall in East Asia and Hurricane Arthur took a swipe at North Carolina.
Below are some of the month’s highlights.NORTH AMERICA
It was the coldest July on record (average monthly temperature) for portions of the central U.S. including the states of Indiana and Arkansas. Indianapolis averaged 70.1°F (21.2°C), besting July 1947 (which averaged 70.6°F/21.4°C) for coldest such on record. In contrast it was one of the warmest July’s on record in the Pacific Northwest. Medford, Oregon experienced its single hottest month (any month) with an average temperature of 79.9°F (26.6°C) beating out July 2003’s average of 78.9°F (26.1°C). Spokane, Washington came close to its all-time warmest month with a 75.7°F (24.3°C) average, just shy of the 75.9°F (24.4°C) record set in July 1906. Because of the extreme difference in average monthly temperatures between the East and the West, the overall national average was close to normal (73.3°F/22.9°C which was just 0.3°F below the long-term normal). Precipitation was generally below average nationwide (ranking 26th driest July since 1895).State-by-state temperature rankings (top map) and precipitation rankings (bottom map) for July 2014.
Maps from NCDC.
The first Atlantic hurricane of the season, Arthur, made landfall as a CAT 2 storm in North Carolina over the Fourth of July weekend. It was the earliest hurricane on record to make landfall in N.C. but did little damage.
An EF-2 tornado struck Madison County, New York on July 8th killing 4. It tied as the 2nd deadliest tornado in state history (a tornado on November 16, 1989 killed nine and another one on August 28, 1973 also resulted in four fatalities).A home in Madison County, New York where two died following a direct strike by an EF-2 tornado on July 8th.
Photographer not identified, image from Syracuse.com
It was an active month in the Southwest with monsoonal moisture pushing into southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado causing localized flash flooding. Welcome rainfall in New Mexico resulted in Albuquerque enjoying its 4th wettest July on record (since 1895) with a 3.49” (89 mm) monthly total, this following years of drought. In contrast, dry and hot weather in the Pacific Northwest resulted in the largest wild fire in Washington State history when lightning on July 14th sparked a conflagration that consumed over 256,000 acres (more about this may be found in my previous blog.)
It was the warmest July on record for Canada’s Newfoundland Province.
The coldest temperature measured in the northern hemisphere during the month was -23.9°C (-11.0°F) at Summit GEO site in Greenland on July 19th.SOUTH AMERICA and CENTRAL AMERICA
It was a very hot month in northern Colombia where the temperature peaked at 41.4°C (106.5°F) in both the Cesar and Guajira Departments (the latter an all-time record for the department). These figures were just 1.2°C (2.2°F) short of Colombia’s national record high of 42.6°C (108.7°F) set at Chiriguana on February 16, 1998.
The warmest temperature observed in the southern hemisphere during this past July was 37.8°C (100.0°F) at Conceicao do Araguaia, Brazil on July 27th.EUROPE
The big weather story for Europe during July was the record heat in parts of Scandinavia and other parts of the continent. It was the warmest month on record for Norway and Latvia, tied for 2nd warmest month in Denmark, 8th warmest for the U.K., and 9th warmest for Germany. Temperatures in Norway’s Nordland peaked at 34.4°C (93.9°F) on July 8th at Hjelntes, the highest temperature ever measured in this northern region of the country.
Precipitation varied wildly with floods in the Balkans, Romania, and northern Italy where Milan saw its wettest July on record with a 320 mm (12.60”) accumulation. In contrast it was the driest July on record in Moscow where only 4 mm (0.16”) was measured. The flooding in Romania resulted in at least two fatalities when the Gilort River overflowed the last week of the month. Two also died in Bulgaria as a result of flooding in the district of Gabrovo.Flood waters rise to the banks of the Olt River in Ramnicu Valcea, Romania on July 28th.
Photo tweeted by @gabberc
As just mentioned it was the 8th warmest (actually tied for such) July on record in the U.K. (and also the 8th consecutive month of above average temperatures). Precipitation was 82% of normal for the month. The warmest temperature observed in the nation was 32.3°C (90.1°F) at Gravesend, Kent on July 18th and the minimum 1.2°C (34.2°F) at Braemar, Aberdeenshire on July 6th. The greatest 24-hour precipitation measurement was 51.2 mm (2.02”) at Santon Downham, Suffolk on July 27-28.AFRICA
More near record cold temperatures were measured at Buffelsfontein, South Africa this past July (as was the case in June) where a reading of -19.3°C (-2.7°F) was measured on July 6th and 7th (close to the national record set at the same location just last summer: -20.1°C/-4.2°F on August 23, 2013).
Ouargla, Algeria saw the temperature rise to 49.6°C (121.3°F) on July 26th, just 1.0°C (1.8°F) from matching its all-time record (P.S. on August 2nd it reached 50.4°C/122.7°F).ASIA
The hottest temperature measured in the world in July was 53.0°C (127.4°F) at Gotvand, Iran on July 17th. This tied Iran’s all-time national heat record last set on July 28, 2011 at Dehloran. Another notable all-time heat record was the 37.3°C (99.1°F) observed in Kuching, Malaysia (Sarawak on the island of Borneo) on July 26th. In Hong Kong it was the hottest July on record (since such began in 1884) with a 29.8°C (85.6°F) monthly mean.
Heavy rains the last week of July in western India resulted in a landslide in Malin, Maharashtra State killing at least 134 (and perhaps as many as 200) villagers.
A series of powerful typhoons developed in the Eastern Pacific and made landfall in China and Japan. Typhoon Rasmussen (or Rammasun) struck Hainan Island, China on July 18th with sustained winds of 155 mph and the lowest barometric pressure ever observed at a land site in China (899.2 mb/26.55”). The Super Typhoon killed 206 and caused $6.5 billion in damage in China and the Philippines. See Jeff Masters' blog posted August 18th for more details.Typhoon Rammasun (named Glenda in the Philippines) slammed into the town of Imus southwest of Manila on July 16th with hurricane-force winds as can be seen in this image as the typhoon made landfall.
Photo by Erik De Castro.AUSTRALIA
Overall, temperatures were close to normal and precipitation below normal in Australia during July.Temperature (top map) and precipitation (bottom map) deciles for Australia during July.
Maps courtesy of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
The warmest temperature observed during July was 33.3°C (91.9°F) at Jabiru Airport and Mango Farm, Northern Territory on July 10th and the coldest -11.3°C (11.7°F) at Glen Innes Airport, New South Wales on July 12th. The greatest calendar day precipitation measured was 215 mm (8.46”) at Cape Leveque, Western Australia on July 13th. Brisbane, Queensland saw a low of 2.6°C (36.7°F) on the July 12th, its coldest temperature observed since 1911. Amberley, part of the city’s metro area, dropped to -2.7°C (27.1°F). Needless to say, temperatures this low at low elevations of Queensland are very rare.NEW ZEALAND and OCEANIA
Kaikohe, Northland on the North Island recorded its wettest July on record with 586 mm (23.07”) of precipitation (311% of normal). Its greatest calendar rainfall was 159.4 mm (6.28”) on July 8th, which also the greatest daily amount anywhere in New Zealand for the month. The warmest temperature observed was 22.7°C (72.9°F) at Timaru, South Island on July 31st and the coldest -9.8°C (14.4°F) at Lake Tekap, South Island on July 16th.ANTARCTICA
The coldest temperature in the southern hemisphere and the world during July was –80.4°C (-112.7°F) recorded at Concordia on July 10th.KUDOS
Thanks to Maximiliano Herrera for global temperature extremes data and Jeremy Budd and NIWA for New Zealand data.
Christopher C. Burt