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July 2013 Global Weather Extremes Summary

By: Christopher C. Burt, 3:08 AM GMT on August 14, 2013

July 2013 Global Weather Extremes Summary

July was notable for the extreme heat in China, the Russian Arctic, southern New England and portions of Western Europe. An intense cold wave briefly affected southern South America and heavy rainfall was noted in the U.S. Southeast and mid-Atlantic as well as Puerto Rico. A record rainfall occurred in Thailand.

Below are some of the month’s highlights.


An interesting month with all-time monthly heat records set for most locations in Connecticut and record monthly precipitation records set for the mid-Atlantic and southeast. The following monthly precipitation records for July were set:

Roanoke, VA: 12.73"

Miami Beach, FL: 18.47"

Ft. Lauderdale, FL: 15.49"

Asheville, NC: 13.69"

Greenville, SC: 14.45"

Gainesville, FL: 16.65"

Philadelphia, PA: 13.24" (this figure is the result of an extraordinary 8.26” in 24 hours that fell at the official airport location in the city on July 28-29. No other site in the area reported such rainfall, so this is figure is not representative of the city or region).

None of the above were all-time single month precipitation records, so not that interesting. It was also very cool for a few places in the Midwest and Southeast but nothing of interest to report on that note.

All-time warmest month (any month) on record were set at the following locations:

New Haven, Connecticut: 78.7° (old record 77.4° in July 1876)- unbroken records since 1780

Nantucket, Massachusetts: 72.3° (old record 71.8° in July 1937)-records began in 1886

Providence, Rhode Island: 78.5° (previous record 78.2° in July 1952)-records began in 1880

Hartford, Connecticut: 77.9° (previous record 77.1° in July 1994 and July 2010)-records began in 1885

Medford, Oregon: 78.9° (old record 77.9° in August 1967)—records began in 1911

Bend, Oregon: 70.2°: (old record 69.4° in July 2003)-records began in 1902

Roseburg, Oregon: 74.6° (ties old record last set in July 1996)-records began in 1877

Salt Lake City, Utah: 84.1° (previous record 84.0° in July 2007)-records began in 1874

Reno, Nevada: 80.2° (previous record 80.0° in July 2005 and also in July 2007)-records began in 1888

Elko, Nevada: 76.8°: (previous record 75.9° in July 1985)-records began in 1888.

(apologies for not providing the metric conversions for the above tables, it would just become an unreadable hash of figures).

The hottest temperature measured in the world the past month was 128°F (53.3°C) at Furnace Creek in Death Valley, California on July 3rd.

No cold records of note were set anywhere in the U.S although the 62°F (16.7°C) maximum temperature on July 28th at Concordia, Kansas was the coolest monthly maximum ever recorded at that site (POR goes back to 1885). Many other sites in the Midwest also recorded record daily low monthly maximums that day (and the before and after), but no significant (sites with long POR’s) reported monthly record lows.

Here are the divisional maps rather than the state maps of how the temperature and precipitation worked out in July. You can see the state maps for such here. Massachusetts and Rhode Island reported their warmest July on record in contrast to an unusually cool Southeast. Florida had its wettest July on record and Oregon its driest such. However, if you happen to live in Albany, Georgia then you know it was one of the coolest, wettest July's on record, whereas if you live in Burns, Oregon it was one of the hottest and driest July's on record. Maps from NESDIS/NOAA.

A violent storm struck Albuquerque, New Mexico on July 26 with a record wind gust of 89 mph measured at the airport. In addition almost 5” of rain was reported in just a few hours in the greater Albuquerque area. Here are some figures:

Precipitation in and around Albuquerque on July 26th. A record wind gust of 89 mph was measured at the airport and almost 5” of rain in just a couple of hours in the northern part of the city during the violent storm of July 26th. Map courtesy of NWS-Albuquerque office.

Waterspouts were a common theme at several locations. A very cool air mass over Lake Erie produced almost 30 waterspout reports one day during mid-July and in Tampa Bay, Florida a sharp photographer picked up this memorable image:

Spectacular waterspout near the Gulf shoreline of Tampa Bay, Florida on July 9th. The bright spot is not the sun but a camera optic reflection. Photo by Joey Mole.

San Juan, Puerto Rico broke its all-time 24-hour precipitation record on July 18th with a 9.23” (234.4 mm) total (which was just short of its all-time calendar day rainfall of 9.67” (245.6 mm) set on August 15, 1944). This led to a July monthly record of 14.18” (360.2 mm).

The beginning of the month saw extreme heat in the Southwest but the monsoon kicked in by mid-month and in the end some places in the desert Southwest picked up record amounts of precipitation for July (Death Valley with 0.75”) and all-time (Bisbee, Arizona with 9.79”).

In Canada an all-time record maximum temperature of 28.3°C (82.9°F) was set for the French protectorate of St. Pierre et Miquelon on July 6th (previous record was 28.0°C/82.4°F set in August 1876 and August 1935).

Greenland set a national all-time record high of 25.9°C (78.6°F) at Manitsooq Airport on July 30th as a result of a local foehn wind event (this record is under review by the Danish met agency DMI). The previous record was 25.5°C (77.9°F) at Sondre Stromfjord in July 1990.

The coldest temperature measured in the northern hemisphere during this past July was -27.4°C (-17.3°F) at Summit, Greenland on July 7th.


A cold snap (with rare snowfall) affected the lowlands of Bolivia, Brazil, and Argentina from July 20-25. See my blog in July about this event. Otherwise, it was a very warm month in the region with the hottest temperature measured being 38.1°C (100.6°F) at Peixe, Brazil on July 23rd (far from where the cold temperatures were occurring at that same time in the southern part of the country). This was the warmest temperature recorded during July in the southern hemisphere.


An intense heat spell occurred in much of Western and Central Europe towards the end of the month. Austria measured an all-time record temperature only to have it beaten this August see my recent blog for details. And many extreme temperature records were set. However, in August most of these records were broken yet again, so I shall (like China) save these for the August roundup.

The United Kingdom enjoyed a some real summer weather for a change with July being the 3rd warmest month on record (since 1910) with a mean temperature of 17.0°C/62.6°F (the two hottest months were July 2006 with a 17.8°C/64.0°F mean and July 1983 with a 17.3°/63.1°F mean). The warmest temperature measured was 33.5°C (92.3°F) at Heathrow Airport and also at Northolt on July 22nd. The coolest temperature during July was a 2.5°C (36.5°F) reading at Balmoral, Aberdeeenshire on July 2nd. The greatest 24-hour precipitation amount measured was 79.8 mm (3.14”) at Carlisle, Cumbria on July 27-28.

It was also exceptionally warm in Ireland with a reading of 29.5°C (85.1°F) recorded at Castederg, Northern Ireland, just 1.3°C (2.3°F) short of the warmest temperature ever measured in Northern Ireland.

The mean temperature of 17.0°C for the month of July was some 2.5°C (4.5°F) above the normal for the month as this map illustrates. Map from U.K. Met Office.

Spain and Portugal had a very hot start to the month with Oporto, Portugal recording an all-time high of 40.5C (104.9°F) as did Galizia, Spain with a 43.1°C (109.6°F) reading.

Severe thunderstorms with large hail caused extensive damage to France’s vineyards in Burgundy during the month. Up to 90% of the crop in northern Pommard was destroyed and 15% in the Cote de Beaune area.


There were no significant extreme weather events in Africa during July that I am aware of.


The big story extreme-weather-wise globally were the extraordinary heat waves in the central portion of Russia’s Arctic region and in eastern China. Both heat waves were unprecedented for their respective locations. The Chinese heat wave is still in progress (as of August 14th) so I will post a more thorough review of this in my summary next month. The Siberian heat wave was exceptionally remarkable for its duration and extent of the heat at far northern latitudes. See my blog in late July for details.

Outside of eastern Asia and Russia a couple of other notable heat events took place: Dubai tied its all-time heat record with a reading of 48.5°C (119.3°F) on July 10th and the national heat record for Tajikistan was threatened on July 29th when the temperature reached 46.6°C (115.9°F) at Isambah. The Tajik record is 47.0°C (116.6°F) set at Aivadj in July 1944 and July 1983.

Typhoon Soulik unleashed floods and landslides on Taiwan and in the southeastern Chinese province of Fujian on July 12-14 that resulted in at least 100 fatalities. The typhoon reached CAT 4 status with winds of 140 mph at its peak strength.

Typhoon Soulik approaches the Taiwanese coastline on July 13th. Photo from NASA Earth Observatory.

Flash flooding in the Himalayan foothills of western China swept away bridges and homes in Sichuan Province. At least 31 flood deaths were reported in what the press described as “the worst flooding in 50 years” for the region.

In spite of the floods noted above, much of China is experiencing an extreme drought.

Map of drought region in China as of August 12th. Map from the Chinese met agency NCC.

An historic rainstorm caused serious flooding in portions of southeastern Thailand. Chantaburi picked up 445.7mm (17.55”) of rain on July 23rd with an amazing 385mm (15.16”) of this falling in just 12 hours and an even more amazing 297 mm (11.69”) in just 6 hours! This was heaviest 24-hour rainfall on record for Thailand (previous record was 414.8mm (16.33”) at Ko Samui on March 28, 2011.


It was the 3rd warmest July on record for Australia as a whole. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology reported thus: “The Northern Territory and all States except Western Australia placed in the top ten highest records for mean temperature while a number of capital cities also observed record or near-record temperatures: mean temperature – Melbourne, Hobart, Canberra and Sydney highest on record; maximum temperature – Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne highest on record; minimum temperature – Melbourne equal-highest on record.” Melbourne recorded its warmest July temperature on record with a 23.3°C (73.9°F) reading on July 18th.

Rainfall was near normal.

Maps of the temperature (top) and precipitation (bottom) anomalies for Australia during this past July. It was the third warmest July on record. Maps courtesy of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

The highest temperature recorded during the month was 36.5°C (97.7°F) at Curtin Areo, Western Australia on July 14th and the coldest -12.2°C (10.0°F) at Liawenee, Tasmania on July 9th. The record calendar day precipitation was 146.4 mm (5.76”) at Innisfail, Queensland on July 19th.


It was the 4th warmest July on record for New Zealand. (POR to 1909). The highest temperature recorded was 21.5°C (70.7°F) at Wairoa, North Island on July 5th and the coldest -8.4°C (16.9°F) at Arthur’s Pass, South Island on July 11th. The greatest calendar day rainfall was 145 mm (5.71”) at Mt. Cook, South Island on July 5th.


The coldest temperature in the southern hemisphere and the world during July was –81.7°C (-115.1°F) recorded at Dome A station on July 31st.

KUDOS Thanks to Maximiliano Herrera for global temperature extremes data and Jeremy Budd and NIWA for New Zealand data.

NOTE: I will be on vacation until August 24th and am not likely to be posting any new blogs prior to then.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

Extreme Weather

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Very good and extensive résumé on July. Thank you!

New article on Bloomsberg about the Asian heat wave:
Dozens Die in North Asia Heat Wave as Power Supply Strained
By Sungwoo Park & Chisaki Watanabe - Aug 13, 2013 8:46 AM GMT+0200

Record temperatures across North Asia have killed dozens and pushed electricity grids to near breaking point, forcing governments to introduce emergency measures as more of the same heat is forecast.

Air-conditioning in South Korea’s public buildings has been shut off as the government yesterday warned of power shortages. China has opened air-raid shelters as makeshift cooling stations, while thousands in Japan have been hospitalized for heatstroke. ...
Great in-depth blog post, Christopher!
There were some record low monthly maximum temperatures in North Texas in the middle of July. See Lee Grenci''s blog for details.

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/24hourprof/archi ve.html?year=2013&month=07

look for Record Low High Temperatures and an Odd Upper Level Low.

This low traversed the southern U.S from east to west over a four day
period in mid July, then stalled in the Southwest U.S. and slowly dissipated.

There were also frost warnings in northern MN on the 29'th I think.
I don't know if any crop damage was reported. Occasional summer
frost in sheltered areas is in the northern MN climatology but it's very uncommon.

A report of July frost in southern MN in 1863 is in

http://www.climatestations.com/minnesota-weather- for-1863/

You might want to recheck Flagstaff, Arizona. On July 29th it was within .01" of beating the 1919 rainfall record.
NASA has a six year animation of net radiation that might be of interest. It does not show the Sahara as being a net radiation emitter except during winter though it seems to have less net radiation gain the rest of the year than other areas at that latitude.
I just blogged on this, very informative article on the NASA data and wildfire risk, Sullivan Insurance Blog. These weather events have abig impact on insurance markets and even home insurance prices.
Quoting 5. bappit:
NASA has a six year animation of net radiation that might be of interest. It does not show the Sahara as being a net radiation emitter except during winter though it seems to have less net radiation gain the rest of the year than other areas at that latitude.

Interesting to see that this has either changed, or the conclusion of negative net radiation in summer is refuted by better observations or instrumentation. Both are possible and net radiation in deserts is probably very sensitive to modest fluctuations in water vapor content.

One of my gripes with many of these charts is presentation. Is it sufficiently light yellow to be negative or is it the darker orangey yellow
that would be positive? A zero contour would be helpful. Presenting as a continuum of color is easier in the 21'st century but not better. Charts from the 70s-90s were more likely either discrete color bands or contour charts both of which I prefer to the present continuous scale of thousands of shades of color.
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