Climate Highlights - June 2011
•June 2011 brought extremes in both temperature and precipitation across the United States. An oppressive heat wave accompanied by intensifying drought conditions shattered temperature records in the South and Southwest.
•The average U.S. temperature in June was 70.7 degrees F (21.5 degrees C), which is 1.4 degrees F (0.8 degrees C) above the long-term (1901-2000) average. Precipitation, averaged across the nation, was 2.48 inches (63.0 mm). This was 0.41 inch (10.4 mm) below the long-term average, with large variability in different locations.
•Several locations broke all-time high temperature records during June. On the 26th, Amarillo, Texas set an all time high temperature record of 111.0 degrees F (43.9 degrees C), breaking the record of 109.0 degrees F (42.8 degrees C) set just two days prior. On the 15th, Tallahassee, Florida also recorded an all-time high, 105.0 degrees F (40.6 degrees C). For the month, 42 U.S. locations tied or broke all-time maximum high temperature records.
•In addition to the daily high temperatures, average temperatures during June were also historic in Texas. In Lubbock, the average temperature of 85.8 degrees F (29.9 degrees C) was 8.5 degrees F (4.7 degrees C) above the June average. This surpassed July 1966 (85.4 degrees F or 29.7 degrees C) as the city's warmest month on record. In Midland, the average temperature of 88.0 degrees F (31.1 degrees C) was also the warmest month on record, surpassing the monthly average of 87.2 degrees F (30.7 degrees C) set in August 1964. Additionally, Houston and Galveston had their warmest June on record.
•The expansive heat across Texas resulted in an average statewide temperature of 85.2 degrees F (29.6 degrees C), which was 5.6 degrees F (3.1 degrees C) above normal, surpassing 1953 as the warmest June in 117 years of records. This was the Texas' fourth consecutive June with temperatures at least 2 degrees F (1.1 degrees C) above the long-term average.
•Several other states also had temperatures much above normal. Both Louisiana and Oklahoma (tied) had their second warmest June; Georgia tied for its third warmest. It was the sixth warmest for Arkansas, Delaware (tied), Florida, Mississippi, and New Mexico.
•Along with the heat, parts of the Southwest through much of the Southern Plains and Gulf Coast experienced a continuation of intense drought. New Mexico had its driest June on record while Arizona and Oklahoma had their fourth driest. June was the fifth driest in Texas and the ninth driest in Florida.
•According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 63 percent of the Southeast was in moderate to exceptional drought at the end of June compared to 51 percent at the end of May. In the South, the percent area in the worst category of drought—called exceptional drought—rose from 28 percent to 47 percent.
•Above average wildfire activity continued across the Southern tier of the United States. Nationwide, 1.35 million acres burned during the month, bringing the year-to-date acreage burned to approximately 4.8 million acres -- the most on record for the period -- and more than twice the decadal average.