Large contrasts occurred across the lower 48 states with top ten coldest July on record in the middle of the country and top ten warmest July out west. As was the case with temperatures, precipitation rankings also showed large contrasts across the lower 48 states in July 2014. There are 120 years in the data record. The following is a summary of the July 2014 climate with two maps showing the rankings after the text.
- Climate Highlights — July 2014
- The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during July was 73.3°F, 0.3°F below the 20th century average, ranking near the middle of the 120-year period of record. This was the coolest July for the Lower-48 since 2009. The average maximum (daytime) July temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 85.8°F, 0.9°F below the 20th century average, while the average minimum (nighttime) July temperature was 60.8°F, 0.2°F above the 20th century average.
- Below-average temperatures stretched from the Midwest, through the Mississippi River Valley, and into parts of the Southeast, where 13 states had one of their 10 coolest Julys on record. Arkansas and Indiana each had their coolest July on record. The Arkansas average temperature was 75.7°F, 4.6°F below the 20th century average and dipping below the previous record cold July that occurred in 1967. The Indiana average temperature was 69.2°F, 5.3°F below the 20th century average, slightly cooler than the previous record cold July of 2009. Although most corn producing areas in the Midwest have experienced excellent growing conditions during 2014, in northern areas, from North Dakota to Michigan, a cool and wet 2014 growing season might cause corn crops to not reach full maturation before harvest.
- There were more than twice as many record cool temperatures during July (5,508) than record warm temperatures (2,605), with most of the cool temperature records (3,333) being cool daytime temperatures and most of the warm temperature records (1,882) being warm nighttime temperatures.
- Above-average temperatures were observed from the Intermountain West to the Pacific Coast. Six states had one of their 10 warmest Julys on record, but no state was record warm for the month. The above-average temperatures, combined with long-term dryness, created ideal wildfire conditions across the West, where numerous large wildfires charred hundreds of thousands of acres during July.
- Much of Alaska was warmer than average during July, especially along the western Gulf of Alaska coast and the Alaska Peninsula. Cold Bay had its warmest month of any month on record, with an average temperature of 55.8°F. Above-average precipitation was observed across interior regions of the state and the Alaska Panhandle, where Fairbanks and Juneau both had their second wettest July on record.
- The July national precipitation total was 2.55 inches, 0.23 inch below the 20th century average, marking the 26th driest July on record.
- Precipitation totals were mixed across the country during July. Above-average precipitation was observed in parts of the West, Southwest, Southern Plains, and the Northeast. In the Southern Plains, drought-stricken Wichita Falls, Texas saw its third wettest July on record and wettest since 1950. In the West, enhanced monsoonal flow boosted monthly precipitation totals from New Mexico to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In the Northeast, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire each had one of their 10 wettest Julys on record.
- Below-average precipitation was observed across the northern tier of the country, as well as parts of the Central Plains, Midwest, and the Southeast. South Dakota had its sixth driest July, while Alabama had its ninth driest.