Assessment of the American #climate in June 2022 — NOAA – Coyote Gulch
Exacerbated by record-breaking dry June, Alaskan wildfires are growing at near-record pace
Above average warmth coupled with a ridge of high pressure dominated much of the contiguous United States in June. Several Southern Tier states recorded the top 10 hottest Junes on record, including Texas, ranking fifth hottest on record for the month. It’s the third straight month of extreme heat across Texas, resulting in a ranking of the hottest on record for the April-June period.
Averaged over the first half of the year, the temperature in the contiguous United States was 48.7°F, 1.2°F above the 20th century average, ranking in the warmest third of the record from January to June. Temperatures were above average from California to the Plains and from the central Gulf Coast to New England. Florida and California ranked seventh warmest and South Carolina eighth for that time. Temperatures were below average in parts of the Northwest and Upper Midwest.
The June temperature across the state of Alaska was 52.2°F, 3.0°F above the long-term average. This ranked as the ninth hottest June in the state’s 98-year record period. Temperatures were above average across much of the southern half of the state with record high temperatures on Kodiak Island. Temperatures were near average in most North Slope and Northeast Interior divisions. Sitka had its hottest June on record, while Anchorage and Kodiak were the second hottest. For the first time on record, Anchorage reported daily high temperatures of at least 60°F every day in June.
The year-to-date temperature for Alaska was 24.4°F, 3.0°F above the long-term average, ranking in the warmest third of the state record . Above average temperatures were observed across most of the state and were near average across much of the North Slope and Northeast Interior Divisions.
The Pacific Northwest received above average precipitation in June associated with multiple atmospheric river events during the first half of the month and the Southwest received an abundance of precipitation associated with the return of the rain season. monsoon during the second half of June. New Mexico ranked fifth wettest on record. Washington and Oregon ranked seventh and eighth wettest on record, respectively. A prevailing ridge of high pressure across the central and eastern United States resulted in below average rainfall totals for the month. North Carolina ranked second in the driest records for June and Nebraska ranked seventh.
The January-June rainfall total for the contiguous United States was 13.84 inches, 1.47 inches below average, ranking in the driest third on record. Precipitation was above average in parts of the Pacific Northwest, northern Plains, Great Lakes and in pockets from the mid-Mississippi Valley to the northeast. Rainfall was below average over much of the west and deep south, as well as parts of the central and southeastern plains during the January-June period. California ranked the driest on record, while Nevada and Utah ranked second and third driest, respectively, for that six-month period. Texas ranked sixth driest.
Precipitation in Alaska was near average over the North Slope and parts of the Panhandle, but was generally dry to record dry across much of the state in June. Talkeetna recorded its lowest June rainfall total since at least 1932. In the last three months (April-June), Alaska also experienced record drought, with average rainfall in the state being lower 0.68 inch to those received during the same period. 1954 – smashing that record.
Despite the past three months of record dry conditions across Alaska, average statewide precipitation for the January through June period ranked in the wettest third on record and was generally above average for much of Southeast Alaska and near or below average for much of it. from the rest of the state.
Other Notable Events
As of July 1, the largest fire on record in New Mexico, the Hermits Peak Fire, had consumed nearly 342,000 acres and was 93% contained. The Black Fire, the second largest wildfire on record in New Mexico, has burned 325,000 acres and was 70% contained by July 2.
1 million acres burned in Alaska as of June 18 – the first such event in a year than at any time in the past 32 years. As of July 1, 1.85 million acres had been consumed — the second-highest total on record for June and the seventh-largest area burned for a calendar month on record for Alaska.
The East Fork Wildfire in the Yukon River Delta region of Alaska is the largest tundra fire on record (since the 1940s) in the Yukon Delta at 166,000 acres. Smoke from ongoing fires created visibility and health issues across much of mainland Alaska in June.
The elevation of Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir, approached the dead pond, the elevation that prevents water from flowing downstream of the dam, in late June. On June 30, the lake’s elevation was 1,043.02 feet above sea level – the lowest elevation since the 1930s, when the lake was first filled.
According to the June 28 US Drought Monitor report, 47.7% of the contiguous United States was under drought conditions, down about 1.5 percentage points from the end of May, but up 2.4% in during the last week of June. The drought intensified and/or spread across the Deep South, Southeast and New England and broke out in parts of the central Mississippi and Ohio valleys. Monsoon rains helped reduce the intensity of the drought in parts of the southwest. Several atmospheric fluvial events have contributed to the reduction and/or elimination of drought in parts of the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies. The drought spread to Alaska and Puerto Rico and contracted on the Big Island of Hawaii in June.
Billion dollar weather and climate disasters
The nine individual billion-dollar events of 2022 include: three general severe weather events, two tornado outbreaks, two hailstorms, one derecho event, and one large-scale drought event. For this year-to-date period, the number of disasters in 2022 ranks fifth behind 2017, 2020, 2011 and 2021.
Despite the above-average number of disasters in the first half of 2022, only a small number of deaths have been reported associated with these events.
With an estimated cost of $2.2 billion, the costliest event to date was the severe weather event in the south which occurred April 11-13.
Since these billion dollar disaster records began in 1980, the United States has suffered 332 separate weather and climate disasters where the aggregate damages/costs have reached or exceeded $1 billion (based on the CPI adjustment to 2022) per event. The total cost of these 332 events exceeds $2.275 trillion.
According to the June 30 month-long forecast from the Climate Prediction Center, above-normal temperatures are likely in the central and southern plains and leaning above normal from the Rocky Mountains to the east coast as well as in the southeast. from Alaska. Below normal temperatures are favored along the Pacific Northwest Coast. Parts of the Southwest and Gulf Coast to the Mid-Atlantic Coast as well as the western half of Alaska have the greatest chance of above normal precipitation, while below normal precipitation is favored in parts of the Great Basin and the center and south. Plains. The drought is likely to persist across much of the west with some improvement expected in the southwest and along the central western Gulf Coast. Drought development is likely from the lower Mississippi Valley to the Midwest. Outside of the contiguous United States, drought is likely to persist or develop in parts of Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, although recent heavy rains may ease the dryness in eastern Puerto Rico.
According to the one-month outlook released July 1 by the National Interagency Fire Center, parts of Alaska and Hawaii, from eastern Washington to central California, parts of the southern plains and Florida’s central east coast to the Carolina coast have wildfire potential in July.