Once again it's that time of the month... it's climate time!
Here are a few highlights:
- The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during July was 77.6°F, 3.3°F above the 20th century average, marking the warmest July and all-time warmest month on record for the nation in a period of record that dates back to 1895. The previous warmest July for the nation was July 1936, when the average U.S. temperature was 77.4°F.
- According to the July 31, 2012 U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM), 62.9 percent of the contiguous U.S. was experiencing moderate to exceptional drought at the end of July. This is an increase of about 6.9 percent compared to the end of June. The maximum value of 63.9 percent reached on July 24 is a record in the 13-year history of the USDM. The percent area of the country in the worst drought categories (extreme to exceptional drought) doubled, from 10 percent last month to 22 percent this month. The extreme dryness and above-average evapotranspiration due to excessive heat devastated crops and livestock from the Great Plains to Midwest.
- According to the Palmer Drought Severity Index, whose record spans the 20th century, about 57 percent of the contiguous U.S. was experiencing moderate-to-extreme drought. The last time drought was this extensive was in December 1956 when about 58 percent of the nation was in moderate-to-extreme drought.
- The August 2011-July 2012 period was the warmest 12-month period of any 12-months on record for the contiguous U.S., narrowly surpassing the record broken last month for the July 2011-June 2012 period by 0.07°F. The nationally-averaged temperature of 56.1°F was 3.3°F above the long term average. Every state across the contiguous U.S. had warmer than average temperatures for the period, except Washington, which was near average.
- The continued warm and dry weather across much of Georgia resulted in a successful peach season that ended a full three weeks earlier than normal. In fact, overall yields for many crops in Georgia remained ahead of their 5-year average.
You can read the entire July Climate Summary here.
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