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June was record warm for contiguous U.S.

Year-to-date period was also 3rd warmest
July 7, 2016
Kids playing in a fountain at Citygarden, an urban park and sculpture garden in St. Louis, Missouri on June 22, 2016 -- it did happen to be nearly 100 degrees that day!

Summer is off to a sizzling start.

The average June temperature for the Lower 48 states was 71.8 degrees F, making it the warmest June on record, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. Above-average temperatures spanned the nation from coast to coast, and 17 states across the West, Great Plains and parts of the Southeast experienced temperatures much above average. June precipitation for the contiguous U.S. averaged 2.46 inches, 0.47 inch below average, ranking as the 14th driest on record.  

Through the midpoint of the year (January–June), the contiguous U.S. average temperature was 50.8 degrees F, 3.2 degrees F above average and the third warmest on record. Every state was warmer than average for the year to date, and Alaska continued to shatter heat records.

US Significant Events Map June 2016
US Significant Events Map June 2016 (NOAA NCEI)

Notable climate events include:

  • Alaska: Record warmth spanned Alaska from January through June. The statewide average temperature for this period was 30.4 degrees F, 9.0 degrees F above average, and 2.5 degrees F warmer than the previous record in 1981.

  • West Virginia: During June 23-24, more than 10 inches of rain in parts of West Virginia causing record flooding that resulted in at least 23 fatalities and the loss of over 1,500 homes.

  • Tropical Storm: Tropical Storm Colin made landfall along Florida’s Gulf Coast on June 6 with sustained winds of 50 mph. Colin brought heavy rainfall to the Southeast and caused four fatalities.

  • U.S. Drought: By the end of June, 16.2 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in drought, up about 3.5 percent compared to the end of May. Drought remained entrenched in parts of California and the far west, and expanded to other parts of the nation.  

  • Billion Dollar Disasters: So far in 2016, the U.S. has experienced eight billion-dollar weather and climate-related disasters, resulting in the loss of 30 lives and causing at least $13.1 billion in damages (note: losses from the late-June West Virginia floods are still being assessed and are not included in this tally).

More: Find NOAA’s reports and download images by visiting the NCEI website.