It's August, and things are slow. I also need to take it easy for a while, so I'll be doing some easy posts in the next few days — Dave
We've just received the latest State Of The Climate report from the National Climatic Data Center, and it's a doozy.
Let's look at the graphs. You can click on any one of them to get a larger view (in a new window or tab).
The third graph is perhaps the most telling. It shows the 2012 departure from the 20th century average, which started in 1895 when meterologists began to keep records. It is a scary graph.
The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during July was 77.6°F, 3.3°F above the 20th century average, marking the hottest July and the hottest month on record for the nation. The previous warmest July for the nation was July 1936 when the average U.S. temperature was 77.4°F. The warm July temperatures contributed to a record-warm first seven months of the year and the warmest 12-month period the nation has experienced since recordkeeping began in 1895.
Drier-than-average conditions continued across the Central Plains and Midwest during July. Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri had July precipitation totals ranking among their ten driest. Maine had its fifth driest July on record. An active storm pattern in the Southwest contributed to California having its fifth wettest July on record and Nevada having its eighth wettest. Wetter-than-average conditions were also observed through the rest of the Southwest, along the western Gulf Coast, and through the Ohio Valley where West Virginia had its tenth wettest July.
The January-July period was the warmest first seven months of any year on record for the contiguous United States. The national temperature of 56.4°F was 4.3°F above the long-term average. Most of the contiguous U.S. was record and near-record warm for the seven-month period, except the Pacific Northwest, which was near average.