Record wettest 12 months for US, again

View along highway completely underwater with large Exit 29 A sign.
Just 367 days after the last of the Great June Flood of 2018 had left its memorable mark on nearly all of the populated Rio Grande valley, a confluence of atmospheric events came together during the late afternoon and evening of June 24, 2019. New daily rainfall records were set at most Rio Grande Valley climate recording locations, including Harlingen, Texas (shown), with 6.29 inches of rain, about 3x the monthly average. Image via NOAA.

A NOAA report, released July 9, 2019, says that rain – and plenty of it – in June 2019 added to a record-breaking 12 months of precipitation for the contiguous U.S. It’s the third consecutive time in 2019 (April, May and June) that the past 12-month precipitation record has hit an all-time high.

US map with dots for severe weather, droughts, flooding, and snow.
View larger. | An annotated map of the United States showing notable climate events that occurred across the country during June 2019. For more, see the bulleted list below and the online report summary. Image via NOAA.

Here’s a snapshot of NOAA’s U.S. climate report for June and the year to date:

– The June precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 3.3 inches (8.4 cm), .37 inches (.9 cm) above average, and ranked in the upper third of the 125-year recorded period.

– Wet conditions from July 2018 through June 2019 resulted in a new 12-month precipitation record in the United States, with an average of 37.86 inches (96 cm), which is 7.9 inches (20 cm) above average, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. The year-to-date precipitation total was 19.05 inches (48.4 cm), 3.74 inches (9.5 cm) above average, and the wettest such period in the 125-year record.

US map showing lower precipitation in west and higher precipitation in east.
Image via NOAA.

– The average U.S. temperature for the year to date (January through June 2019) was 47.6 degrees F (0.1 of a degree above average) or 8.6 C (.06 of a degree above average), which ranked in the middle third for the six-month period.

– Drought was a mixed bag: About 3.2 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in drought, down from 5.3 percent at the start of June. However, drought conditions worsened across parts of the Pacific Northwest and Puerto Rico.

– Alaska had its second hottest June on record, with an average temperature of 54.0 degrees F (4.8 degrees above average) or 12 C (2.7 degrees above average).

Bottom line: NOAA reports a new 12-month precipitation record in the U.S. from July 2018 through June 2019.

See the complete report


July 16, 2019

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