SUMMER 2000: WARMER AND DRIER THAN NORMAL, NOAA REPORTS; JANUARY THROUGH AUGUST WARMEST ON RECORD IN THE U.S.
September 13, 2000 Meteorological summer, June-August 2000, was much warmer than normal in the United States, NOAA reported today. The statistics were calculated by NOAA scientists working from the world's largest statistical weather database at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.
The nationally averaged June-August temperature, based on preliminary numbers was 73.2 degrees F, 1.1 degree F warmer than average making this the 11th warmest summer since records began in 1895. Conditions were generally cooler and wetter than normal in the Northeast and Midwest, while warmer and drier than normal conditions continued to prevail across many states in the Deep South and western U.S. While it was the 18th coolest summer since 1895 for the Northeast region, it was the second warmest summer on record for the Southwest region and the tenth warmest June-August period for the West region.
On a statewide basis, Utah and Nevada recorded their 2nd and 3rd warmest summers on record, respectively. In all, 20 states were warmer than normal, while 14 states were cooler than normal for the summer season. Although precipitation was adequate in most of the Northeast, Ohio Valley, and western Great Lakes states, below normal rainfall and hot conditions exacerbated drought conditions in portions of the West, South and Southeast. June-August 2000 was the 13th driest such three-month period on record for both the Southeast and Northwest regions. Abundant rainfall during June prevented the three-month summer season from being much drier for the South region, which includes Louisiana and Texas. It was the fifth driest summer on record for Alabama, sixth driest for Florida, and the seventh driest summer since 1895 for Mississippi. For the nation, it was the 24th driest summer since 1895.
With a nationally averaged temperature of 74.9 degrees F, 2.1 degrees F warmer than the 106-year average, August ranked as the fifth warmest such month on record. Above normal temperatures covered much of the southern and western U.S., including an eleven-state area with much-above-normal temperatures stretching from Nevada to Texas and Louisiana. Two states in this region, Arkansas and Wyoming, had their second warmest August on record. The warm temperatures, combined with a lack of rainfall in many southern states, worsened drought conditions across a large region. While nationally this was the third driest August since 1895, it was the driest August on record for Texas and Oklahoma, and the second driest August for Arkansas and Kansas.
With a nationally averaged year-to-date temperature of 57.3 degrees F, 2.7 degrees F warmer than the 106-year average, preliminary data indicate that this was the warmest January-August period on record. Every state in the contiguous U.S., except South Carolina, Maine, and Vermont has been warmer than normal. Above average temperatures have been most persistent in the western half of the U.S. This was the warmest January-August on record for New Mexico, Texas and Utah, while it was the second warmest for Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada, and Wyoming. Drought conditions worsened across many of these same states as well as much of the South as below-normal precipitation persisted throughout much of the year. Five states in the Southeast were much drier than normal including Florida which experienced it's driest year-to-date. It was the third driest year-to-date for Louisiana. Conversely, wetter than normal conditions prevailed in 18 states, primarily in the Northeast and Midwest. For the nation, January - August 2000 ranked as the 23rd driest since 1895 when nationwide records began.