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NOAA image of USA drought conditions during June 2004.July 20, 2004 — Many areas of the South had some of the wettest June conditions on record, according to scientists at the NOAA Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. Record dryness across southern California contrasted the extreme wetness in the South, while much of the Midwest had a cooler-than-average June. The global average temperature was sixth warmest on record for June. (Click NOAA image for larger view of USA drought conditions during June 2004. Please credit “NOAA.”)

NOAA scientists report that the average temperature for the contiguous United States for June (based on preliminary data) was 68.6 degrees F (20.4 degrees C), which was 0.5 degrees F (0.3 degrees C) below the 1895-2003 mean. The mean temperature was below average in 19 states across the middle of the nation, extending into the Northeast. Much of the West was warmer than average. Nevada and Florida had much-above-average temperatures for June. Alaska experienced record warmth for June, with a statewide temperature of 5.2 degrees F (2.9 degrees C) above the 1971-2000 mean. Record-setting temperatures were also recorded in several Alaskan cities in June, including an all-time high of 93 degrees F (33.9 degrees C) on Annette Island. The extreme temperatures made conditions favorable for widespread wildfire activity in the state.

Precipitation across the contiguous United States was much above average, ranking June 2004 the seventh wettest on record. Texas had its wettest June on record. Mississippi and Louisiana had their second and third wettest June conditions respectively. The heavy rainfall during the first week of the month resulted from severe storms in Texas and parts of the South and led to flooding in some areas.

Drought conditions that had reemerged in the Southeast in recent months eased throughout June as precipitation was above average across much of the region. Below- average June precipitation occurred in many areas of the West, where drought has persisted for the past five to six years. Southern California and eastern Arizona had record or near-record dryness for June, exacerbating moderate-to-severe drought in the region. Reservoir levels also remained below average in many areas of the West, and at the end of June the percent of the western United States in moderate-to-extreme drought increased to 74 percent, based on a widely used measure of drought, the Palmer Drought Index.

The Globe:
NOAA image of selected significant global events during June 2004.The average global temperature anomaly for combined land and ocean surfaces during June 2004 (based on preliminary data) was 0.47 degrees F (0.26 degrees C) above the 1880-2003 long-term mean. This was the sixth warmest June since 1880 (the beginning of reliable instrumental records). The five others are 1998 - 0.62 degrees C, 2002 - 0.55 degrees C, 2003 - 0.54 degrees C, 2001 - 0.51 degrees C and 1997 - 0.49 degrees C. (Click NOAA image for larger view of selected significant global events during June 2004. Click here to view interactive map. Please credit “NOAA.”)

Land surface temperatures were anomalously warm across Alaska, western Europe and central Asia and most of the southern hemisphere, while ocean-surface temperatures in much of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific were near average, as the neutral phase of El Niño/Southern Oscillation continued. The global land surface temperature was fourth warmest on record for June.

The NOAA Satellites and Information Service is the nation’s primary source of space-based oceanographic, meteorological and climate data. It operates the nation’s environmental satellites, which are used for ocean and weather observation and forecasting, climate monitoring and other environmental applications. Some of the oceanographic applications include sea surface temperature for hurricane and weather forecasting and sea-surface heights for El Niño prediction.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nationís coastal and marine resources. NOAA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Relevant Web Sites
Climate of 2004 — June in Historical Perspective

NOAA Climatic Data Center

Media Contact:
John Leslie, NOAA Satellites and Information Service, (301) 457-5005