WARMTH, FIVE TROPICAL SYSTEMS FORM IN JULY,
Aug. 16, 2005 — An extended heat wave in July pushed the nation's average temperature higher than normal, while global temperatures were second-highest on record for the month, according to scientists at the NOAA National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. (Click NOAA image for larger view of July 2005 state temperature rankings. Please credit “NOAA.”)
Most of the warmth occurred during an extended heat wave (July 11- 27), when mean temperatures in parts of the West exceeded 5-10 degrees F above average. More than 200 cities broke daily high temperature records, with Denver, Colo., having its second warmest July since 1872 and equaling the all-time highest daily temperature record of 105 degrees F, set in 1878.
Las Vegas tied its all-time record daily maximum temperature of 117 degrees F, and had five consecutive days with temperatures exceeding 115 degrees F. In the last few days of July, the warmth crept eastward and was briefly replaced by cooler temperatures in the northern Plains setting new daily low temperature records in some locations. Temperatures across Alaska were above average, with a statewide temperature of 2.0 degrees F (1.1 degrees C) above the 1971-2000 mean, ranking 4th warmest since 1918.
At the end of July, moderate-to-extreme drought (as defined by a widely-used measure of drought—the Palmer Drought Index) affected 17 percent of the West (Rockies westward), an increase of 6 percent from June 2005. The heat wave, combined with drier-than-average conditions in the Midwest, also took a toll on the corn crop, with drought declarations in both Wisconsin and Illinois. The dry weather in the West triggered wildfires, burning acres well above the 10-year average as of the end of July. A wet fall and winter resulted in extensive undergrowth, providing abundant fuel for the summer fires.
There were five named storms in July 2005: Cindy, Dennis, Emily, Franklin and Gert. Both Dennis and Emily became hurricanes, with approximately 32 deaths blamed on Dennis as it moved through the Caribbean region. Cindy and Dennis made landfall in the U.S., Cindy as a tropical storm around Grand Isle, La., and Dennis as a major Category 3 hurricane around Navarre Beach, Fla. Cindy's major impact was rainfall and flooding across the southeastern states, while Dennis produced a large storm surge and rain-related flooding across the Southeast.
NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, 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 nation's coastal and marine resources.
Relevant Web Sites