HAS SECOND WARMEST SUMMER ON RECORD
Sept. 14, 2006 — Summer 2006 was the second warmest June-to-August period in the continental U.S. since records began in 1895, according to scientists at the NOAA National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. Additionally, the 2006 January-to-August period was the warmest on record for the continental U.S. Above-average rainfall last month in the central and southwestern U.S. improved drought conditions in some areas, but moderate-to-extreme drought continued to affect 40 percent of the country. (Click NOAA image for larger view of June-August 2006 statewide temperature rankings. Please credit “NOAA.”)
The persistence of the anomalous warmth in 2006 made this January-August period the warmest on record for the continental U.S., eclipsing the previous record of 1934. (Click NOAA image for larger view of June-August 2006 statewide precipitation rankings. Please credit “NOAA.”)
heat wave in July impacted most of the nation, breaking more than 2,300
daily records and more than 50 all-time high temperature records. Additional
high temperature records were broken during the first part of August.
was the 11th warmest August on record in the contiguous U.S.
An active monsoon season in the Southwest gave New Mexico its wettest August on record, and precipitation in Arizona also was above average. Drought relief extended to New Mexico, parts of Arizona and west Texas. However, the heavy downpours brought flooding across parts of the entire region.
The Plains states, the Midwest, the Carolinas and parts of the Northeast benefited from above-average precipitation in August. This helped reduce drought severity in other areas such as the Dakotas and parts of Oklahoma but was not sufficient to end drought in the most severely affected parts of those states. (Click NOAA image for larger view of January-August 2006 statewide temperature rankings. Please credit “NOAA.”)
Drought conditions worsened in some parts of the country. Rainfall in August was below normal from Montana to southern California and the Pacific Northwest. This contributed to a continuing and already-active wildfire season. Through early September, the number of acres burned in the U.S. is nearing the record of almost 8.7 million acres burned during all of 2005, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
In 2007 NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, celebrates 200 years of science and service to the nation. Starting with the establishment of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA. The agency is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.
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