SUMMER IN U.S. ENDS WITH RECORD HEAT IN SOUTH,
WIDESPREAD DROUGHT CONTINUES IN SOUTHEAST, WEST
12, 2007 — The June-August 2007 summer season
ended with a long-lasting heatwave that set more than 2,000 new daily
high temperature records across the southern and central U.S., according
to scientists at NOAA’s
National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. The record heat
helped make this the second warmest August and the sixth warmest summer
on record for the contiguous U.S., based on preliminary data. At the
end of August, drought affected almost half of the continental U.S.
The global surface temperature was seventh warmest on record for the
June-August period. (Click
NOAA image for larger view of the August 2007 statewide temperature
rankings. Please credit “NOAA.”)
Temperature Highlights for Summer
summer 2007 (June-August), the average temperature for the continental
U.S., based on preliminary data, was 73.8 degrees F (23.2 degrees
C), which was 1.7 degrees F (1.0 degrees C) above the 20th century
mean and the sixth warmest summer since national records began in
was the warmest summer for Utah and Nevada and it ranked in the top
10 warmest summers on record for 11 other states. Alaska had its fourth
warmest summer on record. Only Texas and Oklahoma were cooler than
much warmer-than-average conditions in the Southeast and throughout
the West contributed to above average residential energy demand for
the nation. Using the Residential
Energy Demand Temperature Index (REDTI - an index developed at
NOAA to relate energy usage to climate), the nation's residential
energy demand was approximately 8 percent higher than what would have
occurred under average climate conditions for the season.
Temperature Highlights for August
the contiguous U.S., the average temperature for August was 75.4 degrees
F (24.1 degrees C), which was 2.7 degrees F (1.5 degrees C) above
the 20th century mean and the second warmest August on record, based
on preliminary data.
- A severe
heatwave persisted throughout much of the month across southern and
central parts of the nation. More than 30 all-time high temperature
records were tied or broken and more than 2,000 new daily high temperature
records were established.
N.C., equaled its all-time high of 105 degrees F Aug. 21. Columbia,
S.C., had 14 days in August with temperatures over 100 degrees F,
which broke the record of 12 set in 1900. Cincinnati, Ohio, reached
100 degrees F five days during August, a new record for the city.
was the warmest August in the 113-year record for West Virginia, Kentucky,
Tennessee, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Utah. For
the Southeast, the length, severity and area of the heat wave led
to comparisons with events in 1983 and 1954.
Precipitation Highlights for Summer
the summer was drier than average for the nation. Rainfall was below
average in the Southeast, mid-Atlantic, Ohio Valley, the northern
Plains and Northern Rockies. (Click
NOAA image for larger view of the June-August 2007 statewide precipitation
rankings. Please credit “NOAA.”)
had its wettest summer on record and Oklahoma its fourth wettest.
The unusually wet period was punctuated by heavy and persistent rains
in June and July that produced devastating flooding in the region.
In the Southeast, this was the driest summer since records began in
1895 for North Carolina and the second driest for Tennessee.
- A hot
and dry July in the Northern Rockies contributed to a fast start to
the wildfire season, and August remained very active as warmer and
drier-than-average conditions persisted in many areas. By early September,
more than 7 million acres had burned across the nation, most of it
in the western U.S.
Precipitation Highlights for August
record warmth and below-average rainfall in August led to an expansion
of drought in the Southeast and parts of the mid-Atlantic and Ohio
Valley. At the end of August, drought affected approximately 83 percent
of the Southeast and 46 percent of the contiguous U.S., according
to the federal U.S. Drought Monitor. (Click
NOAA image for larger view of the U.S. Drought Monitor. Please credit
drought persisted throughout much of the West and an area that stretched
from northern Minnesota to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
of the Midwest received record precipitation in August, as a persistent
frontal system provided a focus for heavy rain and thunderstorms.
Precipitation was two to three times normal for the month in a wide
band across the central Midwest, and major flooding occurred in parts
of a region that stretched from southeastern Minnesota to central
Ohio. Iowa had its wettest August on record.
Storm Erin made landfall near Lamar, Texas, Aug. 16, bringing heavy
rains to areas already much wetter than normal for the year. Widespread
flooding ensued in southern Texas and Oklahoma.
combined global land and ocean surface temperature for August was
the eighth warmest on record, 0.85 degrees F/0.47 degrees C above
the 20th century mean. The global surface temperature for June-August
(Northern Hemisphere summer) was the seventh warmest since records
began in 1880.
the global land-surface temperature was the third warmest for August
and the fifth warmest for boreal summer. The August ocean-surface
temperature was the ninth warmest in the 128-year period of record
as cooler-than-average conditions in the central and eastern equatorial
Pacific indicated the ongoing development of a La Niña episode.
Dean, the first major hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season made
landfall as a category 5 storm near Costa Maya, Mexico Aug. 21. This
was the first Atlantic Basin hurricane to make landfall as a category
5 storm since Hurricane Andrew struck Florida in August 1992.
monsoon-related rainfall that began in June continued to affect parts
of South Asia in August. Millions of people were affected by flooding
and thousands of flood-related deaths were reported.
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Editors: August and June-August 2007 data, graphics and analysis, are
online at: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/2007/aug/aug07.html.
2007 Data, Graphics and Analysis
National Overview - August 2007
John Leslie, NOAA
Satellite and Information Service, (301) 713-1265