Cooler-than-average temperatures were present for the Pacific Northwest, where Washington had its seventh coolest June on record. Cooler-than-average conditions were also present for the Southeast, despite record warm temperatures towards the end of the month.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor,
as of July 3, 56.0 percent of the contiguous U.S. experienced drought
conditions, marking the largest percentage of the nation experiencing
drought conditions in the 12-year record of the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Drought conditions improved across Florida, due to the rains from
Tropical Storm Debby. Drought conditions worsened across much of the
West, Central Plains, and the Ohio Valley, causing significant impacts
on agriculture in those regions.
Several large wildfires raged across the West in June, destroying
hundreds of homes and causing the evacuation of tens of thousands of
residences. The very dry, warm, and windy weather created ideal wildfire
conditions. Nationwide, wildfires scorched over 1.3 million acres, the
second most on record during June.
The January-June period
was the warmest first half of any year on record for the contiguous
United States. The national temperature of 52.9°F was 4.5°F above
average. Most of the contiguous U.S. was record and near-record warm for the six-month period, except the Pacific Northwest. Twenty-eight states east of the Rockies were record warm and an additional 15 states were top ten warm.
The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI),
an index that tracks the highest and lowest 10 percent of extremes in
temperature, precipitation, drought and tropical cyclones across the
contiguous U.S., was a record-large 44 percent during the January-June
period, over twice the average value. Extremes in warm daytime
temperatures (83 percent) and warm nighttime temperatures (70 percent)
covered large areas of the nation, contributing to the record high
Climate Highlights — 12-month period (July 2011-June 2012)