Extreme Temperature Diary- Monday August 8th, 2022/Main Topic: U.S. July Record Scoreboard and Climatological Review

The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track planetary extreme, or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉

Main Topic: U.S. July Record Scoreboard and Climatological Review

Dear Diary. It’s time once again for our monthly climatological review. Here on this site, we present monthly summaries near the 8th of each month, and each is available if you want to go back through my Extreme Temperature Diary archive under my “Record Scoreboard Climatological Reviews” category (located on the upper left-hand corner of my home page).

https://guyonclimate.com/category/record-scoreboard-climatological-reviews/

I’m repeating my mantra from prior months:

Compared to past summers, the Summer of 2022 has been very toasty so far. Will August be just as anomalously hot? Looking at met models we should see some relief east of the Mississippi River, but we shall see.

July 2022 was near record warmest, temperature wise, using 1901-2000 mean data and got ranked by the National Center for Environmental Information as 3rd warmest for the lower 48 states, or 126th coolest since records began being kept in 1895 (and indeed as previously expected suspected a couple of weeks ago, coming in as a top 10 warmest July):

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/national/rankings

Above average temperatures were experienced everywhere except in the Upper Midwest. There were no below average states. Texas continued to stand out as the relative warmest state, continuing its torrid pace from May and June, and had its hottest July in recorded history:

Brief summary for July 2022: Most reports of record warmth came from the south-central states and Northeast from heatwaves that I dubbed Chua and Drako (fire breathing dragon names). More record warmth occurred late in the month in the Pacific Northwest. Sporadic reports of record chill came from every corner of the nation.

Here are my two U.S. Daily Record Scoreboards updated through 8/05/2022 (data compiled from the following NCEI site):

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/datatools/records

DHMX= Daily High Max Reports. DLMN= Daily Low Min Reports. DHMN= Daily High Min Reports. DLMX=Daily Low Max Reports.

The rankings are for the lower 48 states with the warmest ranking since 1895 of average temperatures being 128 and 1 being the coldest as of 2021. Blue colors represent cold months and red warm. Those months and years with counts close to a 1 to 1 ratio of highs to lows are colored black. Boldly red-, blue-, or purple-colored months, such as January 2020 and June 2021, have ratios of >10 to 1 daily record highs to lows or <1 to 10 daily record highs to lows, and are either historically hot or cold, most of which have made news. New: All-time record hot or cold ranked months are highlighted in purple.

Record numbers statistically matched up well during July of 2022 with that month being the 3rd warmest July on record.

July 2022 had approximately a 9 to 1 ratio of record DHMX to DLMN individual record counts, so the color I used for this month was red on the top chart.

July 2022 had approximately a 7 to 1 ratio of record DHMN to DLMX individual record counts, so the color I used for this month was red on the bottom chart.

Due to climate change, we are seeing fewer blue colors on these Record Scoreboards with time, and July 2022 added to this trend. 

As stated, the ranking for July 2022 was 126, which was colored red since it was well above average. I color rankings of +20 or -20 from the average ranking of 64 black, indicating that these are near average temperature wise. The top warmest ranking for 2022 would be 128 since rankings began in 1895.

August 2022 has gotten off to a hot start across the south central, northeastern, and Pacific Northwest states, some of the same areas that were anomalously warm in July. Extreme heat is breaking across the country this week but will build across the northern Rockies into the northern Plains in a few days. At least a strong monsoon has brought some drought relief to the Southwest. August is likely to be well above average, as well, but may not get a top ten ranking. Time will tell.

Here is much more detailed climatology for July 2022 as complied by NOAA:

https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/news/national-climate-202207

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Assessing the U.S. Climate in July 2022

Historic flash flood events juxtapose heat and expanding drought

Courtesy of Getty Images

Key Points

  • The average temperature of the contiguous U.S. in July was 76.4°F, which is 2.8°F above average, ranking third warmest in the 128-year record. Generally, temperatures were above average and/or record-warm across nearly all of the Lower 48, with Texas having its warmest JulyMay-July and April-July on record.
  • July precipitation for the contiguous U.S. was 2.74 inches, 0.04 inch below average, ranking in the middle third of the historical record. Precipitation was above average in pockets across the West Coast, Southwest, Northern Rockies and Plains, Great Lakes and from parts of the Midwest to southern Appalachians. Precipitation was below average across portions of the Northwest, southern Plains, Upper Midwest and Northeast.
  • A stalled frontal system, combined with rich Gulf moisture, resulted in historic flash-flooding events across portions of Missouri and Kentucky on July 26 and 28, respectively.
  • Several heat waves, with daytime temperatures over 100°F, occurred across much of the U.S. during July, contributing to record energy demand and heat-related illnesses.
  • The wildfire season appears to be waning across Alaska, but is still going strong across the West and southern Plains. Across all 50 states, more than 5.7 million acres burned from January 1 through July 31 — nearly 1.5 times the average for this time of year.
  • According to the August 2 U.S. Drought Monitor report, 51.4 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in drought. Severe to exceptional drought was widespread from the Great Basin to the Pacific Coast and across portions of the central and southern Plains.

Other Highlights 

Temperature 

In addition to the record warmth across Texas, near-record warmth was widespread from the Pacific Northwest to the south-central U.S. and across parts of the Northeast. Oregon had its fourth warmest July, with six additional states experiencing a top-five warmest July on record.

For the January-July period, the average contiguous U.S. temperature was 52.7°F, 1.4°F above average, ranking in the warmest third of the record. Temperatures were above average from Oregon to the Gulf Coast and from the Gulf to New England. California and Florida each ranked sixth warmest on record for this period. Temperatures were below average across parts of the Upper Midwest.

The Alaska statewide July temperature was 53.5°F, 0.8°F above the long-term average. This ranked among the warmest one-third of the 98-year period of record for the state. Temperatures were above average across portions of the Northeast Interior and across much of the south-central and southeastern portion of the state.

The Alaska January-July temperature was 28.6°F, 2.7°F above the long-term average, ranking in the warmest third of the record for the state. Above-average temperatures were observed across much of the state with portions of the North Slope and interior regions experiencing near-average conditions for this seven-month period.

Precipitation 

Record rainfall received during the last week of July contributed substantially to the fourth-wettest July on record for Kentucky. Conversely, a lack of precipitation received during the month resulted in Rhode Island ranking second driest while Texas had its fifth-driest July on record. 

The January-July precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 16.58 inches, 1.51 inches below average, ranking in the driest third of the historical record. Precipitation was above average across parts of the Northwest, northern Plains, Great Lakes and portions of the Mid-Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee valleys. Precipitation was below average across much of the West, central Plains and Deep South during the January-July period. California ranked driest on record while Nevada and Texas ranked second driest and Utah, fourth driest for this seven-month period.

Alaska had the sixth-wettest July in the 98-year record. Much of the state received average to above-average precipitation during the month with portions of the Northeast and Southeast interior regions drier than average. The Cook Inlet region ranked wettest on record for the month. Talkeetna recorded its fourth-wettest July and Anchorage ranked fifth wettest on record. This rainfall put a quick end to most of the moderate drought across the state.

Precipitation averaged across Alaska for the January-July period ranked in the wettest third of the record and was generally above average across the North Slope and southeastern Alaska.The Central Panhandle region ranked wettest on record for the January-July period.

Other Notable Events

On July 26, several locations in and around St. Louis received more rainfall than on any other day on record. A stalled frontal system combined with tropical moisture resulted in precipitation totals that rivaled daily records set by the remnants of the Galveston Hurricane of 1915. Lambert International Airport reported 8.64 inches and St. Peters, MO, measured 12.34 inches of rain from this event. The extreme rainfall caused flash flooding, resulting in at least one fatality, as well as extensive damage to homes and businesses. 

Flash flooding from the same stalled frontal system impacted portions of eastern Kentucky in the early morning of July 28. Heavy rain, enhanced by the terrain, accumulated rapidly, trapping many residents in their homes. Four to eight-inch totals were widespread across eastern Kentucky and the Kentucky River crested at all-time high levels in both Whitesburg and Jackson. At least 37 fatalities occurred with this event.

Cooler and wetter conditions across Alaska helped to reduce the spread of wildfires across the state during July. Additional significant wildfire growth is not expected for the remainder of the season, which is likely to rank as the seventh-largest season since 1950.

Drought

According to the August 2 U.S. Drought Monitor report, 51.4 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in drought, up about 3.7 percentage points from the end of June. Drought conditions expanded or intensified across portions of the Northeast, with flash drought rapidly expanding in the southern and central Plains, Ozarks and the mid-Mississippi Valley. Drought contracted or was eliminated across portions of the Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and northern Rockies, as well as Alaska and Puerto Rico. 

This monthly summary from NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides to government, business, academia and the public to support informed decision-making. For more detailed climate information, check out our comprehensive July 2022 U.S. Climate Report scheduled for release on August 11, 2022.

PUBLISHED

AUGUST 8, 2022

More:

Here are some “ET’s” recorded from around the planet the last couple of days, their consequences, and some extreme temperature outlooks:

Here is more July 2022 climatology:

Here is more climate and weather news from Monday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)

(If you like these posts and my work, please contribute via this site’s PayPal widget. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”

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