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JULY 2014



1st-5thHot and, mostly dry weather returned to the Plains. Earlier in the week, damaging thunderstorms had pounded parts of the Midwest on June 29-30. In particular, strong winds, large hail, and isolated tornadoes swept across the Palins mainly from northeastern Nebraska to northern Indiana and southern Michigan on June 29, causing local damage to crops and farm infrastructure. Heavy rain locally 4 inches or more brought another round of flooding to parts of Iowa and environs. Elsewhere, the arrival of the seasonal monsoon showers provided local drought relief in the Southwest.

Locally heavy, early-week showers also dotted the South and East. Daily record totals were established in locations such as Wichita Falls, TX (1.94 inches on July 1). During the second half of the week, the focus for heavy rain shifted into the East, although showers also affected the western Gulf Coast region. On July 3, Victoria, TX, reported a daily record rainfall of 2.26 inches. On the same date, Wilmington, NC, received a daily-record amount (3.75 inches), along with a northerly wind gust to 59 mph, during Arthur’s passage.  hortly before landfall on July 3, a wind gust to 101 mph was clocked at Cape Lookout, NC. Due to the interaction between Arthur and the cold front, the wettest Independence Day on record was observed in locations such as Providence, RI (2.68 inches); Georgetown, DE (2.60 inches); Boston, MA (1.88 inches); and Portland, ME (1.41 inches). Rain lingered across Maine through July 5, when record-setting totals reached 2.40 inches in Houlton, 2.34 inches in Caribou, and 2.12 inches in Bangor. For Houlton, it was the wettest July day on record, supplanting the 2.33-inch standard set on July 2, 1956. Meanwhile, the Southwestern monsoon arrived, roughly on schedule, accompanied by locally heavy showers. Flagstaff, AZ, collected a daily-record total of 1.89 inches on July 4, followed the next day by record-setting amounts in locations such as Prescott, AZ (0.53 inch), and Needles, CA (0.47 inch).


6th-12thGenerous rains continued to benefit pastures and summer crops across much of the central Plains, Midwest, and East. Despite the rainfall, which totaled 2 inches or more in many locations, pockets of short-term dryness stressed summer crops in parts of the Southeast.

Elsewhere, monsoon related showers were heaviest across portions of Arizona and

Colorado, while hot, mostly dry weather dominated California, the Great Basin, and the Northwest.

Early in the week, showers and locally severe thunderstorms swept across parts of the Midwest and Northeast. Marquette, MI, received a daily record rainfall of 1.59 inches on July 6. Elsewhere in Michigan, Flint, MI, netted a daily-record total (1.69 inches) on July 7, en route to a 2-day (July 7-8) sum of 3.17 inches. On July 8, an EF-2 tornado near

Smithfield, Madison County, NY, cut a 2.5-mile swath and had estimated winds of 135 mph, resulting in four fatalities. On the same date, a thunderstorm wind gust to 72 mph was clocked in Kingwood, WV. Meanwhile, heavy showers also developed across Florida’s peninsula, where Tampa collected a daily record sum (4.49 inches) for July 8. Elsewhere in

Florida, Fort Myers registered a daily-record amount (3.31 inches) for July 10. During the mid to late week period, scattered but locally heavy showers affected several parts of the country. Daily-record totals reached 1.87 inches (on July 10) in Little Rock, AR; 1.37 inches (on July 10) in Medicine Lodge, KS; 1.02 inches (on July 8) in Needles, CA; and 0.92 inch (on July 11) in Laramie, WY. At week’s end, rainfall intensified across the upper Midwest, where record setting totals for July 12 included 3.35 inches in Huron, SD, and 2.99 inches in La Crosse, WI.


13th-19thWidespread showers and thunderstorms across the South and East preceded and accompanied a push of unusually cool air. Weekly rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches or more were common from Oklahoma and Texas eastward, as well as along the Atlantic Seaboard. Showers were especially beneficial in the Southeast, which had trended dry in recent weeks. On the southern High Plains, rain provided additional relief from a drought that began nearly 4 years ago.

Widely scattered showers became more concentrated across the South during the mid to late week period. During the first half of the week, selected daily-record totals included 4.21 inches (on July 15) in Raleigh-Durham, NC; 3.88 inches (on July 14) in London, KY; 2.07 inches (on July 15) in Lufkin, TX; and 1.78 inches (on July 13) in Binghamton, NY. London also noted its wettest July day, previously set with a 2.95-inch sum on July 6, 1967. Rain intensified around mid-week in the northern Atlantic States, where Worcester, MA, netted a daily-record amount (2.59 inches) on July 15. A day later, daily-record totals in Maine included 1.54 inches in Bangor and 1.53 inches in Houlton. Farther west, heavy showers gradually subsided in the Great Basin and Southwest but expanded and intensified across the southern Plains. Before rainfall reached the Plains, daily-record totals had reached 0.85 inch (on July 15) in Tonopah, NV, and 0.96 inch (on July 16) in Albuquerque, NM. By the 17th in Texas, College Station (4.55 inches) experienced its second-wettest July day behind only 5.09 inches on July 9, 1968. Elsewhere in Texas, daily-record totals for July 17 reached 3.97 inches in Lufkin, 3.53 inches in Austin, and 2.13 inches in Wichita Falls. Rainfall further intensified in the western and central Gulf Coast States on July 18, when daily record totals climbed to 6.53 inches in Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX; 4.61 inches in Tupelo, MS; and 4.35 inches in New Iberia, LA. Locally heavy showers lingered through week’s end in the Southeast, where Athens, GA, netted a daily-record amount (2.82 inches) for July 19.


20th-26thWeekly rainfall totals in excess of 2 inches was common in the Atlantic Coast States as far north as Virginia. Northwestern showers were heaviest on July 22-23, when

Oregon locations such as Portland (0.41 and 0.62 inch) and Hillsboro (0.10 and 0.36 inch) netted consecutive daily record totals. Other record setting totals for July 23 included 0.82 inch in Astoria, OR, and 0.76 inch in Seattle, WA. Farther east, early week showers affected the north-central U.S., where Grand Forks, ND, collected a daily record total

of 2.79 inches on July 21. Later, the focus for heavy showers shifted into the South and East. On July 23, daily record amounts reached 1.67 inches in Little Rock, AR; 1.61 inches in Indianapolis, IN; and 1.57 inches in Montpelier, VT. The following day in Virginia, Lynchburg’s total of 3.88 inches marked its second wettest July day on record behind only 4.03 inches on July 24, 1916. Spotty showers lingered for the remainder of the week; for example, daily record totals for July 25 included 1.90 inches in Ottumwa, IA, and 1.81 inches in Augusta, GA.


17th-31st: The return of a vigorous monsoon circulation led to heavy rain (locally 2 inches or more) in parts of Arizona and the central and southern Rockies. The rain provided some drought relief, benefited rangeland and pastures, and eased irrigation demands. By midweek, moisture also spread across the southern Plains, where interaction with a cold front led to copious rainfall (2 to 6 inches) in Oklahoma and environs. Rainfall totals were much lighter, however, across the majority of Texas.

The week opened with widespread showers in the East and Southwest. Daily-record totals for July 27 included 1.72 inches in Douglas, AZ, and 1.70 inches in Bristol, TN. A few showers reached southern California, where Los Angeles (LAX Airport) received a daily-record sum of 0.14 inch on July 27. A day later in the Northeast, record-setting amounts

for July 28 climbed to 2.42 inches in Rochester, NY, and 1.87 inches in Montpelier, VT. By July 29, a Southwestern monsoon surge led to daily record totals in locations such as Denver, CO (1.80 inches), and Laramie, WY (1.02 inches). At mid-week, moisture spilled across the southern half of the Plains, leading to record-breaking amounts for July 30 in McAlester, OK (3.65 inches), and Medicine Lodge, KS (2.18 inches). On the last day of July, locally heavy showers overspread the South. Daily-record totals for July 31 included 2.94 inches in Greenville-Spartanburg, SC, and 2.82 inches in Tyler, TX. However, rain bypassed parts of the Southeast, resulting in the driest July on record in Alma, GA (0.41 inches; previously, 0.77 inch in 2006). With a monthly sum of 2.33 inches, Tallahassee, FL, completed its second-driest July on record behind a 1.28-inch total in 1918.


Jim G. Munley, jr.

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