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JULY 2015


1-4: Heavy rain shifted across the mid-South and interior Southeast. Weekly totals in excess of 4 inches were common in eastern Tennessee and environs, as well as several other areas. In general, Southeastern showers—in conjunction with cooler weather—eased stress on pastures. Monsoon related showers dotted the Great Basin and Southwest, providing localized relief from early-season heat. However, few, if any, showers reached the

Northwest, where relentless heat and increasingly dry conditions promoted a torrid crop development. Early-week downpours in the Northeast led to daily-record totals for June 28 in Concord, NH (1.72 inches), and Portland, ME (1.58 inches). Later, monsoon-related showers intensified in the Great Basin and Southwest. Prescott, AZ, netted a daily-record sum of 1.93 inches on June 29. Showers reached into parts of California, with San Diego (0.04 inch on June 30) and Fresno (0.04 inch on July 2) among many communities reporting daily-record amounts. In the Desert Southwest, daily-record totals included 0.13 inch (on July 2) in Las Vegas, NV, and 0.06 inch (on July 1) in Yuma, AZ. Meanwhile, several pulses of precipitation affected various parts of the Plains, Midwest, South, and East. On June 30, selected daily record amounts included 2.64 inches in Syracuse, NY; 2.40 inches in Meridian, MS; and 1.94 inches in Midland, TX. Later, rainfall intensified across the interior Southeast. In Tennessee, Crossville reported a daily-record total of 4.81 inches on July 2. The following day, record-setting amounts for July 3 reached 6.30 inches in Tupelo, MS; 3.55 inches in London, KY; and 3.40 inches in Memphis, TN. Heavy Southeastern showers lingered into the 4th of July, when Birmingham, AL, netted a daily-record total of 3.18 inches.


7-13: Heavy rain stretched from the southern Plains to the southern Midwest, maintaining adequate to excessive moisture for pastures and summer crops. In some of the wettest areas, the latest round of rain—accompanied by cool weather—led to additional lowland

Flooding. Weekly rainfall totaled 2 to 4 inches or more in many locations from northern Texas to Indiana. On either side of the heavy rain, little or no rain fell across the central High Plains and the Deep South. Early in the week, separate areas of storminess affected the central and southeastern U.S. Record-setting rainfall totals for July 5 included 2.65 inches in Springfield, MO; 1.83 inches in Hattiesburg, MS; and 1.69 inches in Valentine, NE. The following day, intensifying rainfall across the nation’s mid-section resulted in record-setting totals for July 6 in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN (2.83 inches); Muskegon, MI (2.74 inches); and Lubbock, TX (2.43 inches). On July 7, extremely heavy rain in Abilene, TX, led to an 8.26-inch daily total—the wettest day on record in that location (previously, 6.54 inches on May 11, 1928). Heavy rain also pounded the Ohio Valley, where daily-record amounts for July 7 reached 4.43 inches in Indianapolis, IN, and 3.42 inches in Paducah, KY. The rain lingered into July 8, when daily-record totals climbed to 3.14 inches in Joplin, MO, and 2.13 inches in Springfield, IL. From July 7-10, rainfall totaled 6.82 inches in Muskogee, OK, and 5.58 inches in Cape Girardeau, MO. At week’s end, rain lingered across the lower Midwestern and mid-Atlantic States, resulting in record-breaking totals for July 11 in Norfolk, VA (2.33 inches), and 2.15 inches in Peoria, IL. Meanwhile, shower activity expanded in the western U.S. On July 10, Baker City, OR, experienced its second-wettest day on record (2.03 inches), behind only 2.29 inches on August 31, 1984. Baker City’s wettest July day had been July 1, 1982, when 1.59 inches fell. Elsewhere in the West, selected daily-record totals included 1.92 inches (on July 9) in Clayton, NM; 0.97

inch (on July 8) in McCall, ID; 0.93 inch (on July 8) in Salt Lake City, UT; 0.90 inch (on July 6) in Rock Springs, WY; 0.81 inch (on July 11) in Missoula, MT; 0.50 inch (on July

10) in Pullman, WA; and 0.13 inch (on July 9) in Ukiah, CA.


12-18: Locally heavy showers affected parts of the central Plains and the Midwest, including some of the waterlogged areas of the eastern Midwest. Elsewhere, scattered Southeastern showers helped to offset the effects of hot weather. Some of the most beneficial rain fell in Florida. However, rain bypassed some areas, leading to increased crop stress, while eastern portions of Kentucky and Tennessee experienced local flooding. Prior to the return of heat, beneficial showers dotted the Northwest. Record-setting amounts for July 12 included 0.30 inch in Baker City, OR, and 0.10 inch in Wenatchee, WA. Meanwhile, another heavy rain event struck the lower Midwest and interior Southeast. Fort Wayne, IN, received 17.88 inches of rain (268 percent of normal) from June 1 – July 18, and will require just 0.83 inch from July 19 – August 31 to achieve its wettest meteorological summer on record (previously, 18.70 inches in June-August 1986). With 3.04 inches on July 14, Jackson, KY, experienced its wettest July day in the last 35 years (previously, 2.77 inches on July 30, 1985. The Illinois River at Meredosia, IL, climbed 10.44 feet above flood stage on July 13, following a record-high crest (11.83 feet above flood stage) on July 2. Prior to this year, the high-water mark in Meredosia had been 11.70 feet above flood stage on May 26,

1943. Across the northern and western Midwest, however, showers maintained mostly favorable growing conditions. In Wisconsin, record-setting rainfall amounts for July 13 totaled 1.85 inches in Eau Claire, 1.43 inches in Wausau, and 1.33 inches in Green Bay. At mid-week, widespread showers across the nation’s mid-section resulted in record-breaking totals for July 15 in Stuttgart, AR (2.71 inches); Rapid City, SD (2.46 inches); Norfolk, NE (1.92 inches); and Colorado Springs, CO (1.49 inches). Meanwhile, beneficial showers increased in coverage across Florida, where daily-record amounts for July 16 reached 2.08 inches in Vero Beach and 1.95 inches in Melbourne. Late in the week, a few more downpours dotted the eastern Midwest, where South Bend, IN, collected a daily-record total (1.85 inches) for July 17. Elsewhere, impressive July rains developed in southern California and the Desert Southwest. On July 18, Prescott, AZ—with 2.83 inches—endured its third-wettest July day in the last 65 years behind 3.57 inches on July 23, 1968, and 3.08 inches on July 17, 1950. In California, July 18 became the wettest July day on record in many locations, including San Diego (1.03 inches); Oxnard (0.51 inch); downtown Los Angeles (0.36 inch); Long Beach (0.35 inch); and Burbank (0.29 inch). San Diego’s previous daily record had been 0.83 inch on July 25, 1902; Los Angeles’ previous standard had been 0.24 inch on July 14, 1886. Southern California’s out-of-season rain persisted through July



19-25: Cooler and drier air pushed into much of the Midwest, although showers lingered across the southern and western Midwest. In particular, rainfall totals of 1 to 2 inches or more were common across Missouri and southern Illinois. Record setting showers lingered early in the week across southern California. July rainfall records were broken in a variety of California locations, including Paso Robles, which received 2.09 inches of rain on July 19. Lancaster, CA, also broke its July rainfall record in a single day, with 1.59 inches falling on July 19. Through the 25th, monthly totals easily surpassed former July records in Lancaster (2.34 inches; previously, 0.95 inch in 1999); Paso Robles (2.17 inches; previously, 0.59 inch in 1950); San Diego (1.71 inches; previously, 1.29 inches in 1865); Sandberg (1.02 inches; previously, 0.85 inch in 1999); Palmdale (0.95 inch; previously, 0.65 inch in 1952); and downtown Los Angeles (0.38 inch; previously, 0.24 inch in 1886). During the previous 138 years from 1877 to 2014, July rainfall in downtown Los Angeles totaled just 1.17 inches. Isolated showers lingered in California through July 21, when Mt. Shasta City netted a daily record sum of 1.10 inches. Farther east, heavy rain erupted across the nation’s midsection on July 21, when record-setting totals reached 4.37 inches in Medicine Lodge, KS; 3.52 inches in Ft. Smith, AR; and 1.96 inches in Oklahoma City, OK. Shower activity increased during the second half of the week in the Southeast, leading to daily record totals on July 23 in locations such as New Bern, NC (4.76 inches), and St. Simons Island, GA (2.18 inches). Farther west, briefly heavy showers resulted in record-setting totals for July 24 in Mason City, IA (4.13 inches), and Hastings, NE (1.93 inches). A few mid- to late-week showers also dotted the Northwest, where daily-record amounts reached 0.69 inch (on July 23) in Burley, ID; 0.68 inch (on July 23) in Butte, MT; and 0.24 inch (on July 25) in Troutdale, OR.


26th-31: Significant rainfall was confined to a few small U.S. areas, including central and northeastern Montana, the southern Rockies and adjacent Plains, parts of the western Midwest, and the southern Atlantic region. Rain was especially heavy in portions of Florida, where the development of a weak low-pressure system helped to focus precipitation. Thunderstorms and gusty winds preceded the surge of cool air across the northern and western U.S. In North Dakota, westerly gusts on July 28 were clocked to 67 mph in Dickinson and 65 mph in Minot. A day earlier, Greybull, WY, had reported a northwesterly gust to 74 mph. In Montana, showers associated with a cold front resulted in daily record totals for July 27 in locations such as Havre (1.56 inches) and Butte (0.76 inch). Farther east, Des Moines, IA, received at least an inch of rain on 3 consecutive days (July 26-28) for only the sixth time during the 1878-2015 period of record. Des Moines tallied 4.89 inches during that 3-day period. Farther south and east, selected daily-record totals reached 2.09 inches (on July 29) in Topeka, KS; 1.41 inches (on July 30) in Reading, PA; and 1.23 inches (on July 30) in Clayton, NM. Meanwhile, persistently heavy showers soaked parts of the lower Southeast, including west-central Florida. During the 10-day period from July 23 –

August 1, Florida totals included 12.93 inches in Tampa and 6.92 inches in St. Petersburg. Tampa’s total was boosted by a daily-record amount (3.89 inches) on August 1. The heavy rain spread beyond the borders of Florida into southern Georgia, where St. Simons Island netted a daily-record sum (4.07 inches) on July 31.


Jim G. Munley, jr.

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