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JUNE 2011



12th-18thHeavy rain returned to the Midwest, slowing late season planting efforts but maintaining abundant to locally excessive moisture reserves. Rainfall was heavy enough to aggravate flooding in parts of the Missouri

River basin and triggered some renewed flooding in the middle and upper Mississippi Valley. Farther west, a phenomenal weather contrast persisted across the nation’s mid-section. Daily-record totals in North Dakota reached 1.65 inches (on June 12) in Dickinson and 1.72 inches (on June 14) in Jamestown. Later, heavy showers pelted the central Plains and the Midwest, resulting a daily-record amounts in locations such as Peoria, IL (2.63 inches on June 15), and Concordia, KS (1.41 inches on June 16). Storms also swept into the mid-Atlantic States, where record-setting totals for June 16 included 1.96 inches in Baltimore, MD, and 1.84 inches in Harrisburg, PA. Late-week thunderstorms provided some

Southeastern drought relief, but also sparked high winds. On June 17 In Florida, Daytona Beach (1.89 inches) received a daily-record rainfall, while Gainesville (64 mph) recorded its highest wind gust since the passage of Hurricane Frances on September 5, 2004. A day earlier, on June 16, Valentine, NE, had recorded a thunderstorm wind gust to 74 mph. Toward week’s end, rainfall intensified in the upper Midwest, where daily-record totals for June 18 included 4.50 inches in La Crosse, WI, and 4.74 inches in Eau Claire, WI. For La Crosse, it was the wettest June day on record (previously, 3.93 inches on June 15, 1967) and the wettest day since July 27, 1987, when 5.24 inches fell. For Eau Claire, it was the wettest day since September 10, 2000, when 5.98 inches fell. At week’s end, the Missouri River remained at a record-high level at Williston, ND (more than 8 feet above flood stage and rising), and achieved a record-setting crest at Brownsville, NE (11.62 feet above flood stage on June 19). Previous records were set at Williston in April 1912 (6.00 feet above flood stage) and at Brownsville in July 1993 (11.30 feet). Wet weather was not just confined to the Plains, Midwest, and East. For example, excessively wet conditions persisted in parts of Puerto Rico, where San Juan set a June rainfall record. Through the 18th, San Juan’s monthly rainfall reached 12.64 inches, compared to the June 1902 mark of 12.22 inches. On the Big Island, Hilo received measurable rain each day during the week, totaling 2.05 inches.


19th-25thWet weather pattern lingered across the Midwest. Pockets of excessive moisture persisted, however, on the northern Plains, where heavy rain and melting snow (from the northern Rockies) overburdened already swollen rivers. Record flooding continued along portions of the Missouri River and neighboring areas, including North Dakota’s portion of the Souris River basin. In stark contrast, little or no rain fell on the heat-baked southern Plains, leaving little short-term hope for drought-ravaged rangeland, pastures, and summer crops. Late week temperatures topped 110°F from western Texas into southwestern Oklahoma, placing enormous amounts of stress on both rain-fed and irrigated crops. Farther east, however, scattered showers and thunderstorms provided local drought relief and helped to offset the effects of hot weather from the western Gulf Coast region into the southern Atlantic States. Williston, ND, located on the Missouri River between Fort Peck and Garrison Dams, experienced a record-high crest, 8.61 feet above flood stage, on June 21. The previous record, 6.00 feet above flood stage, had been set in April 1912. The Missouri River also rose to record high levels, more than 10 feet above flood stage, in southeastern Nebraska from Plattsmouth downstream to Rulo. Previous high-water marks in Plattsmouth, Nebraska City, and Brownsville, NE, had been established in July 1993. Record-setting crests were also achieved in North Dakota along the U.S. portion of the Souris River. On June 26, the Souris River rested 12.72 feet above flood stage in Minot, exceeding both the historical record (9.00 feet above flood stage in 1881) and the modern-day standard (7.08 feet on April 18, 1976). During the week, additional rain aggravated the northern Plains’ flood situation. Daily-record amounts included 3.89 inches (on June 19) in Sidney, NE; 2.89 inches (on June 20) in Pierre, SD; 1.81 inches (on June 21) in Fargo, ND; and 1.64 inches (on June 25) in East Rapid City, SD. As the week progressed, showers and locally severe thunderstorms generally shifted into the South, East, and lower Midwest. On June 20, Indianapolis, IN, netted a daily-record sum of 2.03 inches. The following day, records for June 21 reached 2.89 inches in Baton Rouge, LA, and 2.84 inches in Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX. Beneficial rain fell in Deep South Texas, where Brownsville measured exactly 5 inches of rain from June 22-25. Heavy rain swept into the East by June 22, when daily-record totals were set in locations such as Boston, MA (1.82 inches), and Albany, NY (1.52 inches). The following day, June 23, Bridgeport, CT (2.41 inches), received a daily-record amount. In Wisconsin, Green Bay neared the end of its third-wettest January-June period on record, behind 20.95 inches in 2004 and 20.00 inches in 1894. From January 1 - June 25, Green Bay received 19.62 inches (158 percent of normal). Meanwhile, nearly unrelenting heat persisted across the South.


26th-30thLocally heavy Southeastern showers provided relief to previously drought-stressed pastures and summer crops. Showers associated with the northern fringe of Tropical Storm Arlene grazed Deep South Texas, but the remainder of the south-central U.S. remained mired in a pattern of unrelenting heat and drought. A late week surge of tropical moisture signaled the arrival of the Southwestern monsoon (summer rainy season).

Areas along the Missouri River and some neighboring river basins continued to deal with extensive lowland flooding. On June 29-30 rainfall totaled 3.75 inches in Brownsville, TX, as Tropical Storm Arlene approached and reached the Mexican Gulf Coast near Cabo Rojo. Farther north, scattered heavy showers stretched from the northern Plains into the Southeast. In Florida, daily-record totals topped 4 inches in locations such as Fort Myers (4.22 inches on June 29) and Vero Beach (4.09 inches on July 1). Farther east, daily-record amounts exceeded 2 inches in numerous locations, including Paducah, KY (3.14 inches on June 26); Wallops Island, VA (2.38 inches on June 28); and Jamestown, ND (2.32 inches on June 26). Some of the storms were accompanied by high winds and trailed by cool air. On June 26, for example, Sioux City, IA, clocked a wind gust to 67 mph.


Jim G. Munley, jr.

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