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JUNE 2016

1-4: A low pressure system shifted over the northern Plains on Friday, while stormy conditions impacted the Deep South. An area of low pressure drifted southeastward over south central Canada and The Dakotas. This system produced moderate to heavy rain and embedded thunderstorms across the northern Plains and the western tier of the Midwest. Watertown, S.D., recorded a midday high of 0.86 of an inch of rain. Just to the south, a low pressure system transitioned slowly over the southern Plains. This system generated heavy rain and strong thunderstorms across the southern Plains, the central Plains and the Mississippi Valley. Flood warnings were issued for portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. Port Aransas, Texas, reported a midday total of 2.57 inches of rain. Fort Polk, La., reported a midday total of 1.80 inches of rain.

5-11: A low pressure system moved slowly over the Northeast on Wednesday. An area of low pressure rotated slowly across New England and southeast Canada. This system ushered light to moderate rain and embedded thunderstorms over the northern Mid-Atlantic and New England. Millinocket, Maine, reported a midday total of 0.75 of an inch of rain. Trenton, N.J., reported a midday total of 0.67 of an inch of rain. A cold frontal boundary associated with this system extended south southwestward over the western Atlantic, the Southeast and the northern Gulf of Mexico. Showers and thunderstorms developed along and near this frontal boundary over the Florida Peninsula and the western Gulf Coast. Marco Island Airport, Fla., reported a midday total of 0.90 of an inch of rain. Cool air settled in northwest of the cold front over the upper Midwest and the Northeast. Crane Lake, Minn., recorded a morning low of 28 degrees. Strong isolated thunderstorms broke out ahead of a warm front over the northern Plains and the western edge of the upper Midwest. Flood warnings were issued for northwest Iowa. Isolated showers and thunderstorms also fired up over the central and southern Rockies.

12-18: Despite an early-season heat wave across the nation’s mid-section, widespread showers helped to offset evaporative losses.  Weekly rainfall totals of 1 to 2 inches or more were common from across the Plains.   Hit-or-miss showers and thunderstorms across the central and eastern U.S. resulted in daily-record totals in several locations.  Totals reached or exceeded 2 inches in several places, including Waco, TX (3.48 inches on June 12); Virginia’s Dulles Airport (2.82 inches on June 16); Bismarck, ND (2.62 inches on June 14); Midland, TX (2.47 inches on June 12); and Valentine, NE (2.00 inches).  Wichita, KS, experienced completely dry weather during the first 14 days of June, but received 2.10 inches of rain from June 15-18.  However, Wichita’s temperatures also reached 90°F or higher on each day starting June 8, peaking at 103°F on the 15th.  High winds accompanied some of the thunderstorms; for example, June 17 wind gusts were clocked to 69 mph in Sioux City, IA, and 63 mph in Sioux Falls, SD.  Farther west, unusually heavy showers reached as far south as northern California, where June 14-18 rainfall totaled 2.46 inches in Redding and 1.27 inches in Red Bluff.  In the Northwest, daily-record totals for June 18 included 0.56 inch in Wenatchee, WA, and 0.49 inch in Pendleton, OR. 


19-25: Locally heavy rain fell from the Midwest into the central Appalachians, where mid-week downpours caused catastrophic flooding in parts of West Virginia. Although inundating rain fell on June 23 across a broad swath of West Virginia, some of the heaviest downpours (locally 6 to 10 inches) occurred in Greenbrier County.  Statewide, nearly two dozen deaths were attributed to the resultant flooding, according to preliminary reports.  According to the National Weather Service, crest records were broken on June 23 or 24 in West Virginia locations such as the Gauley River at Camden-on-Gauley and the Elk River at Queen Shoals.  The previous high-water mark in Camden-on-Gauley had been achieved on July 4, 1932, while the former record crest in Queen Shoals had been established in 1888.  Elsewhere in West Virginia on the 24th, the Greenbrier River rose 9.45 feet above flood stage in Hilldale and 8.00 feet above flood stage in Alderson, representing the highest respective crests in those locations since January 20, 1996.  Farther west, however, midweek rainfall was generally beneficial in curbing the effects of short-term dryness.  In the Midwest, daily-record rainfall amounts for June 22 included 1.59 inches in Dubuque, IA, and 1.31 inches in Chicago, IL.  Still, parts of the Midwest remained dry; through June 25, month-to-date rainfall totaled just 0.53 inch in Burlington, IA; 0.57 inch in Quincy, IL; 0.58 inch in Lansing, MI; and 0.91 inch in St. Louis, MO.  Farther east, record-setting rainfall totals for June 23 climbed to 3.54 inches in Lynchburg, VA, and 2.75 inches in Columbus, OH.  As some of the Eastern showers slipped southward, Nashville, TN, collected a daily-record rainfall (1.99 inches) for June 24.  Nashville’s rain more than doubled its month to date total, from 1.91 to 3.90 inches.

26-30: A pair of cold fronts drifted across the eastern half of the country on Monday, while a ridge of high pressure kept conditions dry over the West Coast. An area of low pressure transitioned eastward across eastern Canada. A cold frontal boundary associated with this system stretched southwestward from southeast Canada to the central Plains. Rain and thunderstorms developed along and ahead of this frontal boundary over portions of the Northeast, the Appalachians, the Midwest, the Tennessee Valley and the lower Mississippi Valley. Flash flood warnings were issued for eastern West Virginia on Monday. Flash flood watches were also issued in eastern Kentucky, southeast Ohio, West Virginia and western Virginia. Hot Springs, Ark., reported a midday total of 3.95 inches of rain. Fort Campbell, Ky., reported a midday total of 2.07 inches of rain. A secondary cold front initiated scattered showers and thunderstorms over the northern Plains and the upper Midwest. Strong isolated thunderstorms fired up over the central high Plains. Meanwhile, daytime heating interacted with monsoonal moisture, which lead to the development of showers and thunderstorms in the southern high Plains, the southern Rockies and parts of the Desert Southwest. Flash flood warnings were issued in southwest Texas. San Angelo, Texas, reported a midday total of 3.43 inches of rain.


Jim G. Munley, jr.

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