1st-10thFlooding rains struck portions of the central Plains and Mid-South, while only light showers fell in still-dry sections of the western Corn Belt. In fact, parts of northern Missouri received no rain, but more than 10 inches of rain triggered severe flooding in south-central

Missouri. The axis of heaviest rain, 4 to 10 inches or more, stretched from south-central Kansas eastward across the Ozark Plateau. Rain also bypassed much of Texas and the western Gulf Coast region, where persistently hot weather and diminishing soil moisture and stressed rangeland, pastures and summer crops. Weekly temperatures averaged more

than 5F above normal in parts of Texas, parts of which experienced 100F degree readings on each day during the week. Farther north, parts of the upper Midwest received at least 1 to 2 inches of rain, stabilizing crops, but minimal rain fell from southeastern Nebraska to near the Illinois-Iowa-Missouri triple point. The dry weather occurred in spite of favorable temperatures, which averaged as much as 10F below normal. Elsewhere, hot weather across the interior Northwest contrasted with near- to below normal temperatures from California into the Southwest. The monsoon circulation contributed to frequent showers in

the Southwest, while lightning-sparked fires became a concern in the Northwest. During the first 10 days of August, rainfall totaled 10.60 inches in West Plains, MO, and 7.95 inches in Wichita, KS. West Plains received at least an inch of rain on 5 consecutive days from August 5-9, totaling 8.90 inches. On August 8, daily-record totals topped 3 inches in several locations, including Medicine Lodge, KS (3.21 inches), and Harrison, AR (3.09 inches). Elsewhere in Arkansas, Batesville (3.29 inches on August 8) reported its wettest August day on record, topping the 2.88-inch total of August 9, 1940. In Missouri, the Gasconade River achieved record-high levels in Jerome (16.81 feet above flood stage on August 7) and Rich Fountain (14.39 feet above flood stage on August 8). In both locations, previous crest records had been established in December 1982. Late in the week, heavy showers affected the East, where daily-record totals for August 9 included 3.79 inches in Hartford, CT; 2.85 inches in Bowling Green, KY; 2.53 inches in Georgetown, DE; and 2.04 inches in Muscle Shoals, AL. Meanwhile in the Northwest, scattered showers provided little relief from ongoing heat. Nevertheless, record-setting totals for August 10 in Washington reached 0.60 inch in Omak and 0.29 inch in Wenatchee. For Omak, it was the wettest day since June 24, when 0.96 inch fell. Two days earlier, Reno, NV (1.03 inches of rain, along with some hail, on August 8), had reported its wettest day since June 5, 2011. From July 28 – August 10, San Antonio, TX, experienced 14 consecutive days of triple-digit heat. The heat wave peaked with a daily-record high of 105°F on August 6. In fact, San Antonio notched daily-record highs on four days in a row, attaining 104F on August 5 and 7-8. Elsewhere in Texas, record-setting highs for August 6 soared to 106°F in McAllen and 105F in Borger and Lubbock. On August 7, San Angelo, TX, reached 108°F—its hottest day during an 11-day stretch (July 30 – August 9) with triple-digit readings. Heat eventually spread as far east as the Mississippi Delta, where New Orleans, LA, posted a daily-record high of 97F on August 7. In contrast, cool air remained entrenched across the north-central U.S. International Falls, MN, dipped below the 40-degree mark on August 4, 8, and 10 with lows of 38, 37, and 38°F, respectively, setting daily records each time. Scattered daily-record lows were also set from California to the Intermountain West. Sacramento, CA, notched a record-setting low (53°F) on August 6, followed 3 days later by daily-record lows in Laramie, WY (39F), and Tonopah, NV (47F). Weekly temperatures averaged at least 5°F above normal across parts of interior and western Alaska, as a warm summer continued. On August 7, daily-record highs were set in several locations, including Fairbanks (85°F) and Bettles (83°F). In fact, Fairbanks continued to set records for the greatest number of 80- and 85-degree days in a year. August 7 featured Fairbanks’ 14th day with a high of 85°F or greater (previously, 12 days in 1918), followed the next day by its 36th day at 80F or higher (previously, 30 days in 2004). Meanwhile, heavy precipitation developed across southern Alaska, boosting weekly totals to 3.34 inches in Valdez and 2.48 inches in Kodiak. Valdez also netted a daily-record rainfall of 1.98 inches on August 10.


11th-17th Heavy rain returned to the lower Southeast, maintaining adequate to surplus soil moisture for pastures and summer crops. Some of the wettest areas received more than 4 inches of rain. Rain also fell across the central and southern Plains, where 1 to 3-inch totals were common. The rain was most beneficial in Nebraska and Texas, where mostly dry weather had prevailed the previous week. In contrast, little or no precipitation fell across the northern Plains and the majority of the Midwest. Midwestern dryness has been more pervasive in the last month, while 2-month rainfall deficits have been most acute in Iowa (excluding the northeast) and northern Missouri. Elsewhere, hot, mostly dry weather dominated the West, except for scattered showers in the Four Corners States. Cool weather dominated the Midwest, Mid-South, and Northeast, leading to several daily-record lows. Rhinelander, WI, posted consecutive daily-record lows (38 and 34F, respectively) on August 13-14. Other record-setting lows for August 14 included 35°F in International Falls, MN; 47F in Ottumwa, IA; and 48F in Burlington, IA. By August 15, when cool air shifted into the South and East, daily-record lows dipped to 46F in Youngstown, OH, and 47F in Scranton, PA. Another surge of cool air at week’s end led to another daily record low in Ottumwa (49°F on August 17). In contrast, record-setting heat affected the Deep South. San Antonio, TX, registered a daily-record high of 103F on August 14, part of a hot spell that resulted in 20 days of triple-digit heat during a 21-day period from July 28 – August 17. During the second half of the week, heat intensified across the West. Livingston, MT, notched four consecutive daily-record highs (97, 101, 95, and 96F) from August 15-18. Elsewhere in Montana, Great Falls (101F) tallied a daily-record high on August 16, while Glasgow (100F on August 17) experienced its hottest day since August 28, 2012. Greybull, WY, ended the week with consecutive daily-record highs (100 and 99F, respectively) on August 16-17. In Arizona, Phoenix (113 and 114F) and Tucson (108F both days) also closed the week on a record-setting note. By August 18, three lightning-sparked Idaho fires had each consumed at least 100,000 acres of timber, brush, and grass. Although nearly contained by week’s end, the Pony complex near Mountain Home had consumed about 150,000 acres of vegetation. Other large Idaho wildfires included the Elk complex, which had burned 130,000 acres and destroyed 38 houses near Pine, and the Beaver Creek fire, which had torched more than 100,000 acres near Hailey. In Utah, the Rockport fire—started by lightning on August 13—burned less than 2,000 acres of vegetation before being mostly contained but consumed eight homes. Despite the recent Northwestern wildfire activity, the year-to-date U.S. total of 3.33 million burned acres was just 62 percent of the 10-year average. Before monsoon shower activity subsided in the Southwest, Douglas, AZ, secured its wettest summer on record. Rainfall in

Douglas totaled 13.23 inches from June 1 – August 17, surpassing its summer 1964 standard of 13.07 inches. Similarly, month-to-date rainfall in Wichita, KS, climbed to 10.98 inches, second only to an 11.96-inch total in August 2005. Elsewhere in Kansas, daily-record rainfall totals for August 12 reached 2.29 inches in Dodge City and 1.42 inches in Garden City. Heavy showers also soaked parts of the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic States, resulting in daily-record amounts in locations such as Wilmington, DE (3.10 inches on August 13), and Jackson, KY (2.40 inches on August 12). During the mid- to late-week period, even heavier showers drenched portions of the Southeast. Columbus, GA, received a daily-record sum of 5.73 inches on August 14. Two days later, Columbia, SC, collected 4.38 inches, a record-setting amount for August 16. Showers lingered through week’s end, when daily-record totals for August 17 included 2.90 inches in Greensboro, NC, and 2.20 inches in Tallahassee, FL. Alaska’s warm summer continued, with weekly temperatures averaging as much as 5°F above normal. With a high of 71F on August 13, Anchorage recorded its 41st day of 70-degree warmth; the annual standard remains 49 days in 2004. In addition, heavy precipitation developed across parts of southern Alaska, resulting in a daily-record total of 1.23 inches in Anchorage on August 11. In the Aleutians, Cold Bay received a weekly rainfall total of 1.17 inches.


18th-24thMostly dry weather and rising temperatures covered the Plains into the Midwest. Showers were confined from eastern Nebraska to Michigan. Dryness had first appeared in parts of the western Midwest during the second half of June, and in recent has expanded to cover much of the Midwest. Heat Was most notable across the Upper Midwest, where weekly temperatures were more than 5F above normal. Late-summer heat also covered the northwestern half of the Plains and much of the West. In contrast, cool conditions lingered across the South and East. While only scattered showers reported in the Plains and Midwest, heavy rain persisted in the Southeast. Weekly rainfall totaled 4 inches or more in much of the eastern Gulf Coast region, while 2 to 4 inch as far north as the Carolinas. Elsewhere, occasional showers in the Four Corners States and neighboring areas contrasted with hot, mostly dry weather across much of California and the interior Northwest. Southwestern showers provided additional drought relief.  The week opened in the midst of a Western heat wave. Tucson, AZ , notched three daily-record highs (108, 108, and 107F) from August 16-18, while Denver, CO , collected consecutive daily-record highs (97 and 98F) on August 17-18. (Denver logged another daily-record high of 99F on August 20.) Other record highs for August 18 included 110F in Redding, CA, and 100F in Winnemucca, NV. A day later, record breaking highs for August 19 soared to 110F in Fresno, CA, and 96F in Casper, WY. Heat eventually reached the Plains, where Nebraska locations such as Alliance (102F) and Scottsbluff (101F) notched daily-record highs on August 20. Bismarck, ND, also tallied a daily-record high (102F) on August 20. However, before hot weather rolled across the nation’s mid-section, Hastings, NE, set a record for its longest July-August stretch without 90-degree heat. The temperature in Hastings remained below 90F on 29 consecutive days from July 23 – August 20, edging the record originally established with a 28-day streak from August 4-31, 2008. During the mid- to late-week period, locally severe thunderstorms accompanied heat across the nation’s northern tier. Duluth, MN, registered a daily-record high of 91F on August 20, followed the next day by a thunderstorm wind gust to 62 mph (and 1.63 inches of rain) in Green Bay, WI. A few days later, Dillon, MT, clocked an August-record wind gust to 70 mph during a thunderstorm on August 23. It was Dillon’s highest wind gust since July 24, 2009, when there was also a gust to 70 mph. Daily-record rainfall totals accompanying the Northern storms included 1.84 inches (on August 20) in Alexandria, MN; 1.43 inches (on August 22) in Massena, NY; and 1.33 inches (on August 21) in Muskegon, MI. Heavy showers also dotted the Southeast, resulting in daily-record amounts in locations such as Pensacola, FL (3.46 inches on August 18); Fayetteville, NC (2.27 inches on August 21); and Macon, GA (2.15 inches on August 23). In Tampa, FL, where weekly rainfall totaled 3.96 inches, precipitation has topped 10 inches in each of the summer months (June, July, and August) for the first time since 1957. Meanwhile, locally heavy rain also fell in the Southwest, producing daily-record totals in Colorado Springs, CO (2.36 inches on August 22); Needles, CA (1.05 inches on August 22); and Cedar City, UT (0.84 inch on August 24). In stark contrast, month-to-date rainfall through August 24 totaled less than one-tenth of an inch in Midwestern locations such as Iowa City, IA (0.08 inch, or 2 percent of normal), and Aberdeen, SD (0.05 inch, or 3 percent).

25th-31stA stubborn ridge of high pressure left much of the Midwest under a hot, dry weather regime. The heat wave boosted weekly temperatures 10 to 15F above normal across much of the northern Plains and upper Midwest. Readings occasionally reached 100F as far north as South Dakota and southern Iowa, and topped 90F in virtually all areas east of the Rockies —excluding the Appalachians and the Northeast. Frequent thunderstorms rolled across the northern periphery of the ridge, helping to stabilize crop conditions in some northern and eastern production areas of the Midwest Weekly rainfall totals in excess of 2 inches were noted in parts of Michigan and northern Wisconsin. Meanwhile, much of the Southeast got a reprieve from an extended period of heavy rain. Southeastern showers returned, however, late in the week, while soggy conditions persisted in southern Florida.  A robust summer rainy season continued in the Southwest, while several large wildfires continued to burn in northern and central California and the Northwest. Unusual, late-season heat gripped the Plains and Midwest. In fact, North Platte, NE, experienced a record-setting average maximum temperature for August 25-31, with an average of 98.6F (previously, 98.1F in 1990). Triple-digit, daily-record highs were noted in numerous locations, including McCook, NE (105F on August 29); Des Moines, IA (104F on August 30); San Antonio, TX (103F on August 30); St. Louis, MO (103F on August 31); and Goodland, KS (101F on August 29). Des Moines had never before reached the 104F later than August 26; a high of 104°F had occurred on that date in 1983. In Nebraska, Imperial’s readings reached or exceeded the 100-degree mark on 7 of the last 8 days of the month, including a daily-record high of 102F on August 26. In addition, there was limited cooling at night. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, noted lows of 80F on August 25 and 26, tying a monthly record most recently achieved on August 6, 2001. With a low of 79°F on August 27, La Crosse, WI, tied an August record and experienced its warmest night since August 3, 2005. Hot weather was not just confined to the nation’s mid-section, as Burbank, CA —with a low of 81F on August 31—stayed above 80F at night for the first time on record.  Previously, Burbank’s highest minimum temperature had been 80F on September 3, 2007, and August 30, 2013. In contrast, cool air lingered early in the week across the Southeast, where Norfolk, VA, registered its lowest August temperature (58F on August 26) since August 25, 1994. In Georgia, Augusta collected a daily-record low of 56F on August 27. The driest month on record came to a close in Burlington, IA, with an August total of a trace.  Burlington’s previous records for August and any month were 0.36 inch in 1901 and 0.01 inch in September 1979, respectively. Elsewhere in Iowa, record-low August rainfall records from 1901 were also tentatively broken in Keokuk (0.00 inch), Ft. Madison (a trace), and Centerville (0.10 inch). In La Crosse, WI, the July-August rainfall total of 2.40 inches (28 percent of normal) was higher than only the 1894 total of 0.70 inch. Meanwhile, significant showers affected portions of the Great Lakes region, where Lansing, MI, experienced its wettest August day on record (3.39 inches on August 27). Lansing’s total exceeded the previous record of 3.08 inches, established on August 21, 1975. Locally heavy showers also dotted the Ohio Valley, Pacific Northwest, and the Dakotas , resulting in daily-record totals in locations such as Lexington, KY (2.09

inches on August 31); Olympia, WA (1.33 inches on August 29); and East Rapid City, SD

(1.16 inches on August 30). Heavy rain also continued in the Southwest, where record-setting totals for August 25 included 1.76 inches in Cortez, CO, and 1.19 inches in

Indio, CA Douglas, AZ, completed its wettest summer on record, with a June-August total of 14.08 inches, or 213 percent of normal (previously, 13.07 inches in 1964).

Jim G. Munley, jr.

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