NATIONAL WEATHER SUMMARY
1st-5th…Category 2 Hurricane Arthur battered North Carolina’s Outer Banks on the night of July 3-4. The hurricane was swept away in part by a cold front, which produced scattered showers across the Plains, Midwest, South, and East. The interaction between the front and the tropical system led to heavy, late-week rain, totaling 2 to 4 inches or more, along the northern Atlantic Coast. The front also contributed to additional drought relief on the southern Plains, where weekly rainfall locally topped 2 inches. Hot and mostly dry weather in California and the Northwest boosted irrigation demands. Weekly temperatures averaged more than 5F above normal across a broad area stretching from Oregon, California and across the Great Basin, but were at least 5F below normal in parts of Iowa and neighboring states. Temperatures remained below 90F all week across the majority of the Midwest. Arthur’s impact along the Atlantic Seaboard was overshadowed by a late June severe weather outbreak across the Midwest.
Early in July, heat lingered in New England and developed across the Pacific Coast States and the Southwest. On July 2, highs attained daily-record levels in Maine locations such as Millinocket (94F) and Houlton (93F). Farther west, July opened with record-setting highs on the 1st in Montague, CA (106F), and Page, AZ (105F). Later, heat continued in parts of the West, while unusually cool air settled across the Plains and Midwest. Western daily-record highs included 97F (on July 4) in Idaho Falls, ID, and 91F (on July 5) in Long Beach, CA. In contrast, Joplin, MO, tied a monthly record with a low of 50F on July 3. Elsewhere, daily-record lows included 37F (on July 3) in Pellston, MI; 39F (on July 2) in Alliance, NE; and 46F (on July 3) in Appleton, WI. Greenwood, MS, closed the week with consecutive
Daily record lows (61 and 59F, respectively) on July 4-5.
6th-12th…Hot and dry weather returned to the southern Plains, raising concerns about rain-fed summer crops that have been thriving due to precipitation in May and June, but are considered to be at risk due to lingering subsoil moisture deficits. Meanwhile, the northern Plains experienced a temporary reprieve from the cool, wet conditions. The heat maintained heavy irrigation demands and further stressed rangeland and pastures. Near normal temperatures across the central and eastern U.S. contrasted with persistent heat in the West. However, clouds and showers helped to suppress temperatures in parts of the Southwest. Weekly temperatures averaged at least 10F above normal in several locations across the Northwest. In the West, heat shifted northward as monsoon showers increased in coverage across the Four Corners States. Reno, NV, opened the week with consecutive daily record highs (101 and 102F, respectively) on July 6-7. Other triple-digit, daily record
highs in the Great Basin and the Northwest on July 7 included 106F in Montague, CA; 103F in Winnemucca, NV; and 102F in Medford, OR. Heat also overspread the southern Atlantic States, where Columbia, SC, and Richmond, VA, both reached the 100-degree mark on July 8. For Columbia and Richmond, it was the first triple-digit reading since July 2012. Meanwhile, a push of cool air into the Great Lakes region resulted in a daily-record low of 42F on July 9 in Rhinelander, WI. The following day, Gaylord, MI, noted a daily-record low (40F) for July 10.
13th-19th…Cool, dry air overspread the northern Plains and upper Midwest. Below normal temperatures remained a concern with respect to crop development across the northern Plains. The record setting cool surge held weekly temperatures at least 10F below normal across portions of the central and southern Plains and western Plains. Meanwhile, mostly dry weather, lightning strikes, and record setting heat set the stage for explosive wildfire activity in the Northwest. Weekly readings averaged at least 10F above normal in parts of the northern Great Basin and the interior Northwest. By July 20, the Buzzard complex in eastern Oregon had charred nearly 400,000 acres, while the Carlton complex in northern Washington had destroyed more than 150 homes and consumed almost 240,000 acres of timber and brush. Elsewhere, Southwestern shower activity fell in parts of Arizona and the central and southern Rockies subsided and shifted eastward during the mid to late week period.
Early in the week, heat stretched from the Pacific Coast to the Deep South. Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX, posted its first triple-digit reading of the year (100F) on July 13—the latest such occurrence since 2007. Farther west, the week opened with consecutive daily record highs on July 13-14 in Nevada locations such as Lovelock (105 and 108F) and Reno (103 and 105F). Similarly, Yakima, WA, posted a trio of daily record highs (104, 103, and 107F) from July 14-16. Other record setting highs in Washington for July 16 included 110F in Hanford, 109F in Pasco, and 108F in Kennewick. In Oregon, daily record highs for July 16 soared to 108F in Hermiston and 105F in Pendleton. The northwestern heat accompanied an explosion in the coverage of wildfires, many of which had been ignited by lightning on or about July 14. In stark contrast, hundreds of daily record lows were established across the central and eastern U.S., starting on July 15. In South Dakota, record breaking lows for July 15 dipped to 42F in Chamberlain and 46F in Pierre. North Platte, NE (44F), and Hill City, KS (49F), also notched daily record lows for July 15. With a low of 50F on July 16, Joplin, MO, tied a monthly originally set on July 13, 1975, and more recently attained on July 3, 2014. Elsewhere on July 16, lows plunged to 39F, breaking daily records, in Merrill, WI, and International Falls, MN. By July 17, lows fell below the 50F, setting daily records, as far south and east as Lewisburg, WV (46F), and Zanesville, OH (49F). On July 18,
records were tied for the lowest July maximum temperature on record in Memphis, TN (69°F; previously, July 22, 1970), Tupelo, MS (70°F; previously, July 7, 1940); and Little Rock, AR (71F; previously, July 21, 1880). Warmth lingered, however, across southern Florida, where Miami (95F on July 18) experienced its hottest day since August 11, 2011.
20th-26…Spotty showers were heaviest in the Southeast, where rain aided pastures and summer crops. Farther north and west, mostly dry weather prevailed in the Midwest, except for locally heavy showers in North Dakota, northern Minnesota, and the middle Mississippi and lower Ohio Valleys. Despite a July drying trend, most of the Midwest continued to thrive due to near to below normal temperatures and abundant soil moisture reserves. Meanwhile on the Plains, hot weather accompanied widely scattered showers. The heat was observed in the northern Plains. However, the Plains’ high temperatures also stressed some summer crops, especially in areas dependent upon rain or with lingering subsoil moisture deficits. Elsewhere, heat also arrived across the Southwest during a temporary break in the monsoon circulation, while cooler weather and beneficial showers overspread the Northwest. In particular, Northwestern showers aided containment efforts for a rash of lightning-sparked wildfires. The week opened at the tail end of a mid-July cool snap across the central and eastern U.S., and featured a cool spell of its own. Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX, posted three consecutive daily record lows (65, 68, and 65F) from July 18-20.
Several days later, record-setting lows for July 25 dipped to 48F in Dubois, PA; 50F in Toledo, OH; and 53F in Frankfort, KY. A separate push of cool air led to several daily record lows in the Northwest, starting on July 24. On that date, record setting lows in Oregon fell to 35F in Klamath Falls and 37F in Burns. By July 25, daily record lows included 25F in Stanley, ID, and 29F at Lake Yellowstone, WY. Wisdom, MT, posted a daily record low of 27F on July 26. Elsewhere in Montana, Ennis closed the week with consecutive daily record lows of 35F on July 25-26. Between the regions of cool air, temperatures briefly soared across the southwestern and central U.S. In Texas, El Paso opened the week with consecutive daily record highs (104 and 102F, respectively) on July 20-21. On July 23-24, consecutive daily-record highs were set in Arizona locations such as Yuma (117F both days) and Phoenix (114 and 116F, respectively). Other daily record highs on July 23 included 119F in Thermal, CA; 111F at Zion National Park, UT; and 104F in Worland, WY. Toward week’s end, heat shifted onto the Plains, where record setting highs surged to 105°F in both Alliance, NE (on July 24), and Tucumcari, NM (on July 26). On July 25-26, locations such as Dalhart, TX (105 and 104F) and Clayton, NM (102 and 101F), closed the week with consecutive daily record highs. Farther east, however, Burlington, IA, escaped the hot spell without 90-degree heat—the highest reading was 89F on July 22—and continued to set records for the latest observance of the year’s first high of 90F or greater (previously, July 4, 1907). In Alaska, unusually cool weather held weekly temperatures as much as 10°F below normal.
27th-31st: Weekly temperatures were below normal dominated most areas east of the Rockies. Readings averaged at least 5F below normal in a broad area covering much of the Plains, Midwest, Ohio Valley, and Mid-Atlantic States. In stark contrast, the return of extremely hot temperatures to the interior Northwest boosted temperatures at least 10F above normal in some locations, maintaining stress on crops. Hot weather also extended southward into the northern Great Basin and much of California. Elsewhere, locally heavy showers developed in the East, although amounts were highly variable. Some of the heaviest rain fell in the southern Mid-Atlantic States, helping to ease the effects of short-term dryness.
The month ended on a dry note across portions of the northern Plains and Midwest. North Platte, NE, experienced its driest July on record (0.14 inch), topping its 1901 standard of 0.34 inch. The week ended as it began, with showers in the East and Southwest. The first day of August featured daily record totals in Charlotte, NC (2.39 inches), and Albuquerque, NM (0.91 inch). Early in the week, lingering heat affected the South. For example, Alma, GA, posted a daily record high on July 27. Meanwhile, another round of unusually cool air swept across the central and eastern U.S. By July 27, daily record lows dipped to 45F in Sheridan, WY, and 46°F in Valentine, MT. Two days later, record-setting lows for July 29 included 42°F in Aberdeen, SD, and 49F in Toledo, OH. Virginia’s Dulles Airport notched a daily-record low of 48 F on July 30. Elsewhere on the 30th, Montgomery, AL, tied its monthly record low of 59F most recently achieved on July 20, 2009. The chilly weather continued through month’s end, when Toledo, OH, tallied a daily-record low of 48F on July
31. In contrast, record-setting heat baked the Northwest. In Washington, Omak posted consecutive daily-record highs (105 and 104F, respectively) on July 29-30. Wenatchee, WA, also notched a pair of daily record highs (105 and 103F, respectively) on July 29-30. Other triple-digit, daily record highs on July 29 included 105F in Yakima, WA, and 104F in Pendleton, OR. The heat extended as far south as central California, where Merced
posted consecutive daily-record highs (106 and 105F, respectively) on July 30-31.
Jim G. Munley, jr.
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