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. Just to the east, a slow moving frontal system initiated scattered showers and thunderstorms from the Tennessee Valley to southern New England.  Just to the east, a slow moving frontal system initiated scattered showers and thunderstorms from the Tennessee Valley to southern New England. Most areas west of the Continental Divide experienced warm and dry weather on Friday. Temperatures rose 10 to 20 degrees above normal across the Southwest. Excessive heat warnings were issued for southern California, southern Nevada and portions of Arizona. Imperial, Calif., recorded a midday high of 109 degrees. Glendale, Ariz., recorded a midday high of 105 degrees.

5-11: A low pressure system moved slowly over the Northeast on Wednesday, while a ridge of high pressure inched eastward over the Four Corners. 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. Meanwhile, a weak frontal system moved across the Pacific Northwest. Light showers developed across parts of northern California, Oregon, Washington and northern Idaho. Warm and dry weather persisted in the Desert Southwest. Las Vegas, Nev., recorded a midday high of 102 degrees. Blythe, Calif., recorded a midday high of 98 degrees.

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.  However, a broad area centered on northern Missouri remained mostly dry.  In fact, weekly temperatures averaged at least 10F above normal in parts of the middle and lower Missouri Valley.  Meanwhile, seasonably dry weather prevailed in the Southwest, despite several days of cool weather.  At week’s end, however, building heat brought a return of record-setting Southwestern temperatures.  Farther north, beneficial showers accompanied cool conditions in the Northwest.  Temperatures averaged more than 5F below normal in much of northern California and the Northwest.  Similarly, widespread showers which formed near the boundary of hot air to the southwest and cooler air to the northeast— maintained favorable conditions for corn and soybeans across the upper Midwest.  Elsewhere, generally cool, dry weather prevailed in the Northeast, while very warm conditions accompanied scattered showers across the South.  In spite of the showers, developing drought remained a concern from northern and central Mississippi to the southern Appalachians. 

As the week began, heat was in place across the middle and southern Atlantic States.  Daily-record highs for June 12 soared to 97F in Charleston, SC, and 93F in Atlantic City NJ.  The following day, St. Simons Island, GA, posted a record-setting high (98F) for June 13.  Meanwhile, hot weather also prevailed across a broad area stretching from the northern Plains into the middle Mississippi Valley.  Sisseton, SD, notched a daily-record high of 97F on June 12, followed the next day by a record-setting high of 95F in Springfield, IL.  By mid-week, heat intensified across the southwestern Corn Belt and environs.  Daily-record highs for June 15 surged to 106F in Salina, KS; 101F in St. Joseph, MO; 97F in Ottumwa, IA; and 96F in Moline, IL.  On June 16, the high of 101F in Cape Girardeau, MO, represented its second-earliest triple-digit reading behind 100F on June 11, 1977.  Other triple-digit, daily-record highs for June 16 included 102°F in Medicine Lodge, KS; 101F in Columbia, SC; and 100°F in Chadron, NE.  The parade of triple-digit records across the Plains and Southeast persisted through June 17, when highs climbed to 102F in Hastings, NE; 102F in Russell, KS; and 101F in Macon, GA.  At week’s end, heat returned to the Southwest, where El Paso, TX, collected a daily-record high of 108F.  Heat reached as far north as Wyoming, where record-setting highs for June 18 reached 98F in both Sheridan and Worland.  In stark contrast, cool conditions dominated the Northwest for much of the week.  June 12 featured daily-record lows in Montana locations such as Kalispell and Missoula both 34F.  Cool air also settled across the Northeast, where Watertown, NY, tallied a daily record (36F) on June 14.  Three days later, Houlton, ME, registered a daily-record low (34F) for June 17.  In the Northwest, other daily-record lows included 24°F (on June 15) in Redmond, OR; 25F (on June 16) in Winnemucca, NV; and 31°F in Goldendale, WA (on June 15). 


19-25: Hot weather dominated much of the country, although record-setting Southwestern heat gradually subsided.  Exceptions to the hot pattern included the Pacific Northwest, where cooler-than-normal conditions prevailed, and the Gulf and Atlantic Coast regions.  However, near to below normal temperatures across the Deep South were replaced by record-setting heat toward week’s end.  Widely scattered showers dotted the Plains, Northeast, and Northwest, as well as the central and southern Rockies.  Meanwhile, mostly dry weather stretched from California and the Great Basin across much of the Intermountain West, accompanied by a concurrent increase in wildfire activity.  Elsewhere, mostly dry weather accompanied rising temperatures across the Deep South, where showers were generally confined to southern Florida and the western Gulf Coast region. 

Early week heat reached record-setting proportions in the Southwest.  On June 19-20, consecutive daily-record highs were set in Arizona locations such as Tucson (115 and 112F) and Phoenix (118 and 116F).  Yuma, AZ, attained a daily-record high of 120F on June 19.  Meanwhile in southern California, Palm Springs (118 and 122F) and Thermal (119 and 121F) also notched consecutive record setting highs for June 19-20.  On the latter date, Death Valley, CA, posted a daily-record high of 126F.  Elsewhere in California on the 20th, Burbank tied a June record (111F; previously achieved on June 27, 1976), while Needles tied an all-time record (125F; most recently attained on July 17, 2005).  Later, heat spread across the Intermountain West and the Plains.  In Colorado, daily record highs for June 21 reached 101°F in Colorado Springs; 104F in Burlington; and 105°F in Pueblo.  Colorado Springs also tied an all-time record, previously set on June 26, 2012.  Elsewhere across the nation’s mid-section, triple-digit, daily-record highs for June 21 included 107°F in Chadron, NE, and 104F in Sheridan, WY.  By June 22, highs topped the 100-degree mark and set daily-record in Topeka, KS (103F), and St. Joseph, MO (102F).  Late in the week, heat began to intensity across the South, where daily-record highs climbed to 103F in Columbia, SC (on June 24), and Macon, GA (on June 25).  A few days earlier, cool conditions in the Southeast had led to consecutive daily record setting lows (60 and 62F, respectively) on June 21-22 in Jacksonville, FL.  Cool weather in the Northwest also led to a handful of daily-record lows, including 30F (on June 19) in Meacham, OR, and 39F (on June 22) in Great Falls, MT. 

Meanwhile in the Southwest, pre-monsoon heat, drought, and other factors contributed to a rash of wildfires.  By late June, the Erskine fire near Lake Isabella, CA, and the Cedar fire near Show Low, AZ, had each consumed more than 45,000 acres of vegetation; the Erskine Fire had also destroyed more than 250 structures and claimed two lives.  Near Tajique, NM, the Dog Head fire torched nearly 18,000 acres and more than 50 structures.

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. Most areas west of the Continental Divide experienced warm and dry weather on Monday. Heat advisories were issued for central Nevada and southern California. Needles, Calif., recorded a midday high of 108 degrees. Boulder City, Nev., recorded a midday high of 100 degrees.

Jim G. Munley, jr.

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