August 10, 2011

Extreme Weather Affects Most Of The US

Weather records are being broken in many regions of the US.

According to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, 41 of the lower 48 states had above-normal or a record warmest July. Only seven of the lower 48 states "” all west of the Rockies "” experienced a July average temperature near or below the twentieth century average.

Drought conditions are so bad in Texas, covering 75 percent of the state, that it would take about 20 inches of precipitation in one month to end the drought. According to the weather service, Texas has suffered its warmest June and July on record, going back to 1895. The city of Dallas is on track for setting the record for having 43 consecutive days of temperatures above 100 degrees.

The record heat is also affecting smaller communities. In Kemp, Texas, residents are suffering from no water in the midst of the record heat. City officials made the decision to shut off the municipal water supply.

"Right now our water towers have no water in them at all," Mayor Donald Kile told CNN. The mayor says the water supply could remain shut off for days while the towers refill. In the meantime the city will continue to provide bottled water to residents until the water supply is restored.

The heatwave spanning most of the country east of the Rockies helped make July the fourth-hottest July on record in the US.

On the other extreme this has been a record-breaking year for rain in other parts of the country. According to NOAA, wetter than normal conditions occurred along parts of the Gulf Coast, all the Pacific Coast, and much of the upper Midwest. California tied for its fifth-wettest July.

Flooding along the Missouri River Basin is associated with a record amount of precipitation during August 2010-July 2011 in Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota.


Image 2: July 2011 temperature "divisional rank" map. Credit: NOAA


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