Several locations broke all-time high temperature records. On June 26, Amarillo, Texas, set an all-time high temperature record of 111 degrees F, breaking the record of 109 degrees F set just two days prior. On June 15, Tallahassee, Fla., also recorded an all-time high, 105 degrees F. For the month, 42 U.S. locations tied or broke all-time maximum high temperatures.
The expansive heat across Texas resulted in an average temperature of 85.2 degrees F, which was 5.6 degrees F above normal, surpassing 1953 as the warmest June in 117 years of records. This was the fourth consecutive June in Texas with temperatures at least 2 degrees F above the long-term average.
Both Louisiana and Oklahoma (tied) had their second warmest June. Georgia tied for it's third warmest. It was the sixth warmest for Arkansas, Delaware (tied), Florida, Mississippi, and New Mexico.
Along with the heat, parts of the Southwest through much of the Southern Plains and Gulf Coast experienced a continuation of intense drought. New Mexico had its driest June on record while Arizona and Oklahoma had their fourth driest. June was the fifth driest in Texas and the ninth driest in Florida.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 63% of the Southeast was in moderate-to-exceptional drought at the end of June, compared to 51% at the end of May. In the South, the percent area in the worst category of drought, called exceptional drought, rose from 28% to 47%.
Above average wildfire activity continued across the Southern tier of the U.S. Nationwide, 1.35 million acres burned during the month, bringing the year-to-date acreage burned to approximately 4.8 million acres -- the most on record for the period -- and more than twice the decadal average.
Precipitation was much above normal in most of California, resulting in the state's wettest June on record. Heavier-than-normal precipitation and prolonged snowmelt during the spring caused June flooding in Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Washington. The greatest flows on the Missouri River forced record amounts of water to be released from Fort Peck Reservoir in Montana.
Cooler-than-normal temperatures prevailed in the West, Northwest and the western High Plains. It was the 12th coolest June for the Northwest.
Both Oregon and Washington (tied) - and the Northwest Region - had their coolest April-June period on record. Meanwhile, the South had its second warmest and the Southeast its third warmest such period.
Record warmth dominated Texas during the past three months. A total of 14 states, mostly in the South and Southeast United States experienced an average April-June temperature among their 10 warmest.
Record precipitation caused by a persistent storm track across the northern U.S. drove the wettest April-June period in the High Plains and the Ohio Valley area. Within the Ohio Valley area, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Michigan had their wettest April-June on record.
For the year-to-date period, three drought-stricken states - Louisiana, New Mexico, and Texas - had their driest January-June on record. In that time, Louisiana was 11.72 inches below its 20th century year-to-date average 29.16 inches. Texas was more than eight inches below its average of 13.83 inches and New Mexico was nearly 3.5 inches below its average of 4.68 inches at this point in the calendar year.
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...and if that isn't enough for you, add this to the equation:
By Matt Andrejczak
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Don’t expect price relief at the grocery store anytime soon. Food inflation will persist in 2012, the U.S. Agriculture Department indicated in an updated forecast released Monday.
Food prices next year are expected to increase 2.5% to 3.5%, compared with 2011’s projected 3%-to-4% gain. Still, the cost of food at supermarkets and restaurants will remain “slightly” above the long-term historical average of the past two decades, the USDA food-price forecasters said.
“Price levels in 2012 will hinge significantly on weather conditions in the American Midwest during the remainder of July and into August and September 2011,” USDA food economist Ephraim Leibtag said in the report.
“Because current USDA forecasts are based on a normal weather scenario, sustained heat or drought conditions resulting in reduced supplies and intensified inflationary pressure would result in revised USDA forecasts,” Leibtag added.
I sure am glad we're all focusing on the Federal budget and the economy!