Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer Temperature Update: June Heat Records Smash Cold Records By Nearly 11 to 1

July 10 Update: A site visitor suggested that it would be useful to see the actual ratios of heat records to cold records plotted, so here it is:

Note that the horizontal axis is plotted at a ratio value of 1, so an excess of heat records is above the axis, and a deficit is below. There was only 1 month (December) in the last year-plus with a deficit of heat records.

Original post:For related record temperature posts, see: Following through on the momentum set in the first 9 days of June, the first month of meteorological summer has concluded with U.S. daily high temperature records outnumbering low records by an incredible ratio of 10.8 to 1. This brings the ratio for the first half of 2011 up to 2.4 to 1.

In addition to the 2706 daily high temperature records, 63 all-time June temperature records and 17 all-time (any month) records were set. One all-time monthly record has already been set so far in July (Willow Run Airport, Michigan).

For comparison, here is the number of all-time record low temperatures set in each month of the "cold, snowy winter" of 2010-2011:
December 0
January 3
February 5
Among the all-time heat records in June were:
Location          Record   Previous Record and Date
Tallahassee FL 105.0° 103.0° 2011-06-14
Raton NM 102.0° 100.0° 2009-07-25
Amarillo TX 109.0° 108.0° 1998-06-28
111.0° 109.0° 2011-06-24
Borger TX 109.0° 108.0° 1998-06-27
111.0° 109.0° 2011-06-24
Dalhart TX 108.0° 107.0° 1990-06-24
110.0° 108.0° 2011-06-24
Wellington TX 114.0° 113.0° 1994-06-25
Morton TX 111.0° 110.0° 1994-06-28
Garden City KS 109.0° 108.0° 2003-07-15
Note that Amarillo, Borger, and Dalhart each had the distinction of setting new records and then surpassing them a second time in the same month. Each of the new records is an amazing 3° above the record previous to 2011. Tallahassee broke the record by 2° after tying it earlier in the month.

Several June monthly records were exceeded by multiple degrees, including Tulsa OK, where 106.0° on the 27th broke a record of 103.0° set in 1953.

Image (click to enlarge):
Monthly total number of daily high temperature and low temperature records set in the U.S. for June 2010 through June 2011, data from NOAA National Climatic Data Center, background image © Kevin Ambrose ( Includes historical daily observations archived in NCDC's Cooperative Summary of the Day data set and preliminary reports from Cooperative Observers and First Order National Weather Service stations. All stations have a Period of Record of at least 30 years.


Tom Gray said...

Thanks for the information. You might wish to create (in addition) a simpler graph with just the ratio of new highs to new lows for each month. I think that might be a useful alternative for the mathematically challenged.

Tom Gray
Wind Energy Communications Consultant

CapitalClimate said...

Good idea; see the update.

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