ORLANDO, Fla. - In the heat of the summer months it is easy to talk about hot temperatures, but extreme hot temperatures and their collateral effects have brought much more to the weather news world in July. Let’s review some statistics about the month of July globally, nationally and locally.
July in the contiguous U.S.
Temperatures were above average in the first seven months of the year, making it the 11th warmest months to date. This marks the 25th consecutive year where January through July months (the first seven months of the year) have been above the 20st century average.
FACT: Stretch from May, June and July was the hottest on record for the lower 48 (NOAA)
The average temperature for July in the contiguous U.S. was 75.5 degrees -- that’s 1.9 degrees above the month's average high. It was the 11th warmest July on record. In the nation, daily warm temperatures outpaced cold temperatures in July; for every five daily warm records there was one record for cold temperature.
FACT: California had its warmest July on record (124-year history)
So far, this year temperatures have had large swings month-to-month east of the Rockies. Arizona and New Mexico had record warm temperatures so far this year.
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Central Florida temperature rankings:
Temperatures were close to their average value for July. Orlando’s average temperature was 82.3 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the 23rd warmest on record. Daytona Beach’s average temperature was 81.7 degrees, the 16th warmest on record for this location.
FACT: Florida had its 13th warmest July on record
FACT: Florida's July 2018 becomes the 60th consecutive month with above-average temperatures
This was July 2018 in the world.— Irene Sans (@IreneSans) August 21, 2018
Global Surface Temperature Anomalies. Anomalies are based on the 1981-2010 mean.
Así fue el mes de julio en el mundo.
Anomalías de temperaturas en la superficie del mundo. anomalías basadas en el promedio de 1981-2010 pic.twitter.com/3iPbqdldCc
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The lower 48 stayed near to slightly above-average rainfall. There were some extremes within this average range. It was very wet across parts of the northeast, especially for parts of Pennsylvania and Maryland. In fact, it was the second wettest July on record for Maryland. A monsoon brought above-average precipitation across the southwest. Very dry conditions prevailed in the northwest where below average conditions persisted.
Near average precipitation and cooler conditions across the northern plains resulted in high corn crops, but drought just to the south of the Midwest has resulted in drought conditions which has affected crop production.
Daytona Beach received 8.98 inches of rain in the month of July, making it the 18th wettest July for this station. Orlando received 9.24 inches, reaching the 34th spot with the highest July rainfall on record.
At the end of July, 34.1 percent of the United States was in a drought. The drought expanded in Hawaii and Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico, thick layers of Saharan dust covered the island several times during this period, limiting shower and thunderstorm activity. El Niño in the winter will likely make this drought worse if it persists during the next few months in Puerto Rico and the rest of the Caribbean Islands.
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Significant fire potential is likely to continue through November as it will likely stay warmer and drier than normal. Lightning has not been much of an issue in the west which has sparked fires. The human factor has sparked fires and the natural conditions, such as drought, have caused the fires to propagate.
How did they get here?
The temperatures continue to rise. At night, temperatures drop and the humidity tends to go up, allowing vegetation to become a bit more moist. But if the temperatures remain high, the humidity remains lower, therefore increasing the chances for fires to continue, affecting the firefighting operations, increasing fires and smoke production.
FACT: Six of California’s most destructive fires have happened since 2017.
Why are the low temps important?— Irene Sans (@IreneSans) August 17, 2018
Because as temps drop at night, humidity increases. If temps remain high, humidity remains low. This makes firefighting ops harder, fires become larger & smoke production increases.
Check out rate of increase of warm low temps in the last 18yrs. pic.twitter.com/KA51Kt73AJ
THE OUTLOOK THROUGH NOVEMBER - EL NIÑO, THE WEST AND THE TROPICS
During an El Niño winter, the jet stream is displaced to the south, enhancing more storm activity along California. Rain can aid vegetation growth which creates more fuel for future fires.
Some of the El Niño effects could limit tropical activity in the Atlantic during the last stretch of the hurricane season. According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center strength can be weak or moderate. The likelihood of El Niño occurring can be forecast, but no forecast is produced about El Niño’s strength.
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As of now, the forecast calls for a high chance for this pattern to develop, but it is less likely that we will see a strong El Niño in the winter.
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