Native Plants, Habitat Restoration, and Other Science Snippets from Athens, Georgia

Sunday: 6 July 2014

The Month of June  -  @ 09:02:20
It's The Month of June, Number 101 in a series. For us, June was mostly above average in overall temperatures, and drier than usual.


Here are the usual temperature anomalies products, at the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center. Displayed are the mean temperature anomalies, not the absolute temperatures.

Click on the image for the high and low anomaly graphic on a new page:

Overall anomalies in temperature became became a little more accentuated in June, this time with considerably cooler than average temperatures in the upper tier of western states, centered in Montana and Wyoming. It was still considerably hotter in locations in the southwest, with the anomalies expanding in Arizona and New Mexico, but the most extreme anomalies were still fairly localized.

Most of the eastern states were a bit warmer in June, continuing that trend from April. The central states were a mix, and within a degree of average. Nearly all parts of the country showed larger nighttime low anomalies than daytime high departures.

The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center's precipitation plots are no longer being updated here. Last month's alternative is also not being updated here. *Now* the closest I can find to the old familiar anomaly map is accessible from here. It's still much less flexible but at least looks a little more like a precipitation map should.

It looks like much drier weather continued in the West, and now creeping up into the coastal northwest. The reduced precipitation (10% of normal) now covers at least six western states, especially California, Arizona, and most of Nevada and Utah.

Most of the eastern US was slightly drier than normal, but areas in the central states had distinctly more precipitation than normal.

For the Athens, GA area:

Below is my usual daily rain/temperature plot visualizing the changes in temperatures and precipitation. The spiky lines are temperatures recorded roughly ten times a day, and the lighter blue columns are Wolfskin rainfall measurements. The black line is the 30-year average daily temperature, which is steadily moving upward as expected.

As was true in June, temperatures were fairly monotonous through most of the month, with two short periods of cooler than average weather. These were associated with our two periods of rainy weather. The heavy rainfall of June 23 began a period of very humid, uncomfortable conditions.

Here in the Athens area, we were somewhat above normal for the average temperature in June. The Athens area mean temperature during June was a little less than 2 degF above the average 76.8F. We didn't break any record highs or lows.

We had 6 days more than 1 standard deviation above normal highs (just a bit above the average of 4.8 such days). We had 0 nights with temperatures more than 1 standard deviation below normal lows, well below the average of 4.8 nights, and a reflection of the greater low temperature anomaly.

The monthly histogram below shows the breakdown of high and low temperature range counts from June 1948 on. The error bars are just plus/minus one standard deviation, which I arbitrarily set as the limits outside of which are "significantly" anomalous.

Unlike in April and May, we had two temperature ranges that showed a significantly larger number of events. We had 19 days 90F or above, compared to the usual 10 such. And we had 28 nights of average 61-70F, which is higher than the usual 22.

Below is the monthly accumulation of rain in Athens, GA. The river of peach is the long term standard deviation of all the daily black dots in the last 15 years, and the red line is the daily cumulative average. We're the green line this year, and for almost half the month it cradled that surplus of blue above the one standard deviation mark.

Athens had one significant period of precitation in June, while out here in Wolfskin the rain of June 23 was much more intense. So we had 3.74" in Athens and 3.88" out here in Wolfskin. Both were slightly below the average June precipitation of 4.18". We're still a bit below average for this time of the year.

Prognosticator stuff:

What is the prognosticator telling us (as of July 5)?

Very roughly, for the next 6-10 days the chances of higher than normal temperatures are going to prevail for the north, and for both the east and west portions of the country. For the following 2-3 months, this pattern of higher than normal temperature chances will continue for the Southeast and the West.

In the east and southeast, we're scheduled for more rain over the next few weeks, while the West has a high likelihood of continuing dry. We'll all trend into a more normal rainfall expectation in August and September, except for some parts of the South and the Gulf Coast.

ENSO stuff:

The folks at CPC have a version of PDF or HTML that is much different from their previous presentations, but at least it's there and the link isn't broken.

As of June 30, ENSO neutral conditions continue, but with above average sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. The chances of an El Niño developing continue as in June at 70% by the end of summer, and 80% overall. The planet has remained ENSO neutral now for 25 months. The last time we had such a lengthy period without an El Niño or La Niña must at this point have been in the 1990s.

An El Niño will probably shake things up for the winter here in the US. Overall it will also release a lot of heat stored in the oceans into the atmosphere, so expect to see global average temperature anomalies increase over the next year.

NOAA's Monthly State of the Climate product for May is available.

Summarizing from what I see on the map: The West and Alaska continued with abnormally warm temperatures. Major snowstorm across the Central Rockies.

Here is the final annual State of the Climate report for 2013 regionally, nationally, and globally. It's pretty US-centric, but there are comments for climate globally too.

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