From record heat, fires and floods to hurricanes, tropical storms and even an eclipse, August brought a dramatic and, for those along the Gulf Coast, devastating end to summer as Mother Nature demonstrated her power and ability to awe. Here’s how the summer, last month and the year to date fared in terms of the climate record:
The average summer U.S. temperature was 72.7 degrees F, 1.3 degrees above average, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. Above-average temperatures spanned the western third of the country, while nine states in the South and Midwest observed a cooler-than-average summer. Precipitation totaled 0.87 of an inch above average, making it the 16th wettest summer on record.
The month of August tied with 1921 as the 53rd coolest August on record, with an average temperature across the Lower 48 states of 72 degrees F, 0.1 degree below average. California, Oregon and Washington each had their warmest August on record, while parts of the High Plains and Midwest saw below-average temperatures during the month. The precipitation total for the month was 0.7 of an inch above average, making this August the seventh wettest on record.
The year to date
The year to date (January–August) for the contiguous U.S. was the third warmest on record, with an average temperature of 56.7 degrees F (2.8 degrees above average). All of the Lower 48 states and Alaska observed above-average temperatures during this eight-month period.
From NOAA Photo John Vlahakis