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Posts Tagged ‘USCEI’

Ten Billion-Dollar Plus Weather, Climate Disasters Hit U.S. in 2015

Posted by feww on January 9, 2016

Record December elevated 2015 to 2nd warmest year for US 48  —NOAA

The 2015 annual average U.S. temperature was 54.4°F (12.4°C), 2.4°F above the 20th century average, the second warmest year on record.

  • Warmest year for U.S. was  2012  with an average temperature of 55.3°F.
  • 2015 was the 19th consecutive year the annual average temperature exceeded the 20th century average.

The average contiguous U.S. precipitation was 34.47 inches (87.55cm), 4.53 inches above average, and ranked as the third wettest year in the 121-year period of record.

  • Only 1973 and 1983 were wetter.
  • The national drought footprint shrank about 10 percent last year.

Ten weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each occurred  across the United States in 2015. These events included

  • Drought (1 event)
  • Flooding (2)
  • Severe storms (5)
  • Wildfire (1)
  • Winter Storm (1)

The 1980–2015 annual average is 5.2 events (CPI-adjusted); the annual average for the most recent 5 years (2011–2015) is 10.8 events (CPI-adjusted), said NCDC/NOAA.

Additionally, the U.S. experienced five distinct disaster event types in 2015. It is more common to observe three or four disaster event types in a given year. Five or more disaster event types exceeding $1 billion in the same year occurs less frequently (i.e., 2015, 2011, 2008, 1998, 1994 and 1989).

U.S. climate highlights: 2015

  • Florida, Montana, Oregon and Washington were record warm.
  • Alaska, California, and Idaho had their second warmest year.
  • Twenty-one other states were much warmer than average.
  • 14 States were much wetter than average.
  • Oklahoma and Texas were record wet for the year, and became drought free for the first time since 2010.
  • The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI) for 2015 was 70 percent above average, ranking as the fourth highest annual USCEI in the 106-year record and highest since 2012.

U.S. climate highlights: December 2015

  • December 2015 was record warm for the contiguous U.S., with a temperature of 38.6°F, 6.0°F above the 20th century average.
    • Previous record of 37.7°F was set in 1939.
    • 29 Eastern states had the warmest December on record.
    • No state was record cold.
  • The December precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 3.93 inches, 1.58 inches above the 20th century average, ranking as the wettest December on record.
    • Previous record of 3.76 inches was set in 1982.
    • Above-average precipitation occurred across the country
    • 23 States were much wetter than average.
    • Iowa and Wisconsin had a record wet December.

Source: NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: National Overview for December 2015, published online January 2016, retrieved on January 9, 2016 from


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June 2015 Second Warmest in Contiguous U.S.

Posted by feww on July 14, 2015

June 2015 2nd warmest in contiguous U.S., West saw record warmth, drought worsened in Northwest: NOAA

The June average temperature for the Lower 48 was 22°C (71.4°F), or 1.6°C (2.9°F) above the 20th century average, second only to June 1933 (71.6°F) in the 121-year period of record, reported The National Climatic Data Center .

Above-average temperatures recorded across the West and along the Southeast coast, where 16 states were much warmer than average.

  • California, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Washington recorded their warmest June.
  • Multiple western cities set new June temperature records during an intense heatwave the second half of the month.
  • Boise, Idaho saw the temperature soaring to 43.3C (110°F).

The Alaska statewide average temperature for June was the sixth warmest in 91-years of record keeping at 52.4°F, 3.1°F above average. Homer, Alaska had its warmest June on record. Prolonged warmth and dryness and lack of June snow created ideal wildfire conditions with dozens of large wildfires impacting central and southern areas of the state during June.

“The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI) for the year-to-date was 45 percent above average and the 13th highest value on record. On the national-scale, extremes in warm maximum and minimum temperatures and days with precipitation were much above average,” said NCDC.

  • More than 400 wildfires consumed 1.8 million acres (728,000 hectares), breaking the previous June record of 1.1 million acres (445,000 hectares) charred by 216 fires, said the report.
  • Texas had its wettest year-to-date on record with 61.1mm (24.04 inches), 27.2mm (10.70 inches) above average.
    • Previous record wet January-June record in 1941: 55.2mm (21.72 inches)
    • January-June precipitation total for 2011: Just 14.5mm (5.71 inches), the lowest amount on 121-year record.
  • California: Drought conditions remain dire across California, with 46.7 percent of the state experiencing the worst category of drought (D4, exceptional).

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: National Overview for June 2015, published online July 2015, retrieved on July 13, 2015 from

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