NOAA 2004-073
Contact: John Leslie

NOAA News Releases 2004
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Many areas of the South had some of the wettest June conditions on record, according to scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. Record dryness across southern California contrasted the extreme wetness in the South, while much of the Midwest had a cooler-than-average June. The global average temperature was sixth warmest on record for June. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

NOAA scientists report that the average temperature for the contiguous United States for June (based on preliminary data) was 68.6 F (20.4 C), which was 0.5 F (0.3 C) below the 1895-2003 mean. The mean temperature was below average in 19 states across the middle of the nation, extending into the Northeast. Much of the West was warmer than average. Nevada and Florida had much-above-average temperatures for June. Alaska experienced record warmth for June, with a statewide temperature of 5.2 F (2.9 C) above the 1971-2000 mean. Record-setting temperatures were also recorded in several Alaskan cities in June, including an all-time high of 93 F (33.9 C) on Annette Island. The extreme temperatures made conditions favorable for widespread wildfire activity in the state.

Precipitation across the contiguous United States was much above average, ranking June 2004 the seventh wettest on record. Texas had its wettest June on record. Mississippi and Louisiana had their second and third wettest June conditions respectively. The heavy rainfall during the first week of the month resulted from severe storms in Texas and parts of the South and led to flooding in some areas.

Drought conditions that had reemerged in the Southeast in recent months eased throughout June as precipitation was above average across much of the region. Below-average June precipitation occurred in many areas of the West, where drought has persisted for the past five to six years. Southern California and eastern Arizona had record or near-record dryness for June, exacerbating moderate-to-severe drought in the region. Reservoir levels also remained below average in many areas of the West, and at the end of June the percent of the western United States in moderate-to-extreme drought increased to 74 percent, based on a widely used measure of drought, the Palmer Drought Index.

The average global temperature anomaly for combined land and ocean surfaces during June 2004 (based on preliminary data) was 0.47 F (0.26 C) above the 1880-2003 long-term mean. This was the sixth warmest June since 1880 (the beginning of reliable instrumental records). The five others are 1998 - 0.62 C, 2002 - 0.55 C,
2003 - 0.54 C, 2001 - 0.51 C and 1997 - 0.49 C.

Land surface temperatures were anomalously warm across Alaska, western Europe and central Asia and most of the southern hemisphere, while ocean-surface temperatures in much of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific were near average, as the neutral phase of El Niño/Southern Oscillation continued. The global land surface temperature was fourth warmest on record for June.

NOAA’s Satellites and Information Service is the nation’s primary source of space-based oceanographic, meteorological, and climate data. It operates the nation’s environmental satellites, which are used for ocean and weather observation and forecasting, climate monitoring, and other environmental applications. Some of the oceanographic applications include sea surface temperature for hurricane and weather forecasting and sea-surface heights for El Niño prediction.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation’s coastal and marine resources.

Note to Editors: A digital version of the press release including links to data, graphics and analysis, in addition to further national and global data are online at: