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U.S. has its wettest 12 months on record – again

  • U.S. has its wettest 12 months on record – again

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The NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory and its partners conduct innovative research on the dynamic environments and ecosystems of the Great Lakes and coastal regions.
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Rain – and plenty of it – was the big weather story in June, adding to a record-breaking 12 months of precipitation for the contiguous U.S. It's the third consecutive time in 2019 (April, May and June) the past 12-month precipitation record has hit an all-time high.

Climate by the numbers

June 2019

Wet conditions from July 2018 through June 2019 resulted in a new 12-month precipitation record in the U.S., with an average of 37.86 inches (7.90 inches above average), according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

The average precipitation for June was 3.30 inches (0.37of an inch above average), placing it in the upper third in the record books. Flooding conditions persisted along the central and Lower Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois rivers.

The average June temperature across the contiguous U.S. was 68.7 degrees F (0.2 degrees above average), which ranked in the middle third of the 125-year record.  Eleven states along the Pacific, Gulf, New England and the Mid-Atlantic coasts had much-above-average temperatures. 

Year to date | January through June 

The average U.S. temperature for the year to date (January through June) was 47.6 degrees F (0.1 of a degree above average), which ranked in the middle third for the six-month period. Through June, the average total precipitation for the year – 19.05 inches – was 3.74 inches above average.  

An annotated map of the United States showing notable climate events that occurred across the country during June 2019. Credit: NOAA Headquarters

More highlights from the report

  • Drought was a mixed bag: About 3.2 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in , down from 5.3 percent at the start of June. However, worsened across parts of the Pacific Northwest and Puerto Rico.
  • Alaska baked: The northernmost state had its second hottest June on , with an average temperature of 54.0 degrees F (4.8 degrees above average.)
  • Billion-dollar disasters count holds steady: By the year's halfway mark, the U.S. has six such disasters on the books, including four destructive severe storms and two flooding events.