Maps and Graphics:

August Most Recent 3 Months Most Recent 6 Months
Most Recent 12 Months Year-to-Date US Percent Area Very Wet/Dry/Warm/Cold
Annual Summary for 2005

PLEASE NOTE: All temperature and precipitation ranks and values are based on preliminary data.  The ranks will change when the final data are processed, but will not be replaced on these pages.  Graphics based on final data are available on the National Temperature and Precipitation Maps page.

For graphics covering periods other than those mentioned above or for tables of national, regional, and statewide data from 1895-present, for August, last 3 months or other periods, please go to the Climate At A Glance page.

National Overview:

  • Capping a summer that tied or broke many Dust Bowl era temperature records, August temperatures were much-above-normal for the contiguous United States.  Nationally, it was the 11th warmest August in the 1895-2006 record.  The Southeast region had its third warmest August since instrumental records began, and North Carolina experienced its second warmest August on record.  For information on local temperature records during the month, please visit NCDC's Extremes page.

  • Nationally, precipitation was above-normal for August, ranking as the 17th wettest August in the 112-year record (1895-2006).  Regionally, the West and Northwest regions were drier-than-normal, while the middle of the nation was wetter-than-normal, and the Southwest had much-above-normal precipitation for the month.  New Mexico had its wettest August on record, while both Delaware and Maryland were fifth driest for the month.  Nevada also received much-below-normal precipitation in August, and South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas all were wetter-than-normal.

  • Despite above-average rainfall across southern and central regions, significant drought continued in the South and northern Plains, with exceptional drought persisting in parts of southern and northeast Texas, and central South Dakota.  For more information on drought during August, please visit the U.S. Drought page.

  • August was an active month for tropical cyclones.  The Atlantic basin saw three named storms, including Hurricane Ernesto, which impacted Haiti, Cuba and the Southeast United States. In the East North Pacific basin, Hurricane John made landfall along Baja California. John was one of seven named systems active in the basin in August, and one of four hurricanes.

  • Severe late-month thunderstorms spawned a tornado near Nicollet, MN that damaged numerous homes and claimed one life.  Persistent, heavy rainfall caused widespread flooding around El Paso, TX, as more than 15 inches of rain has fallen there since July 27th. Damage is estimated at $100 million (USD).  Eastern North Carolina and parts of Virginia were flooded as Tropical Storm Ernesto made its final landfall near Cape Fear, NC. Six people are known to have perished in the U.S. in connection with the storm.

  • El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions remained near-neutral in August, but with positive sea surface temperature anomalies in all Niño regions, some exceeding +0.5°C. For more information on ENSO conditions, please visit the NCDC ENSO Monitoring page and the latest NOAA ENSO Advisory.
For additional details, see the Monthly and Seasonal Highlights section below and visit the August Climate Summary page. For details and graphics on weather events across the U.S. and the globe please visit NCDC's Global Hazards page.

Monthly and Seasonal Highlights:


For additional national, regional, and statewide data and graphics from 1895-present, for August, the last 3 months or other periods, please visit the Climate At A Glance page.
  • August 2006 was the 11th warmest August in the 1895-2006 record.  The preliminary nationally averaged temperature was 74.5°F (23.6°C).  The record warmest August was set in 1983, with an average temperature of 75.8°F (24.3°C) for the nation.

  • August had above-average precipitation nationally, ranking as the 17th wettest August in the 1895-2006 record.  An average 2.97 inches (75 mm) fell over the contiguous U.S. in August, 0.4 inches (10 mm) above the 20th century mean for the month.

  • Boreal summer was the second warmest summer in the 1895-to-present record.  The preliminary nationally averaged June-August temperature was 74.5°F (23.6°C).  The warmest summer on record occurred in 1936 (74.7°F). August rainfall resulted in near-normal June-August precipitation, with the summer ranking as the 41st driest on record.  A total of 8.13 inches (206 mm) of precipitation fell during the 3-month period.

  • The 6-month (March-August) national average temperature tied 1934 for the warmest such period on record. The nationally-averaged temperature was 64.4°F (18°C).  At 15.18 inches (386 mm), March - August precipitation was below-normal and ranked as the 32nd driest such period in the 1895-2006 record.

  • January to August has been the warmest such year-to-date period on record.  The nationally averaged year-to-date temperature was 57.6°F (14.2°C). The previous record of 57.2°F (14.0°C) was set in 1934.  The year-to-date also was 26th driest January-August in the 112-year record, receiving a national average 19.1 inches (485 mm) of precipitation during the period, or 1.1 inches (28 mm) below the 20th Century average.

  • September 2005 - August 2006 was the warmest such period in the 1895-2006 record.  The preliminary nationally-averaged 12-month temperature was 55.3°F (12.9°C).  Precipitation was below-average for the September 2005 - August 2006 period, ranking it as the 32nd driest September-August in the 111-year record.  Nationally-averaged total 12-month precipitation was 27.77 inches (705 mm).

Regional and Statewide:
  • August 2006 temperatures ranked near-normal for the Southwest and Northeast, much-above-normal for the Southeast, and above-normal across the remainder of the nation.  North Carolina experienced its second warmest August on record, while Maine and New Mexico both were cooler-than-normal for the month. Fourteen states, primarily in the Southeast were much-warmer-than-normal in August.

  • August was much-wetter-than-average for parts of the Southwest, but drier-than-normal in the West and Northwest. New Mexico experienced its wettest August on record, while above- to much-above-normal precipitation fell across southern and central regions of the nation during the month. Maryland, Delaware (both ranked 5th driest), and Nevada (ranked 9th driest) were the only states with much-below-normal August precipitation.

  • Summer temperatures were above- to much-above-average for all nine climate regions.  Record summer warmth was observed in the West. No state was cooler-than-normal, and only Indiana, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina had near-normal summer temperatures. Nevada experienced record warmth for this period, while Wyoming had its second warmest summer on record.

  • The 3-month period ending with August was record wet in the Northeast, with New York and Rhode Island setting record June - August precipitation totals.  Six other states (New Mexico, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania) recorded one of their top five wettest summers. Most of the nation west of the Mississippi River experienced drier-than-normal conditions this summer, with the exception of parts of the Southwest, where heavy August rainfall led to wetter-than-normal summer averages. Statewise, northern tier states, as well as most southeastern states were drier-than-normal, though only one state, Montana (10th driest summer on record) had much-drier-than-normal summer rainfall.

  • The past 6-months (March-August) were above- to much-above-normal over all regions of the contiguous United States, with the South having its warmest such period on record.  Five states (Wyoming, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana) were record warm for the period, while New Jersey and North Dakota had their second warmest March-August on record. Fourteen states experienced March-August warmth that was in the warmest five years on record. Only Pennsylvania and West Virginia were near-normal during this time, and no state was cooler-than-average.

  • March - August precipitation was much-below-normal in the Southeast,and below-normal in the South and West North Central regions.  The West and Southwest were wetter-than-normal, while the Northeast was much-wetter-than-normal.  Florida experienced its second driest March-August on record, while Vermont had its second wettest. Four states in the Southeast (Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida) had March-August dryness among the ten driest such periods on record.

  • The Year-to-Date (January-August) was record warm in five states (North and South Dakota, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas).  The period was second warmest in an additional 8 states, and a total of 34 states experienced year-to-date temperatures that were among the ten warmest such periods on record.  No state was near or cooler than normal for the period.

  • Wetter- to much-wetter-than-normal year-to-date conditions prevailed across the Northeast, with Vermont experiencing its second wettest January-August in the 1895-2006 record.  Western states, as well as Michigan and Indiana were above-normal for the period.  The remainder of the nation had near- to below-normal year-to-date precipitation, while Georgia and Florida have seen their sixth and seventh driest year-to-date, respectively.

  • September 2005 - August 2006 was warmer- or much-warmer-than-average for all of the contiguous U.S.  Five states (North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Texas) experienced record warmth for the period, while seven additional states had their second warmest September-August on record.

  • Record precipitation totals for the last 12 months were recorded in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.  Drier-than-normal conditions prevailed across the southern and central states, with five states (Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Georgia) having a much-drier-than-normal September-August period.

    See NCDC's Monthly Extremes web-page for weather and climate records for the month of August.

PLEASE NOTE: All of the temperature and precipitation ranks and values are based on preliminary data.  The ranks will change when the final data are processed, but will not be replaced on these pages.  Graphics based on final data are available on the National Temperature and Precipitation Maps page.

Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Monthly National Climate Report for August 2006, published online September 2006, retrieved on July 18, 2024 from