- The contiguous U.S. average temperature during July was 76.4°F, 2.8°F above the 20th century average, ranking third warmest in the 128-year record.
- Generally, temperatures were above average and/or record-warm across nearly all of the Lower 48.
- Texas experienced its warmest July, May-July and April-July on record.
- July 2022 was the second warmest of any month on record in Texas with an average temperature of 87.3°F. The all-time warmest month on record for Texas occurred in August 2011 with an average temperature of 88.2°F.
- The average maximum temperature for Texas in July exceeded 100°F for the first time on record during the month of July 2022. The record, and only other occurrence of a monthly average maximum temperature in Texas in excess of 100°F, occurred in August 2011 when the maximum temperature averaged 101.6°F.
- In addition to the record warmth across Texas, near-record warmth was widespread from the Pacific Northwest to the south-central U.S. and across parts of the Northeast. Oregon had its fourth warmest July, with six additional states experiencing a top-five warmest July on record.
- The contiguous U.S. average maximum (daytime) temperature during July was 89.3°F, 2.6°F above the 20th century average, ranking eighth warmest on record. Above-average to record-warm maximum temperatures were observed across much of the West, southern Plains and Northeast. Texas ranked warmest on record for daytime temperatures, while Rhode Island ranked second warmest. Daytime temperatures were below average in pockets across portions of the central Plains and Midwest.
- The contiguous U.S. average minimum (nighttime) temperature during July was 63.6°F, 3.0°F above the 20th century average, ranking warmest on record. Minimum temperatures were above average to record warm across most of the Lower 48. Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma each ranked warmest on record for overnight temperatures with 12 additional states across the West, South and East ranking among their top five warmest overnight temperatures for July.
- The Alaska statewide July temperature was 53.5°F, 0.8°F above the long-term average. This ranked among the warmest one-third of the 98-year period of record for the state. Temperatures were above average across portions of the Northeast Interior region and across much of the south-central and southeastern portion of the state.
- Based on data received through August 5, there were 7,355 record warm daily high (2,549) and low (4,806) temperature records during July, which is nearly 8 times the 942 record cold daily high (656) and low (286) temperature records.
- Based on NOAA's Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index (REDTI), the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand during July was 211 percent of average and the fifth-highest value in the 128-year period of record.
- The July precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 2.74 inches, 0.04 inch below average, ranking in the middle third of the historical period of record.
- Precipitation was above average in pockets across the West Coast, Southwest, Northern Rockies and Plains, Great Lakes, and from the Ohio Valley to the southern Appalachians. Precipitation was below average across portions of the Northwest, southern Plains, Upper Midwest and Northeast.
- Record rainfall received during the last week of July contributed substantially to the fourth-wettest July on record for Kentucky. Conversely, a lack of precipitation received during the month resulted in Rhode Island ranking second driest while Texas had its fifth-driest July on record.
- Alaska had the sixth-wettest July in the 98-year record. Much of the state received average to above-average precipitation during the month with portions of the Northeast, Southeast interior and Aleutian regions drier than average.
- The Cook Inlet region ranked wettest on record for the month. Talkeetna recorded its fourth-wettest July and Anchorage ranked fifth wettest on record. This rainfall put a quick end to most of the moderate drought across the state.
- On July 26, Utqiagvik reported 1.42 inches of rain — the largest daily rainfall value on record for the station (and since 1920). The previous daily rainfall record was 1.28 inches on July 21, 1987.
- According to the August 2 U.S. Drought Monitor, 51.4 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in drought, up about 3.7 percentage points from the end of June. Drought conditions expanded or intensified across portions of the Northeast, with flash drought rapidly expanding in the southern and central Plains, Ozarks and the mid-Mississippi Valley. Drought contracted or was eliminated across portions of the Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and northern Rockies, as well as Alaska and Puerto Rico.
- For the January-July period, the average contiguous U.S. temperature was 52.7°F, 1.4°F above average, ranking in the warmest third of the record.
- Temperatures were above average from Oregon to the Gulf Coast and from the Gulf to New England. California and Florida each ranked sixth warmest on record for this period. Temperatures were below average across parts of the Upper Midwest.
- The contiguous U.S. average maximum (daytime) temperature during January-July was 65.2°F, 1.9°F above the 20th century average, ranking in the warmest third of the historical record. Temperatures were above average across all of the Lower 48 with the exception of portions of the Northwest and from the northern Plains to the Midwest, where near and below-average temperatures prevailed. California ranked fourth warmest for daytime temperatures during January-July.
- The contiguous U.S. average minimum (nighttime) temperature during this seven-month period was 40.2°F, 0.9°F above the 20th century average, ranking in the warmest third of the record. Nighttime temperatures were above average across much of the West, Southeast, Great Lakes, mid-Atlantic and New England. Florida ranked sixth warmest for nighttime temperatures.
- The Alaska statewide average temperature for this year-to-date period was 27.1°F, 1.3°F above average and ranked in the middle one-third of the record. Temperatures were above average across most of the state, with near-average temperatures in the Northeast Interior region.
- Based on REDTI, the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand during January-July was 65 percent of average and was the 20th-lowest value on record.
- The January-July precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 16.58 inches, 1.51 inches below average, ranking in the driest third of the historical record.
- Precipitation was above average across parts of the Northwest, northern Plains, Great Lakes and portions of the Mid-Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee valleys.
- Precipitation was below average across much of the West, central Plains and Deep South during the January-July period. California ranked driest on record while Nevada and Texas ranked second driest and Utah, fourth driest for this seven-month period.
- Precipitation averaged across Alaska for the January-July period ranked in the wettest third of the record and was generally above average across the North Slope and southeastern Alaska. The Central Panhandle region ranked wettest on record for the January-July period.
Other Notable Events
- Excessive heat warnings and advisories were issued for areas of the Northeast, Pacific Northwest and southern Plains during July as prolonged heat waves impacted much of the country.
- On July 19, all 120 Oklahoma Mesonet stations reported maximum temperatures of at least 103°F — a first in the network's history (since the mid-1990s).
- College Station, TX, reached 111°F on July 10 — the hottest July temperature on record and second-warmest day on record since 1889. Austin, TX, set a record for the warmest July day with 110°F also reported on July 10.
- Late in the month, the Northeast saw temperatures rise into the 90°F-100°F range for several days. On July 24, Newark, NJ, recorded five-consecutive days of temperatures at least 100°F. This is the longest streak since records began in 1931.
- Also near the end of July, stations in the Pacific Northwest reported high temperatures 10-20°F above average, setting several daily and all-time records.
- On July 29, Medford, OR, reached 115°F, tying its record for the warmest temperature in the last 111 years.
- During the last week of July, Portland, OR, reported seven days with temperatures at or above 95°F, setting a new record. Seattle had six days of temperatures at least 90°F, breaking the city's 5-day record set in 1941, 1981 and 2015.
- For the year-to-date, Salt Lake City, UT, reported 21 days of 100°F+ temperatures, which tied the annual record set in 1960, 1994 and 2021.
- A stalled frontal system, combined with rich Gulf moisture, resulted in historic flash-flooding events across portions of Missouri and Kentucky on July 26 and 28, respectively.
- On July 26, several locations in and around St. Louis received more rainfall than on any other day on record. A stalled frontal system combined with tropical moisture resulted in precipitation totals that rivaled daily records set by the remnants of the Galveston Hurricane of 1915. Lambert International Airport reported 8.64 inches and St. Peters, MO, measured 12.34 inches of rain from this event. The Dardenne Creek, MO, river gauge rose about 21 feet in just seven hours, causing major flooding. This event resulted in at least one fatality, as well as extensive damage to homes and businesses.
- Flash flooding from the same stalled frontal system impacted portions of eastern Kentucky in the early morning of July 28. Heavy rain, enhanced by the terrain, accumulated rapidly, trapping many residents in their homes. Four to eight-inch totals were widespread across eastern Kentucky and the Kentucky River crested at all-time high levels in both Whitesburg and Jackson. At least 37 fatalities occurred with this event.
- The wildfire season appears to be waning across Alaska, but is still going strong across the West and southern Plains. Across all 50 states, more than 5.7 million acres have burned from January 1 through July 31 — nearly 1.5 times the average for this time of year.
- Cooler and wetter conditions across Alaska helped to reduce the spread of wildfires across the state during July. Additional significant wildfire growth is not expected for the remainder of the season, which is likely to rank as the seventh-largest season since 1950.
- The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI) for the year-to-date period was 20 percent above average and ranked in the highest one-third of the 113-year period of record. Extremes in warm maximum temperatures as well as dry PDSI were the major contributors to this elevated CEI value. The USCEI is an index that tracks extremes (occurring in the upper or lower 10 percent of the record) in temperature, precipitation and drought across the contiguous United States.
- On the regional scale, the West, Northwest, Southwest, South and Southeast ranked above average for this year-to-date period. Elevated regional extremes were due primarily to large areas of warm maximum and/or minimum temperatures as well as dry PDSI. Conversely, extremes across the Upper Midwest were 48 percent below average with virtually no extremes in temperatures or dry PDSI observed.
- According to the July 31 One-Month Outlook from the Climate Prediction Center, much of the West and from the Plains to the East Coast have the greatest chance of receiving above-normal temperatures in August, whereas the greatest chance for below-normal temperatures is projected to occur across portions of the Southwest and the southern half of Alaska. Parts of the Southwest, central Atlantic Coast and southeastern Alaska are projected to have the greatest chance of above-normal precipitation, while the greatest chance for below-normal precipitation is expected to occur from Texas to the northern Rockies and from the central Plains to New England. Drought is likely to persist across much of Texas, parts of the West, central Plains and Hawaii with some improvement and/or drought removal likely across parts of the Southwest, central to southern Rockies, and Puerto Rico. Drought development is likely across portions of the Midwest and Northeast.
- According to the One-Month Outlook issued on July 1 from the National Interagency Fire Center, Hawaii and portions of the West, north-central Plains, Midwest and southern Plains have above normal significant wildland fire potential during August.
These regional summaries were provided by the six Regional Climate Centers and reflect conditions in their respective regions. These six regions differ spatially from the nine climatic regions of the National Centers for Environmental Information.
Northeast Region (Information provided by the Northeast Regional Climate Center)
A hot, mostly dry July allowed drought to intensify, particularly in New England, but also featured heavy rain in West Virginia and multiple rounds of severe weather region-wide.
The Northeast’s average temperature for July was 71.5 degrees F, 1.3 degrees F warmer than normal. July average temperatures for the 12 Northeast states ranged from 0.7 degrees F above normal in West Virginia to 2.7 degrees F above normal in New Jersey. This July ranked among the 20 warmest Julys since records began in 1895 for seven states: New Jersey, sixth warmest; Rhode Island, seventh warmest; Connecticut, Delaware, and Massachusetts, ninth warmest; Maryland, 15th warmest; and Maine, 18th warmest. For more information on July’s heat, see the Notable Weather Events section below.
During July, the Northeast received 3.73 inches of rain, 86 percent of normal. State precipitation during July ranged from 27 percent of normal in Rhode Island to 122 percent of normal in West Virginia, with nine of the 12 states being drier than normal. This July ranked among the 20 driest Julys on record for four states: Rhode Island, second driest; Connecticut, 10th driest; New Jersey, 13th driest; and Massachusetts, 16th driest. However, West Virginia had its 17th wettest July on record. In addition, Newark, New Jersey, recorded its driest July on record with 0.55 inches of rain, beating the previous record of 0.84 inches from 1932. For more information on West Virginia rainfall, see the Notable Weather Events section below.
The U.S. Drought Monitor released on July 7 showed 2 percent of the Northeast in moderate drought and 12 percent as abnormally dry. Conditions deteriorated during July due to factors such as increasing precipitation deficits, reduced streamflow, below-normal groundwater levels, low soil moisture, above-normal temperatures, and impacts on water resources and agriculture. Severe drought was introduced in southern New England and moderate drought was introduced or expanded in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Abnormal dryness also expanded in almost every Northeast state. The U.S. Drought Monitor released on July 28 showed 3 percent of the Northeast in severe drought, 18 percent in moderate drought, and 28 percent as abnormally dry. Multiple waterways including the Ipswich and Parker rivers in northeastern Massachusetts observed record or near-record low flows. Water levels in reservoirs declined during the month. Some wells ran dry in Maine, western Vermont, central New York, and northern Pennsylvania, leading some farmers and an entire community to truck in water. Stonington, Maine, purchased and trucked in 64,000 gallons of water at a cost of around seven thousand dollars due to below-normal precipitation and increased number of seasonal residents and visitors. Communities such as Pembroke and Attleboro in Massachusetts and Vineland, New Jersey, had critically low water levels or difficulty meeting demand, leading to issues such as reduced water pressure and/or discolored water. Water restrictions were enacted, and in some locations enhanced, in multiple communities in New England, New York, and New Jersey. As of late July, more than 100 towns in Massachusetts and fifty-four New Hampshire water systems had mandatory water restrictions in place. Farmers relied heavily on irrigation, in some cases earlier and for longer periods than usual. Several growers noted increased workloads and costs due to irrigation demands. Irrigation ponds ran low in some spots in New York, New England, and western Pennsylvania. In some of these same areas, the dry conditions contributed to reduced peach yields, stunted corn, stressed soybeans, and small cucumbers. There were also concerns for reduced yields of second and third cuts of hay in several locations, causing a central New York farmer to supplement feed for his cattle. Crop losses were noted in northeastern Massachusetts. A western Pennsylvania farmer bought crop insurance for the first time due to dry conditions. Many lawns experienced drought stress, turning brown and crunchy. Dry grass and shrubs increased fuels available to fires, while below-normal or dry waterways meant limited water supplies to fight fires, particularly in Massachusetts which saw an uptick in drought-related fire activity and fires that burned deeper and were harder to control. Fire restrictions were implemented in several New Jersey counties. The dry conditions stressed trees, making them more prone to insects and disease.
- Notable Weather Events
This July featured an unusually large number of days with high temperatures at or above 90 degrees F and/or low temperatures at or above 70 degrees F, particularly during a heatwave from July 19 to 25. In fact, the number of days meeting those thresholds this July ranked among the 10 greatest for several sites. For instance, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, recorded 15 days with a low at or above 75 degrees F, tying as the greatest number for any July and month on record at the site. Washington, D.C., saw 29 days with a low at or above 70 degrees F, tying as the site’s third greatest number for July and any month on record. The consecutive number of days meeting those thresholds during July was also impressive. For instance, Newark, New Jersey, had five straight days with a high of at least 100 degrees F for the first time on record, while Atlantic City, New Jersey, recorded five consecutive days with a high of at least 95 degrees F, tying its longest streak on record. Similarly, Philadelphia and Kennedy Airport, New York, set/tied records for longest streak of days with a low at or above 75 degrees F with 10 days and 7 days, respectively. The intense heat resulted in at least two deaths. While many parts of the Northeast were drier than normal, with drought introduced and intensifying, parts of West Virginia were exceptionally wet. In fact, Beckley, Charleston, and Huntington, West Virginia, tied their greatest number of July days with measurable precipitation (at least 0.01 inches) with 20 days, 19 days, and 18 days, respectively. Meanwhile, Elkins, West Virginia, recorded 20 days with measurable precipitation, tying as the third greatest number for July. There were also multiple rounds of severe weather during July.
- On July 2, as much as 6 inches of rain fell across portions of Maryland, particularly central Maryland, causing flash flooding. Rapid rises were seen on waterways, including Gwynns Fall in Baltimore which rose 7.7 feet in 30 minutes. The flooding caused road closures, left numerous vehicles stranded, resulted in multiple water rescues, and inundated some homes, displacing or trapping residents.
- On July 5, an EF-1 tornado and straight-line winds of up to 70 mph in Prince Georges County, Maryland, caused extensive tree damage. A tornado of unknown strength due to brief time on the ground and limited damage was reported in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.
- From July 12 to 14, widespread wind damage occurred across the Northeast. Two tornadoes, an EF-1 and an EF-0, and straight-line winds of up to 105 mph caused extensive damage along a 23-mile long path in Hampshire County, West Virginia. Storm reports noted significant tree damage, snapped power poles, structural damage to farm buildings, and leveled cornfields. In addition, wind-driven large hail defoliated trees and damaged vehicles. An EF-1 tornado, straight-line winds of up to 90 mph, and large hail in Ulster County, New York, damaged trees and removed shingles. A swath of straight-line winds of up to 110 mph from Caroline County, Maryland, to Sussex County, Delaware, caused considerable tree and utility pole damage, resulted in some structural damage to outbuildings, and left one person injured. One person was killed and another was injured in Washington County, New York, and Berkshire County, Massachusetts, when straight-line winds of up to 85 mph snapped and uprooted trees. There were multiple additional instances of damaging straight-line winds of up to 90 mph in areas such as Prince Georges and Harford counties in Maryland; New Castle County in Delaware; Onondaga and Suffolk counties in New York; and Aroostook County in Maine with storm reports indicating significant tree damage, roof and siding damage, docks and a boat flipped, and small sheds destroyed. Localized flash flooding in southern West Virginia damaged more than 100 homes and businesses, with dozens being completely destroyed. Multiple roads and bridges were damaged, as well.
- Another round of severe weather, this time in the form of flash flooding, occurred from July 16 to 18 in portions of Maryland, West Virginia, and the New York City metro area. Floodwaters made roads impassable, stranding vehicles and resulting in water rescues. For instance, over four inches of rain fell in Westchester County, New York, where the Bronx River Parkway had as much as three feet of water under an overpass and was closed in both directions. In addition, EF-1 tornadoes in Addison County, Vermont, and Cheshire County, New Hampshire, snapped and uprooted hundreds of trees.
- A few days later, on July 21, straight-line winds of up to 90 mph in Franklin County, Massachusetts; Carroll County, New Hampshire; and Cumberland County, Maine, downed at least 700 trees, damaging structures and vehicles and resulting in a fatality.
- From July 23 to 24, multiple rounds of severe storms downed trees, killing one person and injuring another. The storms dropped tennis ball-sized hail in Aroostook County, Maine, making it the state’s largest hail since August 2015.
- From July 25 to 29, heavy rain in southern West Virginia resulted in localized flash flooding that inundated homes, washed out roads, caused mudslides, and led to a few rescues. The greatest rain totals ranged from 4 inches to 9 inches, with rainfall rates exceeding 2 inches per hour in a few locations. On July 28, an EF-2 tornado destroyed a barn, caused damage to a few buildings, and downed trees along a 10 mile-track in Wyoming County, New York. On the same day, an EF-0 tornado downed trees and took siding off barns in Litchfield County, Connecticut.
- For more information, please visit the Northeast Regional Climate Center Home Page.
Midwest Region (Information provided by the Midwest Regional Climate Center)
The July average temperature for the Midwest was 73.6 degrees F (23.1 degrees C), which was 0.8 degrees F (0.5 degrees C) above the 1991-2020 normal. Statewide average temperatures ranged from near normal in Michigan and Illinois to 2.3 degrees F (1.3 degrees C) above normal in Missouri. The warmest departures from normal were measured across the lower Midwest from Missouri to Kentucky, where numerous stations recorded a top ten warmest July. Murry, Kentucky, recorded the second warmest July over the past 94 years. Regionwide, 428 daily high temperature records were broken or tied (122 high maximum, 306 high minimum), and 139 daily low temperature records were broken or tied (28 low minimum, 111 low maximum).
July precipitation was 4.47 inches (114 mm) for the Midwest, which was 0.37 inches (10 mm) above normal, or 104 percent of normal. Precipitation was highest in the southeast and lowest in the west. Statewide precipitation totals ranged from 0.77 inches (20 mm) below normal in Iowa to 3.76 inches (96 mm) above normal in Kentucky. Kentucky had the second wettest July since 1895, with numerous cities reporting the wettest July on record. Buckhorn Lake, Kentucky, measured 17.51 inches (444.8 mm) for the month, exceeding the previous record by over 6 inches (152.4 mm). Other notable monthly high precipitation records include Washington, Indiana (14.86 inches/377.4 mm, records for 122 years) and St. Charles-Elm Point, Missouri (12.58 inches/320 mm, records for 120 years). Conversely, in Minnesota, the University of St. Paul recorded the driest July in 62 years, with 1.37 inches (34.8 mm). Marshfield, Missouri, had the 6th driest July since 1908 with 1.01 inches (25.7 mm) and a 22-day stretch with no measurable rainfall.
There were 437 daily high precipitation records broken or tied across the region in July, along with some shattered all-time records. Heavy rainfall in St. Louis, Missouri, on July 26 (see below), followed by several additional days of rain, resulted in a new 4-day rainfall record of 10.24 inches (260.1 mm) from July 25-July 28. From July 26-28, Hazard, Kentucky, received 10.91 inches (213 mm), setting a new 3-day rainfall record, with most falling in just a few hours on July 28 (see below).
Drought intensified across the Midwest throughout July. By month’s end, dryness and drought affected over 41 percent of the region. The greatest increases in intensity and spatial extent were in Missouri, where 50 percent of the state was in drought by late July, including 18 percent in extreme (D3) drought on the U.S. Drought Monitor map. Total corn crop loss was reported in several southwest Missouri counties, along with feed shortages for livestock and declining surface water supplies. Drought lingered in western Iowa and intensified in southern Minnesota, eastern Michigan, central Illinois, and western Kentucky in July. Drought improved and was eliminated from eastern Kentucky and southern Indiana.
- Notable Weather
Flash Flooding in St. Louis on July 26: A cluster of training thunderstorms developed over the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area during the late evening hours on July 25 and persisted through the early afternoon on July 26. Continuous heavy rainfall, with rates periodically exceeding 2 inches (50.8 mm) per hour, soaked an area from northern Montgomery County (Missouri) to St. Clair County (Illinois) with 8-12 inches (203-305 mm) of water based on radar estimates and CoCoRaHS reports. The St. Louis-Lambert International Airport recorded a one-day total rainfall of 8.64 inches (219.5 mm), making it the highest single-day rainfall measurement in the St. Louis area since record-keeping began in 1874. Flash flooding ensued, leading to numerous swift water rescues, flooded homes, closed interstate highways, and at least two fatalities.
Flash Flooding in Eastern Kentucky on July 28: Several large clusters of training thunderstorms passed over already-soaked ground in eastern Kentucky during the overnight hours from July 27 into July 28. Radar estimates indicate 5-10 inches (127-254 mm) of rain fell across a multi-county region from Laurel County eastward to Knott County on July 28. Rainfall rates, at times, exceeded 4 inches (101.6 mm) per hour. Hazard, Kentucky, set a new all-time single-day rainfall record with 8.55 inches (217.2 mm), surpassing the previous record by 3.38 inches (212.9 mm). Widespread catastrophic flash flooding resulted in over 1,300 people being rescued by helicopter and boat, and massive property and infrastructure damage occurred. There were 37 confirmed fatalities (as of Aug 3) across five counties (Breathitt-8, Clay-2, Knott-17, Letcher-3, and Perry-7).
- Severe Weather
Regionwide, there were 875 preliminary storm reports (tornado, wind, and hail), which is well below the 2000-2021 median of 1,090 reports. There were about half as many tornadoes as typically seen in July and about 42 percent of median hail reports. Wind report counts were near the median.
- For further details on the weather and climate events in the Midwest, see the weekly and monthly reports at the Midwest Climate Watch page.
Southeast Region (Information provided by the Southeast Regional Climate Center)
Temperatures across the Southeast region for the month of July were slightly above normal, up to 2 degrees F (1.1 degrees C), in most areas. Average daily maximum temperatures ranged from 0.8 degrees F (0.4 degrees C) above normal at Cape Florida (1892 – 2022) to 5 degrees F (2.8 degrees C) above normal in Jacksonville Beach, Florida (1944 – 2022) (1st warmest). Average daily minimum temperatures ranged from 0.9 degrees F (0.5 degrees C) above normal in Aibonito, Puerto Rico (1906 – 2022) to 5.9 degrees F (3.3 degrees C) above normal in Abingdon, Virginia (1969 – 2022) (1st warmest).
Several weather stations reported a record-breaking number of days at or above 95 degrees F (35 degrees C) for July, including Huntsville International Airport (1937 – 2022) (21 days) and Plant City, Florida (1892 – 2022) (27 days). Additionally, the record for the greatest number of July days with maximum temperatures equal to or warmer than 90 degrees F (32 degrees C) was tied in Athens, Alabama (1941 – 2022) (26 days), while Greenville, South Carolina (1893 – 2022) and Raleigh-Durham International Airport (1887 – 2022) tied their records for second most days above this threshold, with 29 and 27 days, respectively. Raleigh-Durham International Airport (1887 – 2022) also set a record high 7-day mean dew point temperature of 77.9 degrees F (25.5 degrees C) for the period of July 25th – July 31st.
The warmest weather of the month occurred July 3rd through July 8th in association with a strengthening upper-level ridge across much of the region. By July 10th, a pronounced upper-level trough came through the region, bringing record breaking cold temperatures to Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia, with numerous stations setting a new record for coldest daily maximum temperatures on July 10th – July 11th. Concord, North Carolina (1891 – 2022) recorded a maximum temperature of 70 degrees F (21 degrees C) on July 10th, 22 degrees F (12 degrees C) below normal, which was the coldest daily maximum temperature ever recorded for that date.
Above normal precipitation was recorded across the majority of the region, except in northwest Alabama, central-western Georgia, central Virginia, and central and southern Florida. Total precipitation across the region for July ranged from 5.3 inches (135 mm) below normal in Fort Pierce, Florida (1901 – 2022) (3rd driest) where 0.86 inches (22 mm) was observed to 12.23 inches (311 mm) above normal in Wise, Virginia (1955 – 2022) (1st wettest), where 18 inches (457 mm) was observed. Additionally, numerous stations recorded their wettest July on record, including Newport, North Carolina with 16.57 inches (421 mm) (1996 – 2022), Lebanon, Virginia with 11.12 inches (283 mm) (1989 – 2022), and Hastings, Florida with 10.8 inches (274 mm) (1978 – 2022).
On July 7th, Augusta Regional Airport in Georgia (1947 – 2022) recorded the highest 1-hour rainfall on record at 4.76 inches (121 mm). Furthermore, a new record was set for the number of July days with measurable precipitation at Sterling-Dulles Airport, Virginia (1962 – 2022) (16 days). In Hickory, North Carolina (1954 – 2002) and Cleveland, North Carolina (1954 – 2022), the number of days with measurable precipitation tied all-time records, with 17 and 21 days, respectively. Exceptionally heavy rain occurred in far southwestern Virginia on July 12th, causing severe flooding, with 2 – 5 inches (51 – 127 mm) of rain observed in a matter of hours. A weather station in Jewell Ridge, Virginia recorded 5.14 inches (131 mm) in 3 hours, which has a 1000-year recurrence interval.
Drought conditions improved over the majority of the Southeast in July, particularly in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The pockets of severe drought (D2) that existed in these three states at the beginning of July were eliminated by the end of the month. The percentage area without drought increased across the region during the month, with the largest increases in South Carolina (74%), North Carolina (47%), and Georgia (46%). For the region overall, the percentage area without drought increased to 70% by July 26th, relative to 37% on July 5th. Abnormally dry (D0) conditions, however, covered 30% of the region at the end of July.
Drought conditions in south-central Virginia persisted, with abnormally dry (D0) conditions and moderate drought (D1). Across Florida, abnormally dry (D0) conditions in the panhandle were alleviated, but abnormally dry (D0) conditions remained in pockets of the eastern peninsula. In NW Alabama, abnormally dry (D0) and moderate drought (D1) conditions persisted. In Puerto Rico, drought conditions did not change much over the course of July, with 85% of the island having abnormally dry (D0) conditions and 48% having moderate drought (D1). Similarly, the drought conditions in the Virgin Islands remained the same, with extreme drought (D3) conditions occurring everywhere except Saint Thomas, which had severe drought (D2) conditions.
Precipitation brought widespread increases in topsoil and subsoil moisture levels. The areal extent of topsoil with moisture levels suitable for crop growth increased in every state of the region (except Florida), with the largest increases occurring in Georgia (62% increase) and North Carolina (56% increase).
Increased precipitation over much of the region provided relief to farmers after a dry June. In North Carolina, dry weather during June limited the growth of watermelon crop, but recent rain and heat has improved the outlook of watermelon production. Likewise, the peanut crop in Georgia has improved with recent rains, although disease pressure with the associated increases in humidity has become significant. The cotton crop in Georgia continues to progress well. Although corn stalks have not been growing as well across the region, recent rains have improved the outlook, with farmers in Virginia expecting a plentiful harvest of sweet corn. Furthermore, extreme heat in Alabama greatly impacted livestock, which have gained less weight than normal as they seek more shade and as a result of lower quality pasture grass due to the heat and dryness.
- Severe Weather
There were 778 reports of severe weather across the Southeast during July, which is 24% more than the median monthly frequency of 625 reports during 2000 – 2020. There were only 3 confirmed tornadoes reported for the month (2 EF-0, 1 EF-1), 70 percent below the monthly average of 10. The strongest tornado was in Grayson County, Virginia and was rated an EF-1 with maximum winds of 95 mph (43 m/s) on July 5th. This tornado had a path length of 2.2 miles (3.5 km) and a maximum path width of 150 yards. There were no fatalities. There were 26 reports of hail for the month, 57% less than the median monthly frequency of 61 reports, with the largest being golf ball-sized (1.75 inches) reported in three locations: Pleasant Grove, North Carolina on July 6th, Alleghany, Virginia on July 12th, and Pantops, Virginia on July 25th.
There were 749 wind reports in July, which was 35 percent above average (554 reports). A severe thunderstorm in Charleston, South Carolina produced wind speeds of 50 – 60 mph (22 – 27 m/s) and gusts up to 80 mph (36 m/s), with trees reported down across roads and power lines. Winds from a severe thunderstorm in Birmingham, Alabama on July 21st blew down several trees, with one tree falling through a home, resulting in two fatalities and three people injured. There were four fatalities due to rip currents, with two in Florida, and one each in North Carolina and Puerto Rico. There were five lightning fatalities in the Southeast region in July and only two fatalities across the remainder of the country. Two of these occurred in Georgia, one of which was during an army training exercise. Two victims were engaging in outdoor leisure (one in Alabama and one in North Carolina) and one fatality was in Florida, where the victim was doing lawn care near a tree.
- 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season
Tropical Storm Colin formed on the morning of July 2nd slightly inland of the South Carolina Coast to the NE of Charleston. The storm developed rather unexpectedly, as convection deepened around a low pressure that formed along a surface trough offshore of South Carolina. Maximum sustained winds were 40 mph (18 m/s), and the minimum central pressure was 1011 mb (29.86 inHg). The storm moved to the NE around 7 – 8 mph (6 – 7 knots) along the South Carolina and North Carolina coast, becoming a tropical depression along the coast of North Carolina at 11 PM EDT on July 2nd. The remnants of Tropical Storm Colin dissipated over eastern North Carolina at 5 AM EDT July 3rd. There were numerous reports of rainfall in excess of 4 inches (102 mm) in the Charleston, South Carolina area as a result from the storm, with one CoCoRaHS observer on Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina recording 7.1 inches (180 mm) of rainfall on July 2nd. Wilmington International Airport in North Carolina recorded 2.29 inches (58 mm) of rain on July 2nd – July 3rd. The storm also caused rough surf and rip currents along the North Carolina coast.
- For more information, please visit the Southeast Regional Climate Center Home Page.
High Plains Region (Information provided by the High Plains Regional Climate Center)
The hot and dry conditions that started at the end of June carried over into July. Temperatures were well above normal for much of the month before finally cooling off. While precipitation was spotty, the amounts were plentiful in areas that received it.
The ongoing drought has taken its toll on agricultural conditions, particularly in Kansas and Nebraska. Corn was rated 33 percent and 22 percent poor to very poor, respectively. Farmers in western Kansas have started filing for crop insurance due to expected poor yields. Sorghum is a fairly drought-resistant crop, however, over 30 percent is rated poor to very poor in both Kansas and Nebraska. Pasture and rangelands are also struggling, with over 30 percent rated very poor in both states. With a lack of feed, there has been a surge in cattle sell-offs.
Temperatures this month were excruciatingly hot, with several locations in the southern part of the region breaking all-time average daily temperature records. In Colorado, Castle Rock and Fort Collins surpassed their records on the 19th, while Fort Morgan did so on the 2nd. Scottsbluff, Nebraska broke its record on the 18th and Dodge City had an average temperature of 94.5 degrees on the 15th to tie the record.
The trend of above-normal temperatures continued into July. Much of the region experienced temperatures 2 to 4 degrees F above normal. Temperatures were scorching hot throughout most of July, with relief finally coming towards the end of the month.
Once again, western Kansas experienced the warmest temperatures throughout the region. Many days were well above 100 degrees, with a station near Ashland recording 20 days above 100 degrees F. In central South Dakota, temperatures reached an incredible 114 degrees F on the 18th.
Along the front range of the Rockies, Denver recorded its 2nd warmest July and the 2nd warmest month on record. The average temperature in July was 78 degrees F. Nearby Cheyenne, Wyoming, observed their 4th warmest July on record with an average temperature of 73.4 degrees F. This also ranked as the 4th warmest month on record.
Precipitation across the region was sporadic this month, however, locations that did receive rainfall in July were well above-normal. Drought-afflicted areas such as southwestern Nebraska and western Kansas continued to be below normal.
Precipitation was plentiful in the northern parts of the region, with several locations ranking in the top 10 wettest Julys. Huron, South Dakota, received 6.52 inches and ranked as 2nd wettest, while Dickinson, North Dakota, recorded 4.39 inches of precipitation and placed 4th. The southwest monsoon brought much-needed precipitation, with 5.35 inches observed in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and ranked 5th wettest.
It was a relatively quiet month for severe storms for the region, aside from another derecho in South Dakota on the 5th of July. Much of the precipitation in Huron occurred from this storm, with 5 inches reported by a nearby CoCoRaHS observer. Notable impacts included a 99-mph wind gust near Howard and the presence of ominous green skies over Sioux Falls.
Warm and dry conditions throughout much of the month led to the intensification of drought conditions in the southern part of the region. Overall, there was a 3 percent increase in moderate to exceptional (D1-D4) drought in July. North Dakota continues to remain drought-free.
Numerous days of extreme heat and a lack of precipitation led to a significant increase in drought conditions across western Kansas. Most notably, D4 increased 7 percent by the end of July and 25 percent of the state is experiencing extreme to exceptional (D3-D4) drought. Nebraska and Wyoming also experienced intensification, with D3 conditions increasing 5 and 3 percent, respectively. Drought conditions did improve in the southwestern parts of Colorado, however, they deteriorated along the Front Range. Elsewhere in the region, other improvements and degradation were observed.
- For more information, please visit the High Plains Regional Climate Center Home Page.
Southern Region (Information provided by the Southern Regional Climate Center)
Texas experienced its hottest July on record. It was its second hottest month overall, behind only August 2011, and fifth driest.
July 2022 was the second hottest July on record across the Southern Region, 0.3 F below July 2011. Leading the way was Texas, warmest on record at 87.3 F. All other states in the Southern Region were top ten warmest: Louisiana fifth warmest at 83.9 F, Oklahoma fifth warmest at 86.6 F, Arkansas seventh warmest at 84.1 F, Tennessee eighth warmest at 80.2 F, and Mississippi ninth warmest at 82.9 F. The stations having their warmest July on record were primarily in central Texas but extended from Lubbock to Galveston, as well as a few other isolated locations. In Oklahoma, every station except for one RAWS station reached at least 105 F. The hottest temperature was 115 F in Wichita Falls and a few surrounding stations in Texas and Oklahoma on July 19 or 20. Gage, Oklahoma, set its all-time record on July 19 with 114 F, the period of record there is 118 years. Also setting all-time records on July 19 or 20 were Follett, Texas, and Clinton, Oklahoma. Fourteen other stations in Texas and Oklahoma set maximum temperature records for July. The lowest temperature was recorded at Mt Leconte, Tennessee, with 43 F; the lowest non-mountain station was Milan, Tennessee at 54 F. No stations in the region set records for lowest temperature recorded in July. Regionwide, 428 daily maximum temperature records were broken, as were 763 daily highest minimum temperature records.
Precipitation in the Southern Region was dry toward the west and wet toward the east. Texas had its fifth driest July on record at 0.95 inches and Oklahoma had its 24th driest July on record at 1.52 inches. At the other end of the geographical and precipitation spectra, Tennessee had its 32nd wettest July on record at 5.37 inches. The largest single-day total was 11.36 inches on July 3 at Moro Bay State Park in Arkansas. Only Oklahoma failed to have at least one station with more than 10 inches of precipitation for the month. The highest values by state were Mt Leconte, Tennessee at 18.16 inches, Moro Bay State Park, Arkansas at 15.53 inches, Watson, Louisiana at 14.39 inches, Lucedale, Mississippi at 13.60 inches, and Port Arthur, Texas at 13.29 inches. Conversely, 176 stations in Texas reported no measurable precipitation for the month.
Dry conditions continued to expand across the region. Between June 28 and August 2, the proportion of the region that was at least abnormally dry increased from 82% to 90% and the drought area expanded from 54% to 80%. Texas in particular was fairly hard hit, with 62% of the state in extreme or worse drought. Oklahoma and Arkansas saw rapid degradations, sometimes referred to as a flash drought. Oklahoma went from 15% severe or worse drought on June 28 to 92% severe or worse drought on August 2, and Arkansas went from 0% severe or worse to 49% severe or worse. Livestock sales in Texas and Oklahoma were much larger than usual, wildfires were numerous, agricultural yields were down, and in Texas many water suppliers were restricting water use. The situation was particularly severe in South Texas, where the Falcon Reservoir along the Rio Grande has a capacity of over 2.6 million acre feet but was dropping below 10% of capacity. The prospect loomed of negative allocations, when the watermaster takes away the rights to water in the reservoir that had already been allocated to certain users.
- Notable Weather
There were two tornadoes in the Southern Region during July, an EF1 tornado just southeast of Tulsa, Oklahoma on July 28 that caused no injuries or fatalities and an EF0 tornado near Port Arthur, Texas on July 22 that caused no damage. Damaging hail was reported in all states; of the 49 reports, Tennessee had 24 and Arkansas had 15. The largest hailstone, from Chapel Hill, Tennessee on the evening of July 12, was 4 inches long. Severe winds were widespread, with 115 reports in Tennessee, 81 in Texas, 68 in Mississippi, 48 in Oklahoma, 44 in Arkansas, and 13 in Louisiana. There were three injuries, two in Texas and one in Mississippi, caused by trees falling onto mobile homes on July 13.
- For more information, please visit the Southern Regional Climate Center Home Page.
Western Region (Information provided by the Western Region Climate Center)
The first week of July saw an anomalously strong area of low pressure off the West coast with below normal temperatures in California and western Nevada and even some rare July precipitation for parts of central-coastal California. A more summer like pattern returned for the rest of the month with the Four Corners high establishing and the Southwest monsoon becoming more active bringing above normal precipitation to parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and southern Nevada. Temperatures were above normal for nearly the entire West except for parts of coastal California and Oregon.
Temperatures were well above normal across the West even in parts of the Southwest that saw many days with cloud cover and rainfall from the monsoon. The northern Great Basin and northern Rockies saw the greatest anomalies with temperature departures 4 to 6 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Salt Lake City, Utah recorded its hottest July since records began in 1928 at 87.3 degrees Fahrenheit (30.7 degrees Celsius), +6.2 degrees Fahrenheit (+3.4 degrees Celsius) above normal. This breaks the old record at Salt Lake City set just last year in 2021 of 85.7 degrees Fahrenheit (29.8 degrees Celsius). A heat wave occurred in the Pacific Northwest the last week of July that helped to put many locations in the top five warmest on record. Seattle, Washington saw its fourth warmest July at 69.2 degrees Fahrenheit (20.7 degrees Celsius), +2.1 degrees Fahrenheit (+1.2 degrees Celsius) above normal, Portland, Oregon saw its fourth warmest at 73.7 degrees Fahrenheit (23.2 degrees Celsius), +3.5 degrees Fahrenheit (+2 degrees Celsius) above normal, and Salem, Oregon logged its third warmest at 73 degrees Fahrenheit (22.8 degrees Celsius), +3.7 degrees Fahrenheit (+2.1 degrees Celsius) above normal. Abundant cloud cover and fog helped to moderate temperatures along the central and north coast of California where temperatures near-to-slightly below normal.
The highest precipitation totals for the month were found in Arizona and New Mexico as the Southwest monsoon flow became well established. Precipitation was above normal for most of Arizona, northwest New Mexico, southern Utah, and southern Nevada. The spotty nature of the convective monsoon rains lefts some places very wet with nearby locations very dry. Coronado National Memorial, near the southern border of Arizona, received 8.22 inches (207.9 millimeters) of precipitation (180 percent of normal) making it the fourth wettest July on record. Not far to the northeast in western New Mexico, Redrock missed out logging only 0.61 inches (15.5 millimeters) at 23 percent of normal for the ninth driest July on record. The northern coast of California saw above normal precipitation with Eureka receiving 0.76 inches (19.3 millimeters), 422 percent of normal, coming in as the seventh wettest since records began in 1887. Zero precipitation was recorded for the month for most of California outside of the northern coast as well as northwest Nevada and the northern Great Basin in Oregon and Idaho.
According to the US Drought Monitor at the end of July, 71 percent of the West was in drought with 29 percent of the West in extreme (D3) or exceptional (D4) drought. Drought reductions of up to two categories were found in Arizona, New Mexico, and Montana. Small areas of one category drought expansion were found in California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.
- Alaska Summary
Rainfall in Alaska was near to above normal in most places except for parts of the eastern Interior and lower Alaska Peninsula. Southcentral Alaska saw more than 200 percent of normal rainfall which led to elimination of drought in the region. Anchorage logged 4.26 inches (108.2 millimeters), 234 percent of normal, for the fifth wettest on record and Talkeetna received 6.34 inches (161 millimeters), 221 percent of normal, also the fifth wettest. Fairbanks was in a region of below normal precipitation with 0.51 inches (13 millimeters), 23 percent of normal, making it the fourth driest on record. Temperatures were near normal for much of the state due to a warm start to the month followed by cooler conditions. Southeast Alaska was slightly warmer than normal with western and northern Alaska slightly cooler than normal.
- Hawaii Summary
Dry conditions prevailed across all of Hawaii during July. Lihue saw its eighth driest July with 0.92 inches (23.4 millimeters), 53 percent of normal, Kahului logged 0.09 inches (2.3 millimeters) for 17 percent of normal and the 11th driest on record, and Hilo received 5.39 inches (136.9 millimeters) for 58 percent of normal and the 12th driest on record. According to the US Drought Monitor 40 percent of Hawaii was in drought at the end of July with the worst conditions found on Maui where a small area of exceptional drought (D4) was present.
- Significant Events for July 2022
California campground to close for summer due to drought: Portola Redwood State Park campground, just west of San Jose, California, will be closing in early August for the rest of the summer due to low streamflows in Peters Creek, the main water source for the campground. Similar closures were put into place in the recent drought years of 2014, 2015, and 2021.
- For more information, please go to the Western Regional Climate Center Home Page.