- The contiguous U.S. average temperature during August was 74.6°F, 2.5°F above the 20th century average, ranking eighth warmest in the 128-year record.
- Generally, temperatures were above average to record-warm across much of the U.S.
- For the month of August, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire ranked warmest on record. In addition to this record warmth, near-record temperatures were widespread in the West and other parts of the Northeast. California had its second warmest August, with five additional states experiencing a top-five warmest August on record.
- The contiguous U.S. average maximum (daytime) temperature during August was 86.7°F, 1.7°F above the 20th century average, ranking in the warmest third of the record. Above-average to record-warm maximum temperatures were observed across much of the West, southern Plains, Southeast and Northeast. Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island ranked warmest on record for daytime temperatures. Daytime temperatures were near to or below average arcoss portions of the Upper Mississippi Valley, Upper Midwest, Ohio Valley and Southeast.
- The contiguous U.S. average minimum (nighttime) temperature during August was 62.3°F, 3.2°F above the 20th century average, ranking warmest on record for the second month in a row. Minimum temperatures were above average to record warm across most of the Lower 48. California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Idaho each ranked warmest on record for August nighttime temperatures.
- The Alaska statewide August temperature was 50.1°F, 0.6°F above the long-term average. This ranked among the middle third of the 98-year period of record for the state. Temperatures were above average across much of eastern Alaska, Panhandle region, Kodiak Island and portions of the Kenai Peninsula. Temperatures were below average across portions of northwest Alaska.
- Based on data received on September 13, there were 6,234 record warm daily high (1,948) and low (4,286) temperature records during August, which is nearly 5 times the 1,296 record cold daily high (1105) and low (191) temperature records.
- Based on NOAA's Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index (REDTI), the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand during August was 202 percent of average and the fourth-highest value in the 128-year period of record.
- The August precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 3.04 inches, 0.42 inch above average, ranking in the wettest third of the historical record.
- Precipitation was above average across parts of the Midwest, West, southern Mississippi Valley and Plains. Precipitation was below average across portions of the central and northern Plains, Northwest and parts of the northern Atlantic coastline.
- Record rainfall events during the month of August contributed substantially to the record-wet August for Mississippi as well as the third-wettest August for Nevada and Louisiana. Conversely, a lack of precipitation received during the month resulted in Nebraska ranking second driest while Kansas had its seventh-driest August on record.
- The Southwest monsoon remained active across Arizona and New Mexico with below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation. Several surges of monsoonal moisture pushed north and westward into the deserts of eastern California and western Nevada, bringing heavy rainfall and flash flooding.
- Alaska had the 10th-wettest August in the 98-year record. Much of the state was wetter than average, with portions of eastern Alaska and the lower Panhandle experiencing near- to below-average conditions during the month. Homer recorded its wettest August and Anchorage ranked third-wettest on record.
- According to the August 30 U.S. Drought Monitor, about 45.5 percent of the contiguous United States was in drought, down about 5.9 percent from the beginning of August. Drought conditions expanded or intensified across portions of the Northeast, central and northern Plains, Northwest and Hawaii. Drought contracted or was eliminated across portions of the Southwest, southern Plains, central to lower Mississippi Valley, Great Lakes, parts of the Northeast and Puerto Rico. Drought covered 93.95% of the state of Hawaii – the largest extent ever recorded for that state in the USDM period of record.
Other Notable Events
- The National Weather Service deemed heavy rainfall episodes in southern Illinois, Death Valley National Park, and Dallas, Texas as 1,000-year events. While extensive flooding occurred with the heavy rain, some of these events helped to reduce the severity of the drought across portions of the West and southern Plains.
- On August 2, parts of southern Illinois were drenched by 8 to 12 inches of rain in a 12-hour period. An area south of Newton, Illinois, recorded 14 inches of rainfall over the same period.
- On August 5, Death Valley National Park received 1.70 inches of rain, an unprecedented amount of rainfall for the area, resulting in substantial flooding and damage, and trapping visitors and staff members. This event broke the previous all-time 24-hour rainfall record of 1.47 inches recorded on April 15, 1988.
- On August 22, parts of Dallas, Texas saw more than 13 inches of rainfall within 12 hours. The governor declared a disaster for 23 Texas counties, including Dallas, after storms caused damage and devastating flash flooding.
- Also near the end of August, stations in the Pacific Northwest reported high temperatures 10-20°F above average, setting several daily and all-time records.
- On August 2, the United Nations Environment Programme reported that Lake Powell and Lake Mead are at historically low levels and risk falling to "dead pool" status, where water level in the dams was so low it could no longer flow downstream and power the hydroelectric power stations. The reservoirs provide hydroelectric power and water for Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Wyoming, and Colorado, as well as part of Mexico.
- On August 8, more than 2 inches of rain fell in Denver, Colorado in less than 30 minutes flooding parts of the city and major highways.
- On August 20, Moab, Utah received between 1 to 1.5 inches of rain in a 20-minute span leading to significant flash flooding. The event was deemed a 100-year flood.
- On September 1, the Great Salt Lake, the largest saltwater lake in the Americas and eighth largest in the world, recorded its lowest water level since records began in 1847.
- August had no tropical storm activity in the North Atlantic basin, with 2022 becoming only the third year, along with 1961 and 1997, since 1950 to have no activity during the month.
- 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 6 million acres burned from January 1 through August 31, 2022.
- The meteorological summer (June-August) average temperature for the Lower 48 was 73.9°F, 2.5°F above average, ranking as the third-warmest summer on record.
- Summer temperatures were above average across most of the contiguous United States. Texas, Massachusetts and Rhode Island ranked second warmest while seventeen additional states across the West, South and Northeast ranked among their warmest 10 summer seasons on record.
- The Alaska summer temperature was 52.1°F, 1.6°F above the long-term average, ranking in the warmest third of the record for the state. Temperatures were above average across most of the state with the Northwest and areas along the Arctic near average for the season.
- The contiguous U.S. average maximum (daytime) temperature during June-August was 86.6°F, 2.2°F above the 20th century average, ranking as the seventh warmest on record. Above-average daytime temperatures were observed across much of the contiguous U.S. Temperatures were near to or below average across portions of the Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest.
- The contiguous U.S. average minimum (nighttime) temperature during June-August was 61.2°F, 2.8°F above the 20th century average, ranking as the second warmest on record. Nighttime temperatures were above average across most of the Lower 48. Temperatures were near average in pockets across the Northeast and northern Mississippi Valley.
- Based on REDTI, the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand during the summer season was 233 percent of average and the fourth-highest value on record.
- The U.S. summer precipitation total was 8.18 inches, 0.14 inch below average, ranking in the middle third of the June-August record.
- Precipitation was above average along the West Coast, much of the Southwest, Midwest, lower Mississippi Valley and northern New England for the season. Precipitation during June-August was below average across the Great Plains, southern New England, and other portions of the East Coast. Arizona ranked seventh wettest while Nebraska ranked third driest for the summer season.
- For the summer season, precipitation ranked in the wettest third of the record for Alaska with wetter-than-average conditions observed in the North Slope, West Coast and southern portions of the state;parts of the Northeast interior drier than average for the season.
The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI) for the summer season was 22 percent above average, ranking in the upper third of the 113-year period of record. There were elevated extremes in warm maximum temperatures, warm minimum temperatures and the spatial extent of dry PDSI. The USCEI is an index that tracks extremes (falling 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 South, Southwest, Southeast, Northern Rockies and Plains, Northeast and West regions had a CEI value that ranked in the top one-third of the historical record for the season. All of these regions experienced elevated extremes in warm minimum temperatures during the season. The Northern Rockies and Plains, South, Southwest and West also experienced elevated extremes in dry PDSI. In contrast, extremes across the Upper Midwest were 63% below average ranking as their 10th lowest season on record.
- For the January-August period, the average contiguous U.S. temperature was 55.4°F, 1.5°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. Florida ranked fourth warmest and California ranked fifth 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-August was 67.9°F, 1.9°F above the 20th century average, ranking tenth warmest in the historical record. Temperatures were above average across all of the Lower 48 with the exception of portions of the Upper Midwest. California ranked fourth warmest for daytime temperatures during January-August.
- The contiguous U.S. average minimum (nighttime) temperature during this eight-month period was 42.9°F, 1.2°F above the 20th century average, ranking in the warmest third of the record. Nighttime temperatures were above average across much of the West, southern Plains and eastern U.S. Florida ranked fifth warmest for nighttime temperatures.
- The Alaska January-August temperature was 31.2°F, 2.5°F above the long-term average, ranking in the warmest third of the record for the state. Above-average temperatures were observed across much of the state with portions of the North Slope, West Coast and eastern interior regions experiencing near-average conditions for this eight-month period.
- Based on REDTI, the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand during January-August was 112 percent of average and was the 53rd-highest value on record.
- The January-August precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 19.68 inches, 1.03 inches below average, ranking in the driest third of the historical record.
- Precipitation was above average across parts of the northern Plains, Midwest, and much of the southern Mississippi, Tennessee and Ohio valleys.
- Precipitation was below average across much of the West, central and southern Plains and parts of the Northeast during the January-August period. California ranked driest on record while Nebraska ranked fifth driest and Nevada ranked seventh driest for this eight-month period.
- The January-August precipitation ranked 10th-wettest on record for Alaska, with above average precipitation observed across all but the central and northeast Interior and Aleutian regions.
- The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI) for the year-to-date period was 19 percent above average and ranked in the highest one-third of the 113-year period of record. Extremes in warm maximum temperatures, warm minimum 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, Southwest, Southeast and South ranked above average for this year-to-date period. Elevated regional extremes were due primarily to large areas of warm maximum temperatures and dry PDSI. The Southwest and West also experienced warm minimum temperatures. Conversely, extremes across the Upper Midwest were nearly 50 percent below average with virtually no extremes in temperatures or dry PDSI observed.
- According to the August 31 One-Month Outlook from the Climate Prediction Center, from the Climate Prediction Center, much of the West to the Midwest and from the Midwest to the East Coast, as well as southeast Alaska, have the greatest chance of receiving above-normal temperatures in September, whereas the greatest chance for below-normal temperatures is projected to occur across portions of the southern Plains. Portions of the Southwest, Gulf Coast, Southeast and the Panhandle of 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 Northwest to the Great Lakes and into New England. Drought is likely to persist across much of the West, central Plains, and Hawaii with some improvement and/or drought removal likely from the Southwest to the southern Plains, as well as across portions of Puerto Rico. Drought development is likely across small areas of the central and northern Plains, portions of the Mid-Atlantic and Hawaii.
- According to the One-Month Outlook issued on September 1 from the National Interagency Fire Center, Hawaii and portions of the Northwest, Oklahoma and the Northeast have above normal significant wildland fire potential during September.
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)
The Northeast had its fifth hottest August since records began in 1895 with an average temperature of 71.1 degrees F, 2.4 degrees F above normal. For the 12 Northeast states, August average temperatures ranged from 0.5 degrees F above normal in West Virginia to 4.4 degrees F above normal in Massachusetts. This August was the hottest August on record for Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. It ranked among the 20 hottest Augusts on record for Delaware and Vermont, third hottest; Maine, fourth hottest; Maryland and New York, eighth hottest; and Pennsylvania, 18th hottest. This August was also the hottest August on record for eight major climate sites: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Worcester, Massachusetts; Hartford, Connecticut; Albany and Islip, New York; Newark, New Jersey; Concord, New Hampshire; and Providence, Rhode Island. The Northeast had its 10th hottest summer in 128 years of records with an average temperature of 69.2 degrees F, 1.1 degrees F above normal. Summer average temperatures for the 12 Northeast states ranged from 0.4 degrees F above normal in West Virginia to 2.1 degrees F above normal in Massachusetts. Summer 2022 ranked among the 20 hottest on record for eleven states: Massachusetts and Rhode Island, second hottest; Connecticut and New Jersey, third hottest; New Hampshire, fourth hottest; Delaware, seventh hottest; Maine, 10th hottest; Maryland and Vermont, 11th hottest; Pennsylvania, 15th hottest; and New York, 19th hottest. This summer tied the summer of 1993 as the hottest on record at Newark, New Jersey, with an average temperature of 79.2 degrees F. Several other noteworthy records were set and tied during August and summer. For more information, see the Notable Weather Events section below.
The Northeast received 4.01 inches of precipitation, 100 percent of normal, during August. August precipitation for the 12 Northeast states ranged from 57 percent of normal in New Jersey to 144 percent of normal in West Virginia, with 10 states landing on the dry side of normal. This August was the 13th wettest since 1895 for Maine and West Virginia. For summer, the Northeast picked up 11.40 inches of precipitation, 89 percent of normal. Summer precipitation for the 12 Northeast states ranged from 59 percent of normal in New Jersey to 122 percent of normal in West Virginia, with 10 states being drier than normal. Summer 2022 ranked among the 20 driest on record for New Jersey, sixth driest; Massachusetts, 10th driest; and Connecticut, 14th driest; however, West Virginia had its 10th wettest summer. In fact, Charleston, West Virginia, experienced its wettest summer on record with 24.43 inches of rain, surpassing the previous record of 23.13 inches from 1958. For more information on West Virginia rainfall, see the Notable Weather Events section below.
The U.S. Drought Monitor released on August 4 showed 5 percent of the Northeast in severe drought, 18 percent in moderate drought, and 26 percent as abnormally dry. Conditions deteriorated during August due to factors such as increasing precipitation deficits, low streamflow, below-normal groundwater levels, little soil moisture, above-normal temperatures, and impacts on water resources, wildfires, and agriculture. Extreme drought was introduced in southern New England, while severe drought expanded or was introduced in New England, southeastern New York, and New Jersey. Moderate drought and abnormal dryness also expanded in many parts of the Northeast. The main exceptions were West Virginia, western Maryland, and portions of Maine which received enough rainfall to help alleviate dryness. The U.S. Drought Monitor released on September 1 showed 2 percent of the Northeast in extreme drought, 9 percent in severe drought, 13 percent in moderate drought, and 35 percent as abnormally dry. There were a multitude of impacts from the drought conditions. Multiple waterways including several in southern New Hampshire, southern New England, central Pennsylvania, and New Jersey observed record or near-record low streamflows. Less power was generated along a section of the Connecticut River due to reduced streamflow. Low water levels and above-normal temperatures on some waterways in New England stressed fish, affected recreational activities, and contributed to increased algae growth. As of August 29, 83 wells had run dry in Maine, where well drilling companies saw increased business. New Hampshire officials encouraged homeowners relying on well water to test their water quality as lower-than-normal water levels in wells could lead to an increased concentration of undesirable minerals. Water restrictions continued, and in some locations were enhanced, in numerous communities in New England and several in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. As of September 2, 104 New Hampshire water systems and nine municipalities had water restrictions in place, with most being mandatory. In an effort to conserve water, some Rhode Island state parks shut off their showers. Dry grass and shrubs increased fuels available to fires, with an enhanced fire risk and an uptick in fires in multiple states. For instance, Massachusetts saw over 100 wildfires in August while Maine saw more than 50 wildfires. In addition, fires burned deeper and were more difficult to extinguish. Drought conditions could affect the timing of fall foliage. Farmers continued to rely heavily on irrigation, increasing labor and costs of operation. In fact, one Massachusetts farmer estimated additional costs of up to $100,000 due to irrigation. Crop losses and reduced yields, dried up Christmas tree saplings, and stunted, drought-stressed crops were reported in parts of New England, New York, and Pennsylvania. Hay quality and yields were reduced in drought-stricken areas, with some farmers getting only one cutting of hay instead of three and some using supplemental feed, further increasing operational costs. In addition, some farmers hauled in water, adding additional costs. For some Massachusetts farmers, irrigation water supplies dried up or had water quality issues. Dry conditions in Maine stressed some bee hives, with reduced honey yields expected. Trees in southeastern Pennsylvania dropped leaves prematurely due to stress from hot, dry weather. Preliminary data from Rhode Island indicated a decrease in the mosquito population due to less standing water but an increase in the tick population due to increased humidity. In Massachusetts, there was an increase in wildlife sightings and bee activity as animals and insects sought water. Businesses such as amusement parks have benefitted from the hot, dry weather.
- Notable Weather
Parts of the Northeast experienced a heatwave from August 4 to 9, with multiple locations experiencing one of their 10 warmest low temperatures for August and/or for any day on record. Portland, Maine, recorded a low temperature of 74 degrees F on August 7, tying as the site’s warmest low temperature for August on record and as its fifth all-time warmest low temperature. Similarly, on August 8, a low of 78 degrees F in Providence, Rhode Island, tied as that site’s warmest low temperature for August on record and its second all-time warmest low temperature. Similar to July, August featured an unusually large number of days with highs at or above 90 degrees F and lows at or above 75 degrees F. The number of days meeting those thresholds ranked among the 10 greatest for August at multiple sites. For instance, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Newark, New Jersey, recorded a high of at least 90 degrees F during more than half of August, 19 days and 18 days, respectively, their greatest number for August on record and among the 10 greatest for any month on record. Philadelphia also saw 11 days with a low at or above 75 degrees F, its greatest number for August and tying as its fifth greatest for any month on record. Meanwhile, Hartford, Connecticut, had three such days, tying as its greatest for any month on record. Several sites saw a near-record or record number of consecutive days with a low of at least 75 degrees F, as well. For instance, the temperature at Bridgeport, Connecticut, did not drop below 75 degrees F for six straight days from August 5 to 10, tying its longest such streak. The number of hot days and/or unusually warm nights during summer was also notable at multiple sites. For instance, Providence recorded 10 summer days with a high of at least 95 degrees F, tying as its greatest number for the season. Meanwhile, Philadelphia had 57 days during summer that the low remained at or above 70 degrees F, tying its record for summer, and 26 summer days with a low at or above 75 degrees F, setting a new record for the season and beating the old record by five days. There were also multiple rounds of severe weather during August, including several particularly noteworthy events listed below.
- On August 1, an EF-2 tornado traversed across the counties of Ohio and Marshall in West Virginia into Washington County, Pennsylvania, destroying a barn and camper, downing trees, and damaging roofs of a barn and house. It was the first tornado in Ohio County, West Virginia, since July 1977. Flash flooding in Mingo and Logan counties in southwestern West Virginia inundated roads and houses and caused mudslides that destroyed a house, leaving five people with minor injuries.
- Another round of severe weather occurred on August 4 and 5. A waterspout in the Chesapeake Bay moved onshore and across Smith Island, Maryland, then moved back into the Chesapeake. While on land, the tornado, an EF-1 with winds of up to 110 mph, capsized boats, downed power poles and trees, and damaged buildings including a mobile home in which the occupant was injured. Three people died and one person was injured when they were struck by lightning in Washington, D.C. In addition, two people were injured by falling trees in Otsego County, New York, and Sussex County, Delaware. In western Pennsylvania, flash flooding submerged numerous roads, resulting in a few water rescues, and inundated several basements with as much as five feet of water, requiring some residents to evacuate. Localized flash flooding also occurred in central West Virginia and central New Jersey (where an observer noted 3.70 inches of rain in two hours), with storm reports noting a few washed out and damaged roads, stranded vehicles, and a couple of flooded houses.
- Parts of West Virginia and Maryland experienced more flash flooding on August 10 and 11 when some locations saw as much as 3 to 6 inches of rain. For instance, an observer in Jackson County, West Virginia, reported 2.37 inches of rain in 40 minutes. High water entered homes and businesses and washed out and damaged roads. Multiple water rescues occurred, including in Prince George’s County, Maryland, where the Northeast Anacostia River rose over 7.5 feet in one hour.
- Just a few days later, on August 15, extreme rainfall once again flooded parts of West Virginia, particularly Kanawha and Fayette counties. Charleston, West Virginia, recorded 3.54 inches of rain, nearly an entire August worth, on August 15, making it the site’s second wettest August calendar day on record and sixth all-time wettest day. Hourly data shows the site picked up 4.20 inches of rain in six hours from late on August 14 through the early morning of August 15, qualifying as a 200-year storm event. Swift-moving water inundated roads and buildings, uprooted trees, and moved and overturned cars. Flooding damaged more than 100 buildings, bridges, and roads in the two counties. More than 20 water rescues were performed. In addition, some residents were stranded due to damaged infrastructure or multiple mudslides blocking roads. Utilities such as water, power, and sewer were cutoff in several locations, in a few cases for multiple days. Residents were also left to clean up mud and debris that were left behind when the floodwaters receded.
Midwest Region (Information provided by the Midwest Regional Climate Center)
The average temperature for August in the Midwest was 71.5 degrees F (21.9 degrees C), which was 0.6 degrees F (0.3 degrees C) above the 1991-2020 normal. Preliminary statewide average temperatures ranged from near normal in Illinois to 1.1 degrees F (0.6 degrees C) above normal in Iowa. The average summer (June-August) temperature for the Midwest was 0.8 degrees F (0.5 degrees C) above normal, with areas in the west and south 1-4 degrees F (1 - 2.2 degrees C) above normal and locations in the central region near normal. Numerous cities across the region recorded a top 10 warmest summer, including Detroit (Michigan), Toledo (Ohio), Chicago (Illinois), Louisville (Kentucky), and Springfield (Missouri).
August precipitation was 4.34 inches (110 mm) for the Midwest, which was 0.67 inches (17 mm) above normal, or 118 percent of normal. Preliminary statewide precipitation totals ranged from 0.38 inches (10 mm) below normal in Iowa to 1.47 inches (10 mm) above normal in Kentucky. All states except Iowa had above-normal precipitation in August. Cincinnati, Ohio had the third wettest August since 1871. Summer (June-August) precipitation for the Midwest totaled 11.39 inches (289 mm), which was 0.92 inches (23.4 mm) below normal. Generally, the western region had a dry summer while extreme wetness was reported across the south. The Minneapolis-St. Paul area recorded the 9th driest summer over the last 150 years. The St. Louis area had the 6th wettest summer over the past 149 years.
Increased widespread rainfall and moderated temperatures brought drought relief to many locations, but not all, across the Midwest throughout August. By month’s end, dryness and drought affected 28 percent of the region, down from 39 percent coverage at the start of August. Missouri, southern Illinois, and western Kentucky had rapid drought recovery whereas conditions worsened in Iowa and across the upper Midwest. Looking across summer (June-August), dryness and drought exhibited rapid onset and rapid recovery. Dry conditions affected just 9 percent of the Midwest to start summer, and conditions peaked weeks later with 50 percent of the region affected. As precipitation returned for some locations, summer ended with dryness or drought affecting 28 percent of the Midwest.
- Notable Weather
Flash Flooding in Southern Illinois - On August 2, heavy thunderstorms over Jasper County and surrounding areas in southern Illinois soaked the region with 7-10 inches (178-254 mm) of rainfall in just 24 hours. Flash flooding and river flooding affected nearby farm fields.
Flash Flooding in Northern Illinois - Two rounds of heavy rainfall on August 7-8 resulted in flash flooding across multiple northern Illinois counties. Storm event rainfall totals were 4-8 inches (102-178 mm) across a wide swath, with isolated higher amounts. Freeport, Illinois recorded a two-day rainfall total of 11.25 inches (286 mm).
- Severe Weather
Preliminary storm reports reveal August was quieter than usual across the Midwest. Preliminary tornado and hail reports were 38 percent and 55 percent of the 2000-2021 median, respectively, while preliminary wind reports were near normal. Despite the lull, there were several weather-related injuries and fatalities from fallen trees and lightning during August. Severe weather was relatively inactive this summer (June-August) across the Midwest, particularly for tornado and hail reports which were 60 percent and 55 percent of the 2000-2021 median. Preliminary wind reports for summer, however, were slightly above normal (103 percent of 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)
After several months of mostly above average temperatures across the Southeast, temperatures in August were below average across nearly two-thirds of the region, especially across Alabama, where some locations were 3 to 4 degrees F (1.6 to 2.2 degrees C) below average. In contrast, monthly temperatures were above average across eastern portions of Virginia and North Carolina, much of the Florida Peninsula, and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Tampa, FL recorded its warmest August on record (since 1890) with an average monthly temperature of 85.6 degrees F (29.8 degrees C). Tampa also set an annual record for number of days at or above 95 degrees F (35 degrees C) with 25, breaking the previous record of 24 days set back in 1990. Fort Myers, FL and West Palm Beach, FL also recorded their warmest August on record (since 1902 and 1894, respectively), while Miami, FL recorded its second warmest August on record (since 1901). The warmest weather of the month occurred during the first week of August, as a ridge of high pressure remained anchored off the East Coast. This pattern contributed to particularly warm overnight temperatures, especially across parts of Virginia, North Carolina, and the Florida Peninsula. On the 11th of the month, Richmond, VA ended a streak of 25 consecutive days with a minimum temperature at or above 70 degrees F (21.1 degrees C), the third longest streak on record (since 1897). The coolest weather of the month occurred during the middle of August, as an upper-level trough moved over the eastern U.S. Numerous locations across Virginia and the Carolinas recorded daily maximum temperatures that ranged from 10 to 20 degrees F (5.5 to 11.1 degrees C) below average. Roanoke, VA recorded a maximum temperature of 69 degrees F (20.6 degrees C) on the 15th of the month, the lowest maximum temperature ever recorded for that date (since 1913).
Monthly precipitation totals were above average across much of the Southeast region in August, particularly across southern portions of Alabama and Georgia, northern portions of Florida, and interior portions of the Carolinas and Virginia, where monthly precipitation exceeded 10 inches (254 mm) in many places (i.e., 150 to 200 percent of normal). Montgomery, AL recorded 10.24 inches (260 mm) for the month, which was 6.22 inches (158 mm) above average and ranked as one of the top 5 wettest Augusts on record (since 1872). In addition, over a dozen CoCoRaHS gauges in Alabama recorded at least 15 inches (381 mm) of precipitation for the month. Much of this precipitation was associated with frontal boundaries that stalled across the region. Precipitation was also quite frequent throughout the month, particularly along the northern Gulf Coast. Mobile, AL recorded measurable precipitation on 23 days in August, which tied for the second greatest number of days with measurable precipitation for any August on record (since 1871). In contrast, monthly precipitation was below average across northern portions of Alabama and Georgia, interior portions of the Carolinas, eastern portions of North Carolina and Virginia, and southern Florida, where monthly precipitation was less than 50 percent of normal in many places. Raleigh-Durham International Airport recorded just 0.91 inches (23 mm) of precipitation, which tied its second driest August on record (since 1887). Vero Beach, FL recorded its third driest August on record (since 1943) with 1.51 inches (38 mm) of precipitation (20 percent of normal). Many other locations in south Florida (e.g., Tampa, Naples, West Palm Beach, Miami, Key West) recorded between 25 and 50 percent of normal precipitation for the month.
Given the prodigious precipitation in many areas, drought conditions improved for the second straight month across a large portion of the Southeast. The greatest improvements were observed across the state of Georgia, which started the month with 44 percent of the state in at least abnormally dry (D0) conditions but ended with virtually the entire state free of any drought designation. The small areas of moderate drought (D1) in northern Alabama and eastern portions of North Carolina and Virginia seen at the end of July were mostly alleviated by the end of August, while some abnormally dry conditions remained. Drought conditions were also ameliorated across interior and eastern portions of Puerto Rico, though moderate and severe (D2) drought persisted across the northern and southern ends of the island. Severe and extreme (D3) drought also persisted across the U.S. Virgin Islands. There were some locations in the Southeast where drought conditions developed or worsened by the end of August. Small pockets of moderate drought emerged along the I-85 corridor in Upstate South Carolina, extreme eastern Virginia, and along Florida’s Space Coast. Abnormally dry conditions also emerged across a large portion of southeast Florida, which has been unseasonably warm and dry over the past two months. By the end of August, only about 1 percent of the Southeast region was in moderate drought (down from about 3 percent at the end of July) and 12 percent of the region was classified as abnormally dry (down from about 27 percent at the end of July). The percent of the region free of any drought designation increased from 70 percent at the end of July to over 87 percent at the end of August.
Above average precipitation in central and southern Alabama delayed many harvesting activities and the application of fungicides and insecticides. Aflatoxin and weevil problems were also noted in corn, particularly across the southern part of the state. Increased precipitation across parts of coastal South Carolina resulted in waterlogged fields, potentially delaying the start of the fall harvest. Similarly, wet weather in southern Georgia contributed to high grain moisture levels, resulting in lower-than-average corn yields during early harvesting. Boll rot was also reported in early cotton harvests across southern and central Georgia. In contrast, warmer and drier conditions across northern Alabama helped speed up harvesting activities, particularly for corn. Favorable weather conditions also allowed for early peanut digging and for second and third cuttings of hay. Across Florida, most agricultural activities, including preparations for fall and winter produce, progressed well throughout the month. The setting of cotton bolls was completed across much of the state, while some bolls were beginning to open by the end of the month. Additionally, sugarcane producers are expecting a strong start to the planting season due to recent precipitation. Generally cooler temperatures in August improved livestock and cattle conditions in the region. Pastures were also in mostly good condition across much of the Southeast.
- Notable Weather
There were 370 reports of severe weather across the Southeast in August, which is 23% more than the median monthly frequency of 301 reports over the period 2000 to 2020. There were no confirmed tornadoes in the Southeast in August (the average monthly frequency is 8). There were 17 reports of hail, which is 47% less than the median monthly frequency of 25 reports. The largest hailstone reported was golf ball-sized (1.75 inches) in Horry County, SC on the 16th of the month. There were 351 wind reports in August, which is 31% more than the median monthly frequency of 268 reports. Two soldiers from Fort Benning, GA were killed by a falling tree while taking shelter during a thunderstorm in White County, GA on the 9th of the month. Winds from a severe thunderstorm caused a tree branch to fall onto a moving car in Williamsburg, VA, resulting in one fatality and one injury on the 10th of the month. On the same day, high winds caused an umbrella to become airborne, striking and killing a woman at Garden City Beach in South Carolina. There was one rip current fatality in Puerto Rico on the 3rd of the month. There were five lightning fatalities in the U.S. in August, four of which occurred in the Southeast. Three fatalities occurred in Washington D.C. on the 4th of the month when lightning struck a tree in Lafayette Park across from the White House. The other fatality was a woman who was struck by lightning while walking her children home from school in Winter Springs, FL on the 18th of the month.
- 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season
Remarkably, there were no named tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin in August. This marks only the second time in the satellite era, and just the sixth time since 1851, that there were no named tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin in the month of August (the last time was in 1997). It was also the first August on record without any named tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin during a La Niña season.
- 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 summer of 2022 ended much like it began, with hot and dry conditions throughout the region. The resulting drought from these conditions and their effects has finally become clear, with numerous impacts on agriculture, livestock, and water resources. Kansas and Nebraska have taken the brunt of the drought, with conditions being as bad as 2012 in some places. Agricultural conditions have steadily deteriorated over the summer in Kansas and Nebraska, particularly in the western parts of both states. According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, corn that was rated poor to very poor reached 50 percent in Kansas and 34 percent in Nebraska. This marked a 17 and 12 percent increase since the end of July. Fields across western Kansas are being cut for silage or filed for crop insurance as a result of the poor conditions. Even drought-resistant sorghum was impacted, with over 50 percent of fields in both states rated as poor to very poor. Nearly 78 percent of pastures in Nebraska and 65 percent in Kansas are rated poor to very poor. With such poor grasses, farmers have struggled to find feed for their cattle, and feedlots in western Kansas have been importing silage from over 50 miles away.
Temperatures were above normal throughout not only August, but the entire summer. Much of the region was 2 to 4 degrees F (1.1 and 2.2 degrees C) above normal in August. Overall, most of the region was 2 to 3 degrees F (1.1 and 1.7 degrees C) above normal this summer. Numerous locations across the region ranked in the top 10 warmest Augusts and summers. Much above-normal temperatures were present in Wyoming and western Nebraska in August. Scottsbluff, Nebraska observed its warmest month on record, with an average temperature of 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Nearby Chadron ranked second, as did both Cheyenne and Rawlins in Wyoming. Also in Wyoming, Sheridan and Laramie ranked 3rd warmest on record. The same area also recorded among the warmest summers on record. Cheyenne experienced its hottest summer on record, with an average temperature of 70.6 degrees F (21.4 degrees C). Scottsbluff ranked 2nd and Laramie ranked 3rd warmest. The oppressive heat this summer was not limited to just this area, however, with several locations in Colorado and Nebraska also observing their 3rd warmest summer on record. This past summer had some extremely warm temperatures, which is reflected in the number of heat advisories issued by the National Weather Service. Kansas led the way, with 103 advisories issued throughout the state this summer.
Outside of the monsoon in the west, precipitation was spotty at best in August. The majority of Kansas and Nebraska were well below-normal this past month, further exacerbating the dire drought situation in both states. The southwest monsoon brought beneficial precipitation to the western states, with locations such as Casper, Wyoming, and Alamosa, Colorado ranking in the top 5 wettest months on record. Sioux Falls, South Dakota, recorded their 8th wettest month with 6.88 inches (17.48 cm) of precipitation, with a large portion of this occurring during a record-breaking storm on the 7th. An incredible 5.44 inches (13.82 cm) of precipitation fell, setting a new daily precipitation record for August. Nebraska was particularly dry, with numerous locations ranking in the top 10 driest. Omaha, Lincoln, Hastings, and Scottsbluff ranked in the top 10, with Grand Island and McCook placing 2nd driest. Not only was August dry for these locations, but also the entire summer. McCook observed their 2nd driest summer on record, with 3.37 inches (8.56 cm) of precipitation, which was slightly above the record of 3.31 inches (8.41 cm) set in 2012. Elsewhere in Nebraska, Norfolk and Scottsbluff recorded their 4th driest summers, with a dismal 1.98 inches (5.03 cm) of precipitation falling in Scottsbluff. Precipitation deficits continue to grow across the state, areas over 10 inches below-normal since January 1st.
The southwest monsoon brought drought relief to Colorado and parts of Wyoming, while the rest of the region continued the trend of dryness and above-normal temperatures. Overall, there was a 7 percent increase in moderate to exceptional (D1-D4) drought in August. After several months of being drought-free, D1 was re-introduced in North Dakota. After an entire summer of near-record heat and dry weather, extreme to exceptional (D3-D4) conditions have become entrenched across southwestern Nebraska and western Kansas. This has taken a significant toll on agriculture, with poor crop conditions and impacts on livestock. In the eastern parts of both states, drought conditions were introduced and slowly began to spread. On the other hand, an above-normal amount of precipitation due to the southwest monsoon improved drought conditions in Colorado with D1-D4 reduced by 33 percent compared to the beginning of the month. 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)
Flood-producing rains during the last half of August made a serious dent in drought conditions across most of the Southern Region.
August 2022 ended up as a run-of-the-mill month for temperatures in the Southern Region, starting warm but finishing mild. Texas averaged 83.4 F, which was 22nd hottest out of 128 years, but other statewide temperatures ranked between 39th and 65th hottest. There were no all-time records for highest or lowest temperature in the month. The hottest temperature, 113 F, was at Rio Grande Village in Big Bend National Park on August 3. The coldest temperature, 43 F, was on August 3 at Mt. Leconte, Tennessee. The coldest lowland temperature was 51 F, at Lipscomb in Texas and at Milan and Sparta in Tennessee. August capped a summer that was third warmest on record for the Southern Region. Temperatures averaged 83.1 F, behind only 2011 and 1934. Texas had its second warmest summer at 84.8 F and Louisiana had its fifth warmest summer at 82.9 F.
The Southern Region had its tenth wettest August on record, with a region-average rainfall of 4.97 inches. Leading the way was Mississippi, with its wettest August ever at 9.43 inches. Louisiana had its third wettest August but received even more precipitation: 10.16 inches. Texas was 10th wettest, Arkansas was 27th wettest, and Tennessee was 40th wettest. Largely missing out on the precipitation was Oklahoma, 41st driest at 2.15 inches. Five stations recorded more than ten inches in a single day, all CoCoRaHS stations: Zavalla (11.68), Blue Mound (11.30), Mesquite (10.88) and Dallas (10.80), all in north-central or east Texas, and Canton, Mississippi (10.40 inches). Peak monthly totals were 24.27 at Canton (sixth highest August total statewide of all time); 19.33 at Bienville, Louisiana; 17.99 at Zavalla, Texas; 11.84 at Fairfield Glade, Tennessee; 9.73 at Felsenthal L&D, Arkansas; and 7.58 at Kingston, Oklahoma. The majority of stations in Louisiana and Mississippi recorded over ten inches of rain, as did 77 stations in Texas and 2 in Tennessee.
The first half of August featured drought; the second half, flood. Drought intensity in the Southern Region, as measured by the Drought Severity and Coverage Index (DSCI), peaked on August 9 at 286, meaning that severe drought was the norm. The last time the DSCI had been so high was in November 2011. By the end of the month, the DSCI was down to 193, implying about a one-category across-the-board improvement. Only Oklahoma missed out, with about half the state still in extreme drought. The rainfall was beneficial to farmers that still had viable crops, ranchers who may get another hay cutting this fall, and most water suppliers.
- Notable Weather
There were just six confirmed tornadoes in the Southern Region, one near Dumas, Texas on August 8 that damaged a carport and roof and moved a couple of tractor-trailer rigs thirty to forty feet, an EF1 tornado that struck Winona, Texas, on August 22 and uprooted trees and damaged one building, an EF0 tornado near Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on August 24 that merely lofted debris, and three other weak tornadoes that struck open fields. The fifteen hail reports of one inch or greater were found in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Arkansas, the largest being 1.75 inches in diameter near Winnsboro, Texas. There were 181 reports of severe or damaging winds. The greatest number was in Texas, followed by Tennessee and Oklahoma, and the one reported injury, from a tree falling on a car, was in Longview, Texas, on August 5.
- Severe Weather
The rainfall was intense enough to cause flooding in many locations. The most notable flooding was in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where thousands of cars were damaged and over a thousand homes were flooded. Consequential flooding also took place in Jackson, Mississippi, where a water treatment pump failed and the Jackson municipal water supply was offline for a week. At least two flood-related fatalities were reported, one in Texas and one in Arkansas.
- For more information, please visit the Southern Regional Climate Center Home Page.
Western Region (Information provided by the Western Region Climate Center)
Hot and dry conditions were persistent through August across the Pacific Northwest and northern Great Basin with many monthly mean temperature records broken. The Southwest monsoon remained active across Arizona and New Mexico with below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation. Several surges of monsoonal moisture pushed north and westward into the deserts of eastern California and western Nevada bringing heavy rainfall and flash flooding.
Temperatures were well above normal (+4-7 degrees Fahrenheit) across the Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies, northern Great Basin, and northern California. Many long-standing records for warmest August at cities across the region were broken such as Portland, Medford, and Astoria in Oregon, Yakima, Washington, Missoula, Montana, Winnemucca, Nevada, Boise, Idaho, and Fresno, California. Spokane, Washington recorded a monthly temperature of 76 degrees Fahrenheit (24.4 degrees Celsius), +5.7 degrees Fahrenheit (+3.1 degrees Celsius) above normal, for the warmest August in 142 years of records. Medford, Oregon was at 79 degrees Fahrenheit (26.1 degrees Celsius), +4.5 degrees Fahrenheit (+2.5 degrees Celsius) above normal and the warmest in 112 years. Temperatures were 1-3 degrees Fahrenheit below normal in parts of Arizona and New Mexico due to monsoonal moisture and cloud cover. A few sites were in the top ten coldest Augusts on record such as Coronado National Memorial, Arizona at 72.1 degrees Fahrenheit (22.3 degrees Celsius), -2 degrees Fahrenheit (-1.1 degrees Celsius) below normal for the eighth coldest since records began in 1960.
Precipitation, although spotty, was above normal across much of Arizona, New Mexico, eastern California, and the Great Basin. A number of records were broken in the deserts of eastern California and western Nevada due to heavy rainfall driven by northward surges of monsoonal moisture. Reno, Nevada logged 1.72 inches (47.7 millimeters) for the month at 717 percent of normal for the wettest August on record. Bishop, California also broke the August record with 0.72 inches (18.3 millimeters) at 1,029 percent of normal. Flagstaff, Arizona, in the core of the monsoon region, saw its fifth wettest August with 5.46 inches (138.7 millimeters) at 180 percent of normal. The Pacific Northwest saw below normal precipitation with much of western Oregon and western Washington less than 25 percent of normal. Seattle, Washington recorded just 0.05 inches (1.3 millimeters) at five percent of normal coming in as the seventh driest August on record.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor at the end of August, 68 percent of the West was in drought with 20 percent of the West in extreme (D3) or exceptional (D4) drought. Drought reductions of up to two categories were found in Arizona, southern Nevada, and southwest Utah. Drought expansion of up to two categories was found in southwest Montana. Overall drought coverage across the West was slightly lower at the end of August compared to the end of July.
- Alaska Summary
Temperatures were near normal across Alaska except for southeast Alaska where temperatures were +2-3 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Ketchikan logged a monthly temperature of 61.7 degrees Fahrenheit (16.5 degrees Celsius), +2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (+1.5 degrees Celsius) above normal, for the fifth warmest since records began in 1912. Petersburgh came in at 58.2 degrees Fahrenheit (14.6 degrees Celsius) and +2.4 degrees Fahrenheit (+1.4 degrees Celsius) above normal. Precipitation was well above normal in Southcentral and Southwest and below normal in parts of the central Interior. Homer received 5.91 inches (150.1 millimeters) at 257 percent of normal for the wettest August since records began in 1933. Anchorage saw its third wettest August with 6.8 inches (172.7 millimeters) at 232 percent of normal and measurable rain occurred on 26 days.
- Hawaii Summary
Dry conditions continued for much of Hawaii. Honolulu logged 0.07 inches (1.8 millimeters) at eight percent of normal for the ninth driest on record and Kahului recorded 0.06 inches (1.5 millimeters) at 11 percent of normal and also the ninth driest on record. Drought conditions have worsened with the continued dryness and according to the U.S. Drought Monitor 94 percent of the state is in drought which is the greatest spatial extent of drought coverage since the Drought Monitor began in 2000.
- Significant Events for Aug 2022
Death Valley Record Rainfall and Flooding: On August 5, 1.7 inches (43.2 millimeters) of rain from a thunderstorm fueled by monsoonal moisture fell at Death Valley National Park, California making it the rainiest day in the site’s history. The storm caused flash flooding, a 1,000 year flood event, that stranded nearly 500 park visitors and 500 staff. Many roads into and out of the park remained closed for weeks after the event.
- For more information, please go to the Western Regional Climate Center Home Page.