The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced that June of 2016 was the hottest month of June on record for the contiguous United States, since temperature records began in 1880. The average temperature seen in the Lower 48 over the month was 71.6ºF (22.1ºC), a full 3.3ºF (1.83ºC) above the 20th century average, and breaking the previous record of 71.6ºF (22.0ºC), set in 1933.
Alaska followed the continuing trend of northern regions seeing the largest gains, seeing an average temperature of a whopping 9ºF (5.0ºC) above average, handily beating the 1981 record of 6.5ºF (3.6ºC) over average.
NOAA has yet to release their global data for the month of June, and it is not yet clear as to whether or not it will mark the 14th consecutive month of record-breaking months for the planet, as global temperatures are easing off due to the 2015-2016 El Niño cycle having ended.
The U.S. has also seen a total of eight climate-related disasters with losses that exceeded $1 billion so far this year: two were due to massive flooding in Louisiana and Texas, the remaining six involving the effects of severe thunderstorms. This has pushed the tab up to $13.1 billion so far, and the year is only half over.
“The first six months of 2016 were well above the 1980-2016 average of 2.8 events, and ranked as the second most behind only 2011 when 10 such events occurred during January-June,” according to NOAA’s press release. “Since 1980 the U.S. has sustained 196 weather and climate disasters where overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, the total cost exceeds $1.1 trillion.”
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