Couple big things coming down from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) over the past couple of days. Today, they announced that, despite El Nino forecasts, they have increased their forecast for the rest of this hurricane season and that July 2012 will go down in the books as the "hottest July ever recorded" for the contiguous United States.
2012 Hurricane Season Outlook
As of this morning (the 9th of August) we have had six named storms this year. In fact, Ernesto continues to sprawl through the southern Bay of Campeche with a second land fall destined for lower portions of Mexico. Also, there is a tropical wave moving through the Atlantic that has a 70% chance of becoming, at least, Tropical Depression Seven within the next 48 hours.
El Nino normally brings about a calmer than normal hurricane season which was a possibility in the official NOAA hurricane forecast at the beginning of the season. Here is the old forecast from May:
The latest forecast to come out today, will trump past the typical El Nino type forecast and call for the possibility of a "normal to above normal season." Here is the new outlook:
Reason for the increase prediction increase -- "because storm-conducive wind patterns and warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures are now in place in the Atlantic."
Hottest July on Record....Ever?
While last July (and the Summer of 2011, for that matter) may have been one of the hottest in recent memory for the Brazos Valley when you look at the United States as a whole this year, we have reached a new high.
Take all the overnight low and afternoon high temperatures across the U.S. for every location in the country, take the average and you'll come out with 77.6° That is about 3.3° above the "normal" and that in turn will make this past month the hottest July AND hottest month ever on record. The previous "hottest month ever" was July 1936 with an average temperature of 77.4°.
Reason for the heat? Well, precipitation has a large part to do with it. We had a soggy stretch of weather to start out July here at home, but across the country the US averaged 2.57" of rain -- almost a whole 0.2" below the normal.