July 6, 2012
All graphics courtesy of USDA, NOAA, Department of Commerce
Except for torrential rain across the lower Southeast associated with Tropical Storm Debby and persistent rainfall in northern New England, mostly dry weather stretched nearly from coast to coast. Early week rainfall totaled 8-12 in. or more in parts of northern Florida and southeastern Georgia, while a few amounts in excess of 4 in. were noted in northern Maine.
Scattered showers dotted several other areas, but totals – with only a few exceptions – were mostly an inch or less. On June 29, a line of severe thunderstorms marched several hundred miles from eastern Iowa into the Mid-Atlantic States, leaving a trail of destruction due to winds up to 90 mph. Downed trees triggered widespread power outages, while sporadic damage was reported to homes and businesses.
However, any rain that fell across the Plains and Midwest was more than offset by an historic, early-season heat wave that boosted weekly temperatures as much as 5-15° F above normal. Extreme heat placed tremendous stress on already drought-affected pastures and summer crops from the central Plains into the Mid-South and lower Midwest. Elsewhere, lightning associated with pre-monsoon showers sparked a rash of new wildfires in the West, where sometimes hot, breezy conditions hampered containment efforts.
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