June began, ended with fierce storms

June 30, 2012

The stroke of midnight Saturday ended June 2012, one of the more unusual months in Washington’s weather history.

In addition to Friday night’s storms, which were among the most destructive of their kind in the region, the month had several other distinctions.

On June 1, a storm spawned numerous tornadoes in the area. On June 22, powerful downbursts left many homes uninhabitable in the Bladensburg area of Prince George’s County, displacing about 600 residents.

On Friday, before the fierce storm broke, the mercury at Reagan National Airport reached 104 degrees, the highest June temperature in Washington’s weather records.

With Saturday’s 96-degree reading, the number of June days with high temperatures above 90 rose to 11.

June’s average temperature was above normal for the sixth consecutive month in 2012. But despite its 90-degree days, June’s overall temperature exceeded the average by only about a degree.

When not stormy or sweltering, many June days were unusually pleasant. On seven days, the high temperature was in the 70s. On June 18, the high temperature was only 71. That day was one of 11 days in June in which the temperature was below normal.

With their blue skies, bright sunshine and balmy breezes, many of those days evoked wonder and delight, as well as wishes that they might be duplicated for the rest of the summer. They seemed to suggest the month that caused a poet to ask: “What is so rare as a day in June?” They seemed far removed from the ferocity of Friday or June 1.

A final National Weather Service tally raised the number of tornadoes in Maryland on June 1 to 12. The last was found to be in the Patuxent Wildlife Research Refuge in Anne Arundel County. It was relatively weak, with winds estimated at 65 mph. That was five mph less than the peak gust of 70 mph recorded Friday night at National Airport.

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