The Washington Post

Extremes at the edges: Weird weather in Florida, Pacific Northwest, California, Alaska

Taking a tour around the United States, we see some bizarre weather extremes.

Let’s begin in Florida, which just had its wettest July on record, according to NOAA. The so-called sunshine state had 12.38 inches of rainfall, 4.91 inches above average.


Time series of July rainfall in Florida (NOAA)

Heading to the opposite corner of the U.S., Oregon had its driest July on record with only 0.03 inch of rainfall accumulating, 0.41 inch below average.  Neighboring Washington state had its 8th driest July.


Precipitation rank in July across contiguous U.S. (NOAA)

Now let’s go due south. As dry as it was in the Pacific Northwest, it was wetter than normal in California – the 10th wettest July on record. The precipitation surplus resulted from rains in the south, thanks to an active monsoon. In northern California, it was drier than normal.

 

Temperatures have also exhibited some strange behavior.

Accuweather reports Los Angeles has achieved its longest August stretch without hitting 80 on record. L.A. hasn’t hit 80 since July 27 and is closing in on its longest July through August streak of sub-80 days.

While they’re shivering in Hollywood, residents of Fairbanks, Alaska have baked.  Fairbanks has hit at least 80 on a record 36 days this summer, and at least 85 on a record 14 days (through August 12).


(National Weather Service)

Consider the average high temperature in Fairbanks in August so far has been 79 degrees compared to Los Angeles’ 78!

You won’t see that often.

Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.
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