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Northeast Overview - July 2012

Monthly Summary

It was the seventh warmest July since 1895 in the Northeast. The average temperature was 72.8 degrees F, which was 2.9 degrees above normal. Each of the twelve states in the region averaged warmer than normal, with departures that ranged from +1.5 degrees in Rhode Island to +4.0 degrees in Delaware. It was the second warmest July since 1895 in Delaware and the third warmest in Maryland. All twelve states in the region ranked within the top 24 warmest since recordkeeping began in 1895. New maximum temperature records were set at many of the region's first order stations during the month as the mercury soared into the upper 90's and low 100's. The sensor at Washington's National Airport recorded 105 degrees on the 7th, surpassing the record of 102 degrees set just two years ago. Baltimore, MD's new record temperature of 104 degrees on the 18th broke the long-standing record of 102 degrees set in 1887. The Northeast's seven-month average (January - July) of 49.9 degrees was the warmest such period since 1895. It was the 2nd warmest January through July in Pennsylvania and West Virginia and the warmest first seven months of the year in the rest of the Northeast states. The most recent twelve months (August 2011 through July 2012) was the warmest August through July in 117 years in the Northeast and in all of the states except West Virginia. It was the second warmest August through July in West Virginia where the average temperature of 54.7 degrees missed tying the record set in 1932 by 0.1 degree F.

With a regional precipitation total of 3.70 inches, the Northeast averaged 87 percent of normal in July. Three states, Pennsylvania, (107 percent), Rhode Island (116 percent) and West Virginia (125 percent) had totals that were wetter than normal. Departures in the drier-than-normal states ranged from 87 percent in Connecticut to 51 percent in Maine. Interestingly, last month, Maine saw its 4th wettest June since 1895; this month the state had its 5th driest July on record. And last month's dry state, West Virginia, which ranked 11th driest in June ended up having its 10th wettest July in 118 years. The year-to-date totals averaged 88 percent of normal in the Northeast. It was the driest January through June since 1895 in Delaware and the 5th driest in Maryland. While drought conditions in the Northeast were not as bad as some parts of the country, there were areas of concern according to the July 31, 2012 U. S. Drought Monitor. Western Massachusetts, a small area in north central Connecticut, and parts of upstate New York were experiencing moderate drought (D1) conditions while areas of severe drought (D2) expanded in Delaware and eastern Maryland. Areas of abnormally dry (D0) conditions expanded in most of the states in the region, the exception was West Virginia, where conditions improved by month's end.

Severe storms on the 26th produced five EF1 tornadoes, two in Steuben County, NY, one in Chemung County, NY, one in Luzerne County, PA and one in Susquehanna County, PA. The Chemung County tornado ripped through Elmira, downing power lines and trees, resulting in damage to about 300 homes and businesses. The other tornadoes formed over more rural areas, causing minor structural damage from fallen trees or wind blown debris. In addition, several microbursts resulted in straight-line damage near Orwell and Harford, PA. Over 600 trees were downed near Orwell and minor structural damage was reported in Harford.