State of the Climate

The State of the Climate is a collection of monthly summaries recapping climate-related occurrences on both a global and national scale.

  • Global
  • Global Analysis — a summary of global temperatures and precipitation, placing the data into a historical perspective
  • Upper Air — tropospheric and stratospheric temperatures, with data placed into historical perspective
  • Global Snow & Ice — a global view of snow and ice, placing the data into a historical perspective
  • Global Hazards — weather-related hazards and disasters around the world
  • El Niño/Southern Oscillation — atmospheric and oceanic conditions related to ENSO
  • National
  • National Overview — a summary of national and regional temperatures and precipitation, placing the data into a historical perspective
  • Drought — drought in the U.S.
  • Wildfires — a summary of wildland fires in the U.S. and related weather and climate conditions
  • Hurricanes & Tropical Storms — hurricanes and tropical storms that affect the U.S. and its territories
  • National Snow & Ice — snow and ice in the U.S.
  • Tornadoes — a summary of tornadic activity in the U.S.
  • Synoptic Discussion — a summary of synoptic activity in the U.S.

National Summary Information - August 2014

Contiguous US had its ninth wettest summer

Near-record warmth in the West balanced below-average temperatures in the central U.S. for a near-average summer; Drought continued to engulf the West

The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during summer (June-August) was 71.7°F, 0.3°F above the 20th century average. This was the coolest summer for the Lower-48 since 2009 and it ranked near the middle value in the 120-year period of record. The August national temperature was 72.2°F, 0.1°F above average.

The summer precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 9.39 inches, 1.07 inches above average — the ninth wettest summer on record and wettest since 2004. The August national precipitation total was 3.10 inches, 0.48 inch above average, and the 11th wettest August on record.

Significant U.S. Climate Events for August 2014
Significant climate events for August 2014.
Click image to enlarge, or click here for the National Overview.

Note: The August Monthly Climate Report for the United States has several pages of supplemental information and data regarding some of the exceptional events from the month, season, and year-to-date.

Major climate events NOAA is closely monitoring:

  • Persisting and intensifying drought in parts of the West: Despite beneficial precipitation in parts of the drought-stricken West during August, long-term drought conditions will continue to impact water resources and agriculture and increase wildfire risk. More information is available from the U.S. Drought Monitor.
  • El Niño still probable later this year: According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, there is a 60-65 percent chance of at least a weak El Niño developing this upcoming autumn or winter. El Niño conditions could have impacts on temperature and precipitation patterns across the U.S. More information is available from the Climate Prediction Center.

U.S. climate highlights: summer (June–August) 2014

    Year-to-date 2014 Statewide Temperature Ranks Map
    Year-to-date 2014 Statewide Precipitation Ranks Map June–August 2014 Statewide Temperature (top)
    and Precipitation (bottom) ranks
  • States along the West Coast had near-record high temperatures during summer, with above-average temperatures stretching east to the Rocky Mountains. Below-average summer temperatures were observed from the Rocky Mountains, through much of the central U.S. and East Coast. Florida and New England were warmer than average.
  • Above-average precipitation spanned much of the contiguous U.S. from the Great Basin, through the Plains and Midwest, and into the Northeast. Six states in the Northern Plains, Midwest and New England had one of their 10 wettest summers on record. Below-average summer precipitation was observed in parts of the Southeast.
  • The summer temperature in Alaska was 1.0°F above the 1971-2000 average, the 14th warmest summer on record for the state. The summer precipitation total for Alaska was 30.4 percent above the 1971-2000 average, the third highest on record, behind only the summers of 1998 and 1980.
  • The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI) for June-August was near average. Despite the near-average national USCEI, the West region had its second highest summer CEI on record mostly due to warm nighttime temperatures and the spatial extent of drought. The USCEI is an index that tracks extremes (falling in the upper or lower 10 percent of the record) in temperature, precipitation, drought and land-falling tropical cyclones across the contiguous U.S.

U.S. climate highlights: August 2014

    August 2014 Statewide Temperature Ranks Map
    August 2014 Statewide Precipitation Ranks Map
    August 2014 Statewide Temperature (top)
    and Precipitation (bottom) ranks
  • Much of the contiguous U.S. had near-average August temperatures. However, above-average temperatures were observed along the West Coast, Florida, and parts of New England. Below-average temperatures were observed in parts of the Southwest and from the Mid-Atlantic to Northeast.
  • A large portion of the western and central U.S. had above-average August precipitation. In addition to Montana having its wettest August on record, seven other states had a top 10 wet month across the Great Basin, Northern Rockies, and Northern Plains. Below-average precipitation occurred across parts of the Southern Plains, Southeast, and Northeast.
  • According to the September 2nd U.S. Drought Monitor report, 32.8 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in drought, down from 34.1 percent at the end of July and 37.3 percent at the beginning of summer. During August, drought conditions improved across the Central Plains, Southwest, and Great Basin. In the Southwest beneficial rainfall associated with the seasonal monsoon brought short-term drought relief. Drought conditions worsened in parts of Texas and the Southeast, with the latter seeing the introduction of severe drought for the first time in 2014. Drought continued to impact California and Nevada, with 100 percent of both states in moderate-to-exceptional drought.

U.S. climate highlights: year-to-date (January–August) 2014

    Year-to-date 2014 Statewide Temperature Ranks Map
    Year-to-date 2014 Statewide Precipitation Ranks Map January–August 2014 Statewide Temperature (top)
    and Precipitation (bottom) ranks
  • The January-August contiguous U.S. temperature was 53.9°F, which was near average, marking the coldest first eight months of a year since 1997. The West continued to be much warmer than average, where six states had a top 10 warm year-to-date. California was record warm for January-August, with a temperature 4.1°F above the 20th century average. The East was cooler than average, particularly the Midwest and the Mississippi River Valley, where the first eight months of this year in nine states were among the 10 coldest. No state was record cold.
  • The year-to-date national precipitation total was 21.06 inches, 0.35 inch above the 20th century average. Above-average precipitation spanned the northern tier, with three states in the Upper Midwest being top 10 wet. Below-average precipitation stretched across the southern half of the country.
  • The USCEI for the January-August period was the 12th highest on record at 50 percent above average. The high year-to-date USCEI value was partially due to extremes in warm and cold maximum and minimum temperatures, one-day precipitation totals, days with precipitation, and the spatial extent of drought.