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Extreme weather broke records across the country in June

From scorching heat to flooding rain, extreme weather during June seemed like a daily occurrence in the U.S.

A heat wave baked much of the eastern two-thirds of the country during the month, while storms dumped flooding rains in other places. The wild weather eclipsed records that had stood for more than a century in some places.

Here are some examples.

For nearly two weeks, a relentless heat wave cooked a large swath of the nation from the Plains to the Southeast and Midwest. Triple-digit temperatures, or readings close to that, became commonplace.

In Galveston, Texas, a high temperature of 97 degrees recorded June 19 broke the old record high for the day of 95 degrees set in 1875. That record had stood for 147 years.

Just inland from Galveston, a high temperature of 102 degrees recorded in Houston on June 20 beat the old record high for the day of 101 degrees set in 1902. That record had stood for 120 years.

Memphis, Tennessee, tied its record high for June 17 of 100 degrees. That record was originally established in 1881 – 141 years ago.

Athens, Georgia, tied a 111-year-old record on June 16 when its high temperature reached 100 degrees.

The high temperature in Austin, Texas, hit 100 degrees or higher 21 times during the month, setting a record for the number of triple-digit days in Texas’ capital city in June.

Wildfires affected more than a million acres of land in Alaska during this month alone.
AP

According to the National Weather Service, 12 of those days happened in a row.

Just a little more than 2 inches of rain fell in Moline, Illinois, on June 25, shattering the old daily rainfall record of 1.74 inches set in 1877 – 145 years ago.

Tampa, Florida; Fort Smith, Arkansas; Birmingham, Alabama; and Albany, Georgia, all broke daily rainfall records that had stood for more than 120 years.

Birmingham’s record-breaking rain happened on June 8, when 6.97 inches of rain was recorded. That beat the old daily rainfall record of 2.15 inches in 1900 by nearly 5 inches.

Other century-old daily rainfall records that were broken in June happened in Pullman, Washington; Macon, Georgia; Mobridge, South Dakota; Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania; and Roswell, New Mexico.

Rain combined with speedy snowmelt led to record flooding in and around the Yellowstone National Park area. The swollen rivers washed away roads, caused rockslides and mudslides and took away banks where homes were located.

The Yellowstone River flood
The Yellowstone River flood on June 13 is now the record-holding flood for the river at 14 feet.
The Washington Post via Getty Im

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the water in the Yellowstone River reached a new height of 14 feet at the Corwin Springs gage on June 13. That was nearly 2.5 feet higher than the previous record flood event in June 1918.

“These data indicate that the amount of water that was flowing through the gage in the four days between June 11th and June 15th (more than 70 billion gallons) would fill more than one hundred thousand Olympic swimming pools!” USGS officials wrote June 20.

Wildfires in Alaska have consumed more than a million acres during June.

According to the Bureau of Land Management’s Alaska Fire Service, the acreage crossed the 1 million mark on June 18.

Rick Thoman, a climate specialist at the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy, said in a tweet that date set a record for the earliest date in the past 32 years that the burned area in the state has exceeded a million acres.

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