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Scorching, record-setting heat sears the Mid-Atlantic Region

Low rainfall accentuates high temperatures in late June 2010

Scorching, record-setting heat sears the Mid-Atlantic Region

Warm temperatures in the mid-Atlantic, June 2010

Scorching, record-setting heat sears the Mid-Atlantic Region

During June 2010, a scorching heat wave affected the Mid-Atlantic region, including Washington DC, Maryland, and parts of Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.    Parched brown lawns are everywhere as the result of high temperatures and the lack of rainfall.   For the Washington DC region, June 28 was the 10th consecutive day and 17th day in June with above 90°F (32° C)  temperatures;  the latter statistic ties a record set in 1934 (the "Dust Bowl" period) and 1994.    A high temperature above 90°F on June 29 would set a new record.  According to CapitalClimate, this is the warmest June in history.   Also, an "abnormally dry" condition alert has been issued by the U.S. Drought Monitor. 

Several measurements provided by NASA satellites reveal evidence of this event.

Figure 1 shows a warm temperature tongue along the Eastern seaboard, extending from Georgia to New Jersey. Under the influence of a high pressure system, the region received less than normal rainfall.

Figure 2 is an intercomparison of the total rainfall between the 1st and 28th of June of 2009 and 2010, respectively.  This figure shows that rainfall in 2010 is significantly less than that for the same period in 2009.

Figure 3 shows the rainfall percent of normal (defined as (actual rainfall - climatological rainfall)/climatological rainfall)or the past 10 days, indicating that rainfall in the region is well below normal.

According to weather forecasts, the heat will abate and thunderstorms are likely over the last days of June.  Strong storms in the afternoon of June 28th provided rainfall to some parts of the region.

Warm temperatures in the Mid-Atlantic, June 2010

Figure 1. A warm temperature tongue (circled in red) covering the Eastern seaboard (obtained from Giovanni Aqua/AIRS) for the period June 12-24, 2010.
Low rainfall accumulation, June 2010

Figure 2.   An intercomparison of the TMPA-RT total rainfall between 1st and 28th of June 2009 and June 2010, respectively (obtained from Giovanni-TOVAS). The area indicated by the red arrow received much less rainfall in 2010 compared to 2009.


Mid-Atlantic rainfall anomaly, June 2010

 Figure 3.  The rainfall percent of normal (defined as (rainfall - climatology)/climatology) for the past 10 days, indicating the rainfall in the region (yellow arrow) was well below normal.  Note that the western Great Lakes states have been well above normal in terms of precipitation for this period.

The map above was obtained from the GES DISC Current Conditions Related to Droughts and Floods,




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Last updated: Jun 30, 2010 10:34 AM ET