Exceptional heat waves from coast to coast helped push June 2021 to the No. 1 spot on the list of hottest Junes on record for the U.S.
The first six months of 2021 also brought eight billion-dollar weather disasters, ranging from destructive severe weather to a historic deep freeze, according to experts from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.
The average June temperature across the contiguous U.S. was 72.6 degrees F (4.2 degrees above average), making it the hottest June in 127 years of record-keeping and surpassing the record set in June 2016 by 0.9 of a degree.
Eight states — Arizona, California, Idaho, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Utah — also saw their hottest June on record. Six other states — Connecticut, Maine, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming — marked their 2nd hottest June.
The average June precipitation across the U.S. was 2.93 inches, matching exactly the historical average for the month, though some states had extremes in rainfall — either too much or too little. For example, South Dakota saw its driest June on record while Mississippi had its second wettest.
The U.S. experienced eight weather and climate disasters in the first six months of 2021, each with losses exceeding $1 billion. They were:
- 4 severe storms including tornadoes, hail and high wind damage;
- 2 flooding events;
- 1 winter storm with a deep freeze; and
- 1 heat wave-influenced drought.
The costliest event so far was the February 10-19 winter storm and cold wave that incurred direct losses of approximately $20 billion. The next costliest was the severe weather outbreak of April 27-28 in Texas and Oklahoma that caused $2.4 billion in damages.
The 2021 YTD inflation-adjusted losses from all eight disasters were also at a near-record high for the first six months and came in at nearly $30 billion – only behind 2011.
The U.S. has experienced 298 weather and climate disasters since 1980, where overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (including CPI adjustment to 2021). The total cost of these 298 events exceeds $1.975 trillion.