Breakdown: 2022 Summer recap - 3rd hottest on record, and historical flooding ravaged the U.S.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - On September 9, 2022, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that the United States sweat through their 3rd hottest summer on record in 2022.
- The average temperature in the contiguous United States this summer was 73.9°F, which is 2.5 degrees above average.
- The hottest U.S. summer on record for the past 128 years happened in 2021, when the average temperature was 74°F.
Additionally, the summer precipitation total across the contiguous U.S. was 8.18 inches — 0.14 of an inch below average — ranking in the middle third in the historical summer record.
While the overall contiguous U.S. precipitation was down, August was still marked by several extreme rainfall events across the nation that resulted in historic flooding, according to NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.
- On August 2, parts of southern Illinois were drenched by 8–12 inches of rain in a 12-hour period. An area south of Newton, Illinois, recorded 14 inches of rainfall over the same period.
- On August 5, Death Valley National Park received 1.70 inches of rain, an all-time 24-hour rainfall record for the area, resulting in substantial flooding and damage to roads and vehicles, temporarily stranding park visitors and staff overnight.
- On August 22, some parts of Dallas, Texas, saw more than 13 inches of rainfall within 12 hours. Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared a disaster for 23 Texas counties, including Dallas, after storms caused damage and devastating flash flooding.
Bottom line: Scientists are detecting a stronger link between the planet’s warming and its changing weather patterns.
Higher temperatures also boost evaporation, which leads to more moisture in the atmosphere. Therefore, rainfall for some areas intensifies.
Higher temperatures also boost evaporation, which dries out the soil in summer — intensifying drought over many areas.
With temperature records being smashed month after month, year after year, it’s likely that human-caused global warming is making extreme heat events more frequent.
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