Once again, it's that time of the month (no... not what you're probably thinking) and a look back at the climate for August. Here are a few highlights.
- The average temperature for August was 74.4 degrees or 1.6 degrees above the 20th century average.
- According to the Palmer Drought Index, which goes back to the beginning of the 20th century, 55.1 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in moderate to extreme drought, a decrease of about 3 percent compared to last month. The percent area in severe to extreme drought increased to 39.0 percent, indicating that the drought has intensified. The 2012 values have been exceeded only by the droughts of the 1930s and 1950s.
- Over 200 daily low maximum temperature records were tied or broken in August across the Southeast, compared to only 30 high maximum temperature records.
- For the second straight month, drought conditions improved or stabilized across the Southeast. By the end of August, over 60 percent of the region was drought-free, up from 40 percent at the end of July. Most notably, drought conditions were eliminated in Florida (the first time the State has been drought-free in over two years), and across a large section of Alabama. Additionally, improvements of one to two drought categories in the U.S. Drought Monitor were observed across South Carolina by the end of the month. There was a slight contraction of drought conditions across central Georgia; however, over one-third of the State remained in extreme (D3) or exceptional (D4) drought.
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