June temperatures in the contiguous United States were 2° F above the 20th century average for the month, assuring that 2012 broke the record for the warmest first half of the year and concluding a 12-month period that was the country’s warmest since recordkeeping began in 1895. Eight states experienced record highs, including Colorado, where temperatures were 6.4°F above average.
Heat was not ubiquitous, however. The Pacific Northwest was cooler than usual. The South enjoyed below-average temperatures the first weeks of the month, until a climbing mercury broke records in numerous locations.
Dry conditions were pervasive; by the end of the month 56 percent of the lower 48 was drought-stricken. Florida, however, received record precipitation as Tropical Storm Debby dumped rain across the state.