Highlight: Summer 2022 is 3rd hottest on record for U.S.
Discussion: Summer 2022 was hot – again! Summer of 2022 ranked 3rd hottest of 128 years of climatology. Last year ranked the hottest summer on record. Summer of 2020 was 4th hottest on record. One commonality with each summer of the past 3 years is the presence of a La Nina climate.
The state rankings of temperature for summer of 2022 indicate the West, South and East States all in the MUCH ABOVE normal category (Fig. 1). No records were observed but several states observed their 2nd hottest summer on record including Texas, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Only Wisconsin avoided a warmer than normal summer.
Despite a wet August, summer of 2022 was fairly dry ranking 44th driest of 128 years. Typical of summertime precipitation, very wet or very dry areas dominated (Fig. 2). The Southwest U.S. wet monsoon pattern was impressive as Arizona and New Mexico ranked 7th and 8th wettest on record respectively. Mississippi and West Virginia were much wetter than normal. Conversely, Nebraska observed their 3rd driest summer on record. New Jersey and Massachusetts were also historically dry.
August 2022 ranked 8th hottest on record although nighttime minimum temperatures averaged the warmest on record (Fig. 3). Eight states observed their hottest August on record including Washington, Oregon and Idaho plus New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
During August, Mississippi observed their wettest late meteorological summer on record (Fig. 4). Nevada and Louisiana observed their 3rd wettest August on record. Overall, August 2022 ranked 19th wettest in the historical record.
Although La Nina was certainly a contributor to the summer 2022 climate pattern, the exceptionally warmer than normal mid-latitude oceans (Fig. 5) amplified high-pressure aloft to drive the hot weather pattern. The much warmer than normal SSTA in the middle latitudes also provided the low-level moisture to cause a wet monsoon year and some of that wet climate shifted eastward especially in August.
Fig. 1: NOAA U.S. state rankings for temperature during summer 2022.
Fig. 2: NOAA U.S. state rankings for precipitation during summer 2022.
Fig. 3: NOAA U.S. state rankings for temperature during August 2022.
Fig. 4: NOAA U.S. state rankings for precipitation during August 2022.
Fig. 5: IRI/LDEO global SSTA analysis for JUN/JUL/AUG 2022 identifying primary influences on North America climate including La Nina and very warm mid-latitude SSTA. The super-warm mid-latitude SSTA are also well-correlated to historic heat and drought in China and Europe.