A tale of two Junes

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Last month, the jet stream was all that separated the lush landscapes in the East from the parched in the West last month. Acting as an imaginary fence, it shuttled moisture to saturate soils in areas east of the Missouri River.

Some areas, such as the mid-Atlantic region, saw more than 400 percent of its normal precipitation for the month, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

While nationally June ranked as the 13th wettest on record, in the West June was an entirely different story.  

Southern California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah received less than 10 percent of normal June rainfall.  Drought, dust storms and wildfires dominated.  

More than 4,000 wildfires were reported last month, burning 1.2 million acres.

On the heels of the dry and volatile June across many states in the West, the National Interagency Fire Center reported 22 total active fires as of July 9.

In between the two extremes, many areas in the Midwest, saw near-normal temperatures and above-normal perception. This helped eliminate some of the drought for the time being. Read the latest “State of the Climate” report here.

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