If two words could summarize the weather this July, they would be “warm” and “wet.”
According to NOAA’s July 2013 State of the Climate report, the average temperature this past month for the contiguous U.S. was 74.3 degrees Fahrenheit. While this monthly average is 0.8 degrees about the 20th century average and ranks as the 30th warmest July on record, nobody is complaining about temperatures after last year’s heat wave.
This July was also unique in that the U.S. saw unusually high amounts of precipitation. The national average was 3.47 inches, about 0.7 inches above average, making it the 5th wettest July on record for the contiguous United States.
Despite this rain, drought affected 46 percent of the U.S., especially the Plains region. Most of this drought is considered “moderate,” however.
The NOAA report mentions that the real concern is the weather this fall. Because of late planting and slow crop maturation, farmers likely won’t be able to harvest until later this fall. While crops this year escaped the usual summer heat stress, they may not fare so well if frost start entering the forecast before harvest.