Climatology 101: June 2016 – more than just a dry heat

Remember how quiet May was in the Tucson climatology report? June couldn’t have been more different. Consider the following:

Courtesy: NWS Tucson
Courtesy: NWS Tucson

– 2nd earliest occurrence of 110° (June 4th – 111°)
– 2nd earliest occurrence of 111° (June 4th – 111°)
– 2nd time on record (1985) that the 1st occurrence of 100°, 105° & 110° occurred on consecutive days
– Earliest to record two 111° highs in calendar year (June 4th & 6th; previous record June 18-19, 1989)
– Earliest 3 consecutive days of 110°+ (June 4-6; previous record June 21-23, 1988)
– 3rd hottest all-time high temperature being recorded (115° on the 19th)
– Most record high temperatures set or tied in June (5) since 1994 (5)
– Most daily record temperatures set or tied in a month (10) since November 1999 (12)
– Most 110°+ high temperatures in June (5) since 1994 (5)
– Most 82°+ low temperatures in June (5)
– 3rd wettest June day on record (1.15″ on the 29th)
– Coolest June high temperature (86° on the 30th) since 2009 (83° on 19th)
– Record average daily dewpoints for June occurs on 29th & 30th (67°)

Adding up all of the history, June 2016 officially goes down as the 6th warmest (avg temp: 88.4°) and 2nd wettest (1.59″) on record for Tucson. Below is the complete summary of last month in Tucson, compiled by the fine men & women at NWS Tucson:

The month started off, following another cooler than normal May, with strong high pressure building over the desert southwest. This resulted in a rapid warmup with the airport hitting the first triple digit high of 2016 on the 2nd (102°), the first 105°+ high of 2016 on the 3rd (107°) and then the first 110°+ high of 2016 on the 4th (111°). This marked the 2nd time on record, joining 1985, that the first 100°, 105° and 110° highs occurred on consecutive days. Temperatures cooled to below normal on the 10th & 11th as pre-monsoonal moisture moved across the area. Scattered thunderstorms occurred across the metro area on the 10th and 11th with a few of these storms being rather strong which produced localized damage.
The next seven days saw high temperatures being at or slightly below normal for mid-June. Then the area braced for what would be the hottest temperatures this area has seen in over two decades. This heat wave was dangerous with high temperatures on the 19th & 20th between 111°-117° degrees across the metro area. The airport recorded 115° on the 19th which ranks as the 3rd hottest all-time high temperature on record. The following day the high at the airport was 112°.
Moisture started to slowly increase across the area on the 23rd & 24th as the upper high moved to the four corners region. This resulted in isolated showers and thunderstorms both days. An active monsoon pattern occurred as the month closed with the biggest thunderstorm day of the month occurring on the 29th. Heavy rain, hail and severe winds hit the metro area on the 29th. The heavy rain in mid-town resulted in several swift water rescues. The airport recorded 1.15″ on the 29th which ranks as the 3rd wettest day in June on record. The average daily dewpoints for the 29th & 30th not only set records for both dates but also were the highest daily average values recorded, dating back to 1946, for the month of June.
Temperature extremes for the month ranged from a high of 115° on the 19th to a low of 67° on the 14th & 17th. The monthly average temperature of 88.4° ranks as the 6th warmest on record, tied with 2006. Ten daily temperature records, five high and five high minimums, were set or tied in June. The low temperature on the 20th & 28th was 83° which ranks tied for the 9th warmest low temperature in June on record.
June 2016 daily high temperature departure from normal June 2016 daily low temperature departure from normal
Click on image above for larger view
Rainfall across the metro area, using several sources like, the Pima County Regional Flood Control District gages and CoCoRaHS, varied widely from 0.50″ to 3″, with localized spots recording over 4″. The International airport, which is the official recording location for Tucson, recorded 1.59″ which ranks as the 2nd wettest June on record. The wettest June on record occurred in 1938 when 2.07″ was recorded.
June 2016 stats
Average high temperature
+ 2.4°
Average low temperature
+ 4.8°
Average temperature
+ 3.6°
Days with highs 100° or greater
+ 3
Days with highs 105° or greater
Days with highs 110° or greater
< 1
+ 5
+ 1.39″

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