Based on preliminary data, the average January to June temperature for the contiguous United States was 51.8Â°F, which is 3.4Â° above the average temperature during the 20th century. The heat is taxing electrical power systems while a continued drought is depleting hydropower resources. In June, 45 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in moderate-to-extreme drought, an increase of 6 percent from May, while 27 percent was in severe-to-extreme drought, an increase of 7 percent from May.
This year is also shaping up to be the sixth warmest on record worldwide, with January to June average temperatures at 0.9Â° above the 20th-century mean.
Publication date: 07/24/2006