Western Regional Climate Center


June in the West

Temperatures throughout the west were 1 to 4 degrees F (0.5 to 2.5 deg C) below normal in the northern tier with the Northwest having the coolest temperatures. In the southern region of the west, temperatures were generally 1 to 4 degrees F (0.5 to 2.5 deg C) above normal with portions of New Mexico having the greatest positive departures. A persistent marine layer blanketed the south coast of California leading to a particularly cool and gray June. San Diego recorded their coolest June in 11 years where not a single day in the month had a positive temperature departure and the range from the warmest to coolest day was only 5 degrees F (3 deg C).

Precipitation was well above normal in the Pacific Northwest, near normal in the Intermountain and dry in the Southwest. A new record June rainfall total of 4.27 inches (108.5 mm) fell in Portland, OR. It was the wettest June in Billings, MT, since 1991. One exception in the dry Southwest was Roswell, NM. Their total of 4.21 inches (107 mm) was the most in June since 1986. An unusually strong late season rain event hit northwest CA and southwest Oregon early in the month (see below) leading to the wettest June in over 70 years in some locations.

Significant Events for June 2010

June 1: Yellowstone Lightning event: At around 3:30 pm on the first a single cloud to ground lightning strike injured 9 people gathered at Old Faithful. No one was killed but one man had to be airlifted to a nearby medical facility in Idaho Falls for treatment.

June 2-4: Heavy Rain in the Northwest: Strong late season storms dumped up to 13 inches (330 mm) of rain over a 3-day period in SW Oregon and NW California. The combination of heavy rain and rapid mountain snowmelt caused widespread flooding in parts of eastern Oregon and western Idaho and also caused the closure of some campgrounds and highways in anticipation of rock slides and flooding.

June 9-15: Flooding in Wyoming: Heavy precipitation and rapid snowmelt led to flooding in many parts of Wyoming. The Little Wind River at Riverton set a new record stage and remained above flood stage for numerous days. An estimated 32 square miles of land has been flooded in Fremont County with a few homes and mobile home parks in Saratoga under water. A bridge in Lander had to be closed after it was found to be unsound due to high water.

June: Wildfires in AZ and NM: The Schultz fire north of Flagstaff, AZ, was started by an abandoned campfire and quickly spread due to very dry, hot and windy conditions. As of June 30th, the fire was 90% contained and had burned over 15,000 acres. Luckily, no homes were destroyed. The South Fork Fire, near Los Alamos, NM, was caused by lightning on June 10th and has burned over 17,000 acres by the 30th with only 50% containment. Again, no structures were burned.

June 2010 Departure from Normal Temperature and Percent of Normal Precipitation for Western United States

Departure from normal temperature Departure from normal precipitation

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