It's official. The average temperature for the continental United States from January through June 2006 was the warmest first half of any year since records betan in 1895, say scientists at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, NC. June was the second warmest on record.
The average Jun.-June temperature for the contilguuous United States was 51.8 F. or 3.4 F above the 20th century average. Five states (Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Missoouri) experienced record warmth for the period. No state was near, or cooler, than average.
NOAA also reports that in June, 45% of the contiguuous U.S. was in moderate-to-extreme drought.
For the record — today in Cleveland, OH, (where I am writing this) the temperature is expected to top 95 F., tomorrow 97 F. I can hardly wait to climb into my car this afternoon after it's been sitting on a bubbling blacktop driveway all day. — Ron Hall