July 25, 2021

Hottest June on record in North America

A few days ahead of other major terrestrial climate monitoring systems, Copernicus presented its temperature estimates for the month of June on Wednesday, July 7. This would be the fourth hottest ever measured globally. According to Copernicus, June 2021 is neck and neck with the month of June 2018, behind those of 2016, 2019 and 2020. However, the ranking established by the climate monitoring service of the European Union masks significant disparities.

June 2021 was thus, according to Copernicus, the hottest month of June on record in North America. From far away. “Record heatwave conditions were observed there, first in the southwest of the United States, then in the northwest of the country and the southwest of Canada., we read in the newsletter of Copernicus. The all-time record for daily maximum temperature in Canada was broken three days in a row in British Columbia. The hydrological situation shows that the regions concerned had abnormally dry soils. “ Hence an increased risk of fires for the rest of the season.

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In North America, the average temperature has deviated dramatically from “normal” – that is to say the average recorded over the last thirty years of measurements, ie 1991-2020. In June 2021, it did, over North America, on average 1.2 ° C above normal. To measure this deviation, it suffices to compare with previous years: June 2017 (+ 0.39 ° C), June 2018 (+ 0.24 ° C), June 2019 (+ 0.16 ° C), June 2020 (+ 0.40 ° C), according to data from Copernicus. The warm anomaly that affected North America is therefore almost 1 ° C higher than the average anomaly of the previous four years.

Increase in the reference mean

These deviations from “normal” were illustrated by record temperatures in several cities. The case of Lytton, British Columbia, Canada, received a lot of media coverage, with temperatures approaching 50 ° C and a subsequent fire that quickly destroyed the town of about 300 residents. But elsewhere, records have also fallen: 46.1 ° C in Portland (Oregon), 42.2 ° C in Seattle (Washington), etc.

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In Europe, the situation was less severe in June, although it was in second place for the hottest June, according to data from Copernicus. Large disparities are also noted by the European monitoring service: the north-east of the Old Continent was marked by a very high thermometer, in particular over Finland and Russia. “The warm conditions over Europe were part of an arc of unusually high temperatures from northwest Africa, across Europe and south-east to Iran, Afghanistan and the ‘western Pakistan’, explains Copernicus. Western Europe has been relatively spared.

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