This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 17, 2002

At Halfway Point, 2002 is the Second Warmest Year on Record

With six months under our belt, 2002 is shaping up to be the second warmest year on record globally, according to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The global average surface temperature for June was also the second warmest on record for the month, according to the center. Globally, the warmest June and warmest year on record both occurred in 1998, during the last El Nino event.

Taking a more parochial view, the United States experienced the fifth warmest June on record, with temperatures much warmer than average in the Southwest. The month marked a record high period for the past 12 months in the Northeast, and a record dry period for the past 12 months in the Carolinas and Colorado. See the "June in Historical Perspective" page on the NCDC Web site.

NOAA recently declared an El Nino underway, but El Nino can't be blamed for the current weather conditions: according to NOAA, this year's El Nino will be weaker and milder than 1998 and won't affect U.S. weather until fall. See the NOAA press release.

Thus far, July is also shaping up as a hot one in the United States, with recent high temperatures straining electrical grids throughout the country. The high temperatures contributed to a Stage Two power emergency in California on July 10th, causing the California Independent System Operator (ISO) to ask utilities to implement voluntary load interruptions. See the California ISO press release (PDF 21 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.