Summer 2012 was a season of extremes.
situation became critical with broiling hot temperatures across much of the
country and the most severe drought conditions the nation has seen in more than
50 years. That being said, the 2012 drought still ranks as the 10th-largest
severe drought since 1895.
The average summer temperature over global land and ocean surfaces
tied with 2005 as the third-highest on record at 61.25 degrees F, or 1.15
degree F above the 20th century average of 60.1 degrees F. Only the summers of
1998 and 2010 were warmer. Records go back to 1880. Climatologists define
summer in the Northern Hemisphere as the months of June, July and August. The
most unusual warmth occurred across parts of the Northern Hemisphere, including
most of the United States and Canada, southern and eastern Europe, Kazakhstan
and eastern Siberia. Droughts in the U.S., eastern Russia and India all
contributed to the high heat. The unusual warmth also caused Arctic sea ice to
shrink to its lowest level on record.
Isaac made landfall on August 28th in southeastern Louisiana, with winds of 80
mph as a Category 1 hurricane. During landfall, the storm surge overtopped the
levees in Plaquemines Parish and flooded entire communities with water as high