Heat, cold, flooding, drought greet U.S. on summer solstice

McClatchy NewspapersJune 21, 2011 

A year ago the headline was "It's hot, hot, hot on the summer solstice."

This year the solstice weather is much more confused. You have drought in Mississippi, snow in the Rocky Mountains, the mid-Atlantic sits under blanket of heat and humidity, and in the Pacific Northwest, cold and wet. In Kentucky you had a flood that left one 4-year-old asking, "Daddy are we going to die today?"

A round-up of weather solstice stories from McClatchy:

Biloxi, Mississippi: Fireworks ban in South Mississippi. Supervisors in Harrison and Jackson counties voted unanimously Monday to prohibit individual use of fireworks because of the extreme drought in South Mississippi. Fireworks usually are allowed in the unincorporated areas of the counties, but officials said because it hasn’t rained, the risk of fire is too great.

Fort Worth, Texas: Strong storms cut power, cause damage in N. Texas. Multiple storms, some packing winds of up to 75 mph, dumped heavy rains and large hail on North Texas early Tuesday, leaving thousands of customers without power. The rainfall shattered the record at the D/FW Airport, the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth reported.

Fresno, Calif.: 100-plus degrees expected to kick off summer. It might seem late in the year to experience the first triple-digit day, but it's not near the record. The latest 100-degree day ever recorded in a year was in 1998, when the big heat didn't hit until July 16, Sanger said. Conversely, the earliest 100-degree day was on April 23 in 1910, he said.

Boise, Idaho: Knox flood kills 1, wrecks homes; 3 trapped miners rescued. Standing in muddy waist-deep floodwater in his house in Knox, Kentucky, Buck Golden put his 4-year-old daughter atop a television stand and held on desperately as an entire mobile home sailed past his porch on a rushing current. His daughter, Mackenzie, had a question that would break a father's heart. 'Daddy, are we going to die today?'

Macon, Georgia: Climatologist says spring was hottest on record for Macon. State climatologist David Stooksbury of the University of Georgia said Monday that in the 63 years of data he has at his disposal, the average high temperatures in the spring of 2011 soared higher in Macon than in any other year.

Merced, California: Flood watch continues for Merced River in Yosemite. flood watch for the Merced River in Yosemite National Park continues this week, with water levels expected to peak Wednesday at midnight, according to park spokeswoman Kari Cobb. The same heat wave blasting Merced and the Central Valley with triple-digit heat is rapidly melting the Sierra snowpack, resulting in the swollen creeks and rivers.

Modesto, California: Here come the hundreds. The summer heat has officially arrived in the Northern San Joaquin Valley as temperatures are set to soar into triple digits today for the first time this year.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: Summer dawns in Myrtle Beach area, and with it danger. Locals and tourists alike are feeling the heat as above-average temperatures continue to steam the Grand Strand, but summer warmth brings dangers along with sunshine.

Raleigh, North Carolina: Coastal fires blanket Triangle with a smoky haze. Smoke from coastal fires has enveloped much of the Triangle in a smelly haze today, and two weather quality alerts are in effect until 9 p.m. People sensitive to air pollution are advised to stay indoors.

Sacramento, California: Sacramento ready for first 100-degree reading of the year. A high pressure system today could bring the first 100-degree reading of the year to Sacramento.

Columbia, South Carolina: Be smart about working, playing in summer heat. Severe heat isn’t unusual this time of year in South Carolina. But even if South Carolinians are used to the heat, they still can run into serious heat-related health problems

Tacoma, Washington: ‘Terrible, terrible, terrible’ spring delays arrival of Washington strawberries, other crops. The first day of summer and no strawberries? Blame it on Northwest Washington’s unusually cold, wet spring. "It’s been a terrible, terrible, terrible spring,” said Tim Richter, who with his father runs the E.G. Richter Farm in Puyallup. “It’s about the worst spring we’ve ever had. There’s not a farmer around that won’t tell you the same sob story.”

Wichita, Kansas: "Wichita weather: Still breezy, but much cooler. The wind will stick around for another day or two, but much cooler temperatures are on tap for the Wichita area.

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