Climate change

Blue State, Red State, Dry State, Wet State

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Map of deviations from average U.S. temperatures during the first half of 2013.  Close

Map of deviations from average U.S. temperatures during the first half of 2013. 

Close
Open
Source: <a href="http://www.climate.gov/news-features/featured-images/june-2013-us-climate-update" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration</a>

Map of deviations from&nbsp;average U.S. temperatures during the first half of 2013.&nbsp;

A Bizarro World political map of the United States might look something like the above. Blue states are red! Red states are blue! Cats and dogs living together!

It's not a political map — but it is bizarre. It's the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's June 2013 U.S. Climate Update. It's a picture of a hot, wet America -- half a Fahrenheit degree and almost a full inch above the 20th century averages for temperature and precipitation.

The blue areas aren't exempted from global weirding just because they've had a cool spell. Cooler temperatures in the Midwest helped delay snowmelt and bring rain that caused record river levels this spring. The wet-dry divide is visible from a related map, showing the bone-dry West and inundated Mississippi River basin.

The global picture isn't much prettier. The average land and ocean surface temperatures made June 2013 tie with June 2006 as the fifth-hottest since 1880, more than one degree Fahrenheit above the 20th century average. The last month to record global average temperatures below the 20th century average was February 1985.

"For the first six months of 2013, the contiguous United States has been nearly split in half by temperature and precipitation differences," NOAA states in its June U.S. update.

Source: NOAA

Map of deviations from average U.S. precipitation levels during the first half of 2013.  Close

Map of deviations from average U.S. precipitation levels during the first half of 2013. 

Close
Open
Source: <a href="http://www.climate.gov/news-features/featured-images/june-2013-us-climate-update" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">NOAA</a>

Map of deviations from average U.S. precipitation levels during the first half of 2013.&nbsp;

Americans are divided about so much these days — health-care reform, climate policy, Honey Boo Boo. Add to the list that they are divided by the climate itself.

Analysis and commentary on The Grid are the views of the author and don't necessarily reflect the views of Bloomberg News.

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