LOS ANGELES: The United States experienced its second-hottest June on record in its 130-year history, with the average temperature reaching 71.8 degrees Fahrenheit (22.1°C), 3.4 degrees above the long-term average, according to the country’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as reported by Xinhua.

The month was marked by severe weather incidents, extreme temperatures, and significant precipitation variations across different regions, according to the monthly report from the National Centres for Environmental Information (NCEI), a division of NOAA.

An estimated 24 million people endured their hottest nights ever recorded, particularly across the West, South, and Northeast. Heatwaves plagued these regions alongside the Great Lakes and Puerto Rico, shattering temperature records and posing serious health risks, the report said.

The US states of Arizona and New Mexico bore the brunt of the heat, both experiencing their hottest Junes ever recorded, with 18 additional states ranking among their top 10 warmest Junes on record.

Fuelled by the extreme heat, the devastating South Fork fire, which ignited on June 17, ravaged over 70 square kilometres in New Mexico, destroying nearly 1,400 buildings and claiming two lives.

While the nation grappled with exceptional heat, catastrophic flooding struck parts of the Midwest. Days of heavy rains caused rivers and streams to overflow their banks, forcing residents to evacuate as water destroyed roads and bridges.

On June 30, Hurricane Beryl made a record-breaking entrance into the Atlantic Ocean, becoming the earliest Category 4 hurricane storm ever to form in the Atlantic Ocean in June.

Last month, four new billion-dollar weather and climate disasters were confirmed, including two hail events that impacted the US state of Texas in late April and Colorado in late May, one severe weather event that impacted the central, southern and eastern parts of the country in mid-May, and a tornado outbreak that impacted portions of the Central United States in mid-May.

Moreover, for the January-June period, the average contiguous US temperature was 50.9 degrees Fahrenheit (about 10.5°C), ranking second-warmest on record for this period, NCEI added.

There have been 15 confirmed disasters so far this year, resulting in at least 106 fatalities and more than US$37 billion in economic losses. The United States has sustained 391 separate weather and climate disasters since 1980, where overall damage reached or exceeded US$1 billion. The total cost of these 391 events exceeds US$2.755 trillion, according to the report. - Bernama, Xinhua