US drought continues to afflict 46% of country as NOAA report one of the hottest months of June since records started
The globally averaged temperature for June was the fifth warmest since records began in 1880, tying with 2006, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report.
The US government funded body also revealed it was the 340th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average.
In a statement it says the last below-average June temperature was June 1976 and the last below-average temperature for any month was February 1985.
Areas that recorded higher-than-average monthly temperatures included north-central Canada, most of Alaska and the western United States, which has recently faced a spate of devastating forest fires.
Northern and eastern Europe, western Russia, part of northern Siberia, and north-central Australia have also recorded above normal heat.
NOAA says northeastern Canada, much of western and southern Europe, central Asia, Far East Russia, and most of India were notably cooler than average.
Separately, the US Drought Monitor reports that moderate to exceptional drought covers 46.1% of the US mainland.
Nearly 99% of New Mexico is suffering from ‘severe’ drought, although there are signs that more rain could alleviate this.
Speaking at a hearing in Congress, the US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said 10 years of drought had left “hazardous fuels in our forests and rangelands,” making wildfires more likely.