The big story for July was Hurricane Dolly, which interrupted an otherwise hot, mostly dry weather pattern across the South this month, just three days after Tropical Storm Cristobal grazed North Carolina’s Outer Banks with little impact. Dolly made landfall on South Padre Island, Texas, on July 23, with maximum sustained winds near 100 mph. Once inland, despite rapid weakening, Dolly caused wind damage and triggered flash flooding across southernmost Texas, where as much as 15 inches of rain fell. After curving northward into New Mexico, Dolly’s circulation lost its identity as a hurricane on July 28 while approaching the southern High Plains.
Overall, July rainfall was scarce across parts of the High Plains, especially from Montana to Colorado. Elsewhere, monsoon showers pounded the Southwest, while hot, mostly dry weather covered most other areas from the Rockies westward. In Northern California and parts of the Northwest, wildfires remained a periodic threat.