WeatherBug releases U.S. summer season forecast

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Following last year’s below-average rainfalls and above-average temperatures that brought drought conditions to nearly two-thirds of the U.S., the WeatherBug Meteorology Team at Earth Networks is releasing its 2013 U.S. Summer Forecast.

WeatherBug is forecasting a summer season similar to 2012 for much of the continental U.S. For summer 2013, WeatherBug indicates a distinct threat for above-normal temperatures from west Texas across the Great Plains into the central and Southern Rockies, and across the Mid-South. Areas around the Great Lakes and the Southeast coast will favor near-normal seasonal temperatures. Only one small pocket of slightly cooler-than-normal conditions is expected along the coast of the Pacific Northwest.

The WeatherBug Meteorologists at Earth Networks analyzed a range of factors – including La Niña and El Niño patterns, climate and sea surface temperatures, and other data – to develop their forecast. Here’s what to expect this summer:

Where’s the Heat? Expect above-normal temperatures from northern and western Texas to Oklahoma and the western plains. The Four Corners states of Colorado (including the Denver metro area), New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada, and states in the southeast including Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama will likely see higher temperatures as well – prompting increased energy use as air-conditioners blast full-force to counter the hot conditions outside.

Above-Normal Cities: While the impact of warmer temperatures will be largely felt by rural areas, several cities have somewhat increased chances for above-normal temperatures this summer. Boston and coastal New England have somewhat increased chances for above-normal temperatures, as does Dallas. In the central U.S., cities including St. Louis, Memphis, Kansas City and Oklahoma City are slated to see higher temperatures. Houston – where power grids have been strained in recent years to keep up with demand – is expected to see close-to-normal temperatures.

Limited Relief from Drought: The severe and prolonged drought will likely continue as areas already hard hit by record low precipitation are set to receive below-normal rainfall this summer. Expect drier conditions throughout the central U.S., including northern and western Texas, western Oklahoma, areas in the Four Corners states, and regions along the eastern border of California. In these areas, limited rainfall will further task low water reservoirs, increase wildfire risk, and challenge agricultural interests.

Cooler States: Out of the entire continental U.S., the coastal areas of Oregon and western Washington state are the only areas of the nation expected to see below-normal temperatures this summer, continuing a trend from the past few years due to sustained cooler-than-normal water in the eastern Pacific Ocean near the northwestern U.S.

On-Track for Normal Temps: Florida’s Gulf Coast and the southeast coast of the U.S. from North Carolina down to Florida will see average temperatures. The states surrounding the Great Lakes indicate normal temperatures for June through August. Large coastal cities, including New York, are also on-track for typical summer conditions. Across the country, Los Angeles is expected to see near-normal temperatures this summer.  

"Last year, the mercury soared – making 2012 the third-hottest summer on record in the continental U.S., says Senior Meteorologist James Aman of the WeatherBug Meteorology team at Earth Networks. "After examining all available data, we expect to see a summer that is somewhat similar to 2012. But one of the biggest stories weather-wise we will be watching is the drought across Texas into the Southern Rockies. When you factor in extreme weather, including severe storms with lightning and tornadoes that are already making their appearance across the country, we will likely be in for an interesting season."

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