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Summer in Northwest expected to be hotter, drier than normal

Thu., June 27, 2013

Although summer officially arrived late last Thursday, it felt more like spring. A strong storm system brought record rains to parts of the Inland Northwest on that date. However, weather patterns seem to be changing. Here’s what to expect based on long-term projection for the U.S. this summer.

The Pacific Northwest and Southwestern Canada

Ocean temperatures continue to cool in the south-central Pacific Ocean. The summer looks drier and warmer than normal. There will, however, be occasional showers and isolated thunderstorms, but mainly over the mountains. Moisture should start to increase by the middle of September as temperatures cool to below normal levels.

Southern California, Northern Mexico and the Southwest

This region has been suffering from one of the worst droughts in history. Fire season has already begun and will continue through at least October. Not much moisture is expected during the summer. However, as the monsoon season picks up later in July and August, there will be some moisture filtering into the Southwest. Totals will likely be below average levels. Temperatures will continue to be above normal. The early portion of the fall looks dry.

Southern Canada, the Great Plains and the Midwest

The wet and severe weather pattern that plagued this region during the spring is expected to be replaced by a strong ridge of high pressure that has been centered over the western half of the nation. In July and August, conditions will be turning much drier and hotter than normal. It’s quite possible that the flooded areas will need moisture by late summer or early fall.

The central and southern Great Plains

Much of this region has suffered through one of the worst drought patterns since the 1930s. Then the spring turned violent, especially in Oklahoma with an outbreak of deadly twisters. In July and August, the big high pressure ridge in the West will move over the region and likely last into the early fall. The drought that’s over the western Great Plains will probably expand in the next several months.

The Northeast and Southeastern Canada

The cooler sea-surface temperatures will keep this area generally wetter and cooler than normal for the summer. However, by the late summer and early fall, conditions should start turning drier and warmer than normal as the high pressure system expected over the central U.S. moves to the east.

The Southeast

Much of the summer will see more shower and thunderstorm activity. With a very active hurricane season predicted, we’ll likely see at least several strong hurricanes hit either the Gulf Coast or the southeastern coastline. It’s possible that one of these storms will move up the East Coast, especially during late summer and early fall. Temperatures will be near normal levels.

Contact Randy Mann at wxmann, or go to www.longrange for additional information.

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