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August, Fall Temperature Outlook: Western Heat Could Last Into November

The Weather Channel logoThe Weather Channel 5 days ago weather.com meteorologist
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Summer will likely end on a hot note in the western United States, and a warm fall is possible in much of the nation's mid-section, according to an updated outlook from The Weather Company, an IBM Business.

Much of the Great Basin and northern Rockies are likely to see continued hotter-than-average conditions in August, according to the outlook released Thursday.

After the nation's hottest June since 1895, above-average heat has persisted in July in the Great Basin and northern Rockies.

While recent monsoon rain has soaked parts of the Desert Southwest, the West's most expansive drought this century raises the odds of continued heat into August farther north from Nevada to Washington to Montana.

Dry ground heats up faster than moist ground because more of the sun's energy goes into heating the ground and air above it, instead of drawing moisture out of the soil and vegetation.

On the other hand, it's been a rather wet summer, so far, in much of the southern U.S., from the Southern Plains to the Southeast.

While some parts of the Southern Plains may heat up a bit early in the month, much of Texas and Oklahoma to the lower Mississippi Valley is forecast to remain less hot than an average August, partially due to the soggy soil.

One August forecast challenge is the Northeast.

Spiraling low pressure over the Arctic earlier this summer could split into pieces in August, and that could increase cooler risks for the Northeast, according to Todd Crawford, Director of Meteorology at Atmospheric G2.

Fall Outlook

It's hard to believe fall is around the corner, right?

Our initial outlook suggests a warm fall in much of the country with above-average temperatures spreading from the northern Rockies and northern Plains in September to the southern Plains and Midwest in October and November.

Much of the East, Gulf Coast and West Coast may see temperatures near average.

One reason for this generally warm fall outlook is the expectation of a La Niña comeback.

This periodic cooling of water near the equator in the eastern Pacific Ocean waned this past spring and summer, but now is increasingly likely to return by fall and winter.

This matters because the pattern of rising and sinking motion in the tropics during a La Niña can affect the weather pattern in the U.S. and elsewhere.

"There is a pretty clear signal across the western U.S. at least that suggests if the fall convective signal is strong over Indonesia - as we expect this year - that much warmer falls are favored," Crawford said, referencing computer model forecasts of persistent rising motion and thunderstorms over Indonesia through November.

Keep in mind this outlook is an overall trend. Therefore, we will likely see periods that are warmer or cooler in each respective region of the country when compared to what is shown in the outlook.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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