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Summer Outlook: Hotter Than Average Conditions Most Likely in Central, Western United States

The Weather Channel logoThe Weather Channel 5/13/2021 weather.com meteorologist
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Hotter than average temperatures are most likely to dominate western and central portions of the United States this summer, according to an updated outlook from The Weather Company, an IBM Business.

A broad area from the Midwest to the Plains and Northwest is expected to see temperatures that are the most above average during the June through August period as a whole. The most persistently hot conditions, relative to average, might set up from the northern and central Rockies into the northern and central Plains.

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

There are still some conflicting signals in computer model forecast guidance, as well as with various atmospheric factors, that have introduced a higher uncertainty in the overall forecast for summer.

"There is quite a bit of spread in our objective models for the summer, with some focusing the biggest heat in the northwestern U.S. and others focusing more on the Plains," said Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist with The Weather Company.

Forecast guidance is in better agreement for the summer forecast in parts of the East, where temperatures are favored to be near or slightly above average.

"None of the models are overly aggressive with big summer heat in the Northeast U.S.," Crawford said.

Nevertheless, this region will still experience periods of typical summertime heat and humidity.

Below is a month-by-month breakdown of the summer forecast.

June

The north-central U.S. is forecast to see temperatures that are the most above average as we kick off summer in June. Above-average temperatures are also expected to stretch as far east as the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Much of the South and West Coast could see temperatures that are fairly typical for June.

However, Crawford cautions that the forecast for June is still highly uncertain and could change.

A stubborn blocking pattern with high pressure near Greenland in April, and so far in May, has kept the central U.S. cooler than average. Historically, when that has happened in those months, the pattern in June has flipped warmer in the U.S.

But in this case, climate models are hinting that the forecast could wind up being cooler than currently forecast in the nation's midsection.

July

A large area of the western and central U.S. is expected to see above-average temperatures in July.

July, on average, is the hottest month of the year, so it could be a sweltering month for parts of those regions.

The heat could also worsen ongoing drought conditions and wildfire danger in the West.

Much of the East Coast is forecast to have temperatures near or slightly above average for the month.

August

Summer's final month will continue the theme seen in the June in July outlooks.

A broad portion of the central and northwestern U.S. could see above-average temperatures. The core of the hottest conditions, relative to average, are expected from the northern Rockies into the northern and central Plains.

The East Coast is once again favored to see temperatures that are fairly typical for the month.

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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