Long, Warm Summer On Tap According To Weather Service Outlook

By Tom Banse

On the subject of the weather, you're probably most interested in how the upcoming holiday weekend will turn out. But on the brighter side, an updated seasonal outlook from the National Weather Service calls for a long, warm summer.

The supercomputers at the Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center have crunched long term trends to produce an outlook for June, July and August. For most of the Northwest, the forecast gives a strong probability of above-normal temperatures. Seattle-based meteorologist Johnny Burg says the trend is strongest along the West Coast and becomes less pronounced as you go inland to Idaho.

Johnny Burg: "Usually our summers here are pretty warm and dry compared to the weather patterns throughout the year. But what the CPC is saying is that we are looking at maybe having warmer than normal temperatures for this summer."

The summer outlook for rainfall is neutral for the Pacific Northwest, but calls for above average rainfall chances in the central Rockies. There's no drought relief in sight for parched rangelands in southern Oregon and southwest Idaho.

The Climate Prediction Center notes a transition to El Niño conditions is underway in the tropical Pacific. That global weather phenomenon is not driving the forecast for a warmer than normal summer here. Burg explains "there is usually a lag" before El Niño's effects can be seen in the local weather here in the Northwest.
 

Seasonal drought outlook:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/expert_assessment/season_drought.png

Drought monitor map - U.S. West (USDA):
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/RegionalDroughtMonitor.aspx?west

NWS Climate Prediction Center:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/

Detailed forecast discussion (CPC):
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/90day/fxus05.html

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