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Hot, Hotter, Hottest: Summer Forecast Could Challenge U.S. Ag

2024 summer forecast

Those lazy, hazy days of summer are expected to be hotter than ever this year, according to the Farmers’ Almanac, but then again, the publication has been right only slightly better than half the time since it was first issued in 1818.

The forecast comes on the heels of the hottest year on record, and February 2024 was the hottest February since 1940. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s spring outlook forecast above-average temperatures through June and the summer outlook continues that trend.

“Summer is coming early this year, and it may bring the hottest temperatures in recorded history!” the Almanac said, advising readers to keep their umbrellas handy and crank up the air conditioning.

“Summer’s weather will announce its arrival with a glorious nearly full Strawberry Moon and some thunderstorms in the central part of the U.S. June will end up warm, humid, and thundery in many, if not most, areas of the country.”

Summer starts on June 20. The Pacific Northwest is expected to be seasonable and dry while California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah are expected to be hot and dry; the Plains, warm and seasonally stormy; New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, hot and wet; the Upper Midwest, muggy and stormy; the Northeast, sultry and soggy; and the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, steamy with thunderstorms, the Almanac said.

NOAA’s forecast has extremely high temperatures forecast from the Pacific Northwest to Texas and New England, with above average temperatures everywhere else except North Dakota and slivers of surrounding states.

What’s Behind the Hotter Weather

Michelle L’Heureux, who leads the forecasting unit that predicts El Niño and La Niña at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center in Maryland, told Axios that greenhouse gases are likely driving summer temperature anomalies.

Anthony Artusa, a meteorologist at the Climate Prediction Center said though it may not be the hottest summer ever, 2024 likely will be unusually hot, especially in the south-central and western states.

Severe Weather Europe noted last month that the atmosphere was shifting from an El Niño to a La Niña, calling the pattern for the coming summer “dynamic,” and predicted a colder pattern developing toward the end of summer and stretching into next year.

“This summer will not have a ‘full’ La Niña but rather a starting [of] one. And that can mean a difference from past La Niña summers,” the report said. A typical La Niña summer produces above-normal temperatures over much of the United States and Canada but lower temperatures in Europe.

However, in examining pressure pattern forecasts, indications are 2024 will be an outlier.

“Looking closer at the temperature pattern over Europe, we see the warmer-than-normal weather over a large part of the continent. But, the exception is found towards the north, which is under the influence of a low-pressure area and shows normal summer temperatures,” Severe Weather Europe said.

In the U.S., “we can see mostly warm anomalies over the southern United States, expanding into the Plains and up toward the Great Lakes.”


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