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Summer Forecast Drought*

Summer forecast shows no relief from drought

By James West, USATODAY.com


The June through August forecast calls for drought conditions to persist across the Southeast and Northwest.

Severe drought that the Southeast and the Pacific Northwest have been experiencing this spring is forecast to stick around through August, according to the government's summer weather outlook.

The three-month prediction issued Thursday by the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center shows above-normal temperatures all summer in the Southeast with dry conditions through at least June.

It is also calling for drier than normal weather to stretch from the central Mississippi Valley northeast into the mid-Atlantic States. With above-normal temperatures also predicted, the combination could push these two regions closer to drought conditions later in the summer.

"Drought continues to be the major concern for many areas of the country," Jack Kelly, director of NOAA's National Weather Service says. "Areas of eastern Georgia, the western Carolinas, and the Florida peninsula are entering their fourth year of drought," and a lack of precipitation in the Northwest where the summers are usually dry, he says, will provide "little, to no, relief" from that region's drought conditions.

Although Oregon and Washington saw a few showers recently, the Northwest will continue to suffer from low stream levels this summer, even if normal summer rainfall materializes, as predicted. The extreme water deficit is being blamed on low snowfall last winter.

Related links

Change in weather pattern unlikely as summer nears

Long-range forecast index

Climate Prediction Center report: U.S. drought, summer outlook

In contrast, much of the central USA could be abnormally wet this summer. Already rivers from Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas north to Minnesota and the Dakotas have flooded after spring downpours followed unusually heavy winter snow.

But, while the prediction sounds dire for anything but a miserable summer, CPC's acting director, James Laver, point out that not that much will be different from any other summer except that it's starting out with serious drought in spots.

"During the summer, nearly every area of the country is normally subject[ed] to periods of extreme heat, wetness, or dryness."

Other regional highlights from the summer forecast:

California can expect seasonal warmth and dryness

Northern, central Plains will see cooler temperatures, more rain

Great Lakes will see normal summer conditions

Southwest will be warmer than normal, but will see an average amount of rain

Hawaii will continue with drought conditions.

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