Preliminary outlook for Summer

Projecting rainfall the hardest part

The data both model variety and non-model types all show a strong signal for a warmer than normal April and May as well as a warmer than normal summer in the Southeast and most of the country for that matter.

But the models and analog methods (analogs use past history as a guide, models use equations) are more divergent with some quite dry and some quite wet, making the rainfall outlook one of low confidence.


The preliminary SUMMER OUTLOOK is based on an assessment of global ocean sea-surface warm and cold pools and pressure patterns known as teleconnections. This is includes the current stage of ENSO (La Nina) and the projection of how the La Nina is expected to behave in the months ahead. A cursory look at long-range climate models and weekly/month ensemble output was also made.

Here is what the ANALOG LIST list produced for SUMMER 2021 TEMPS/RAINFALL:

I then reduced the total analog list to BEST FIT analogs for my Summer outlook. Again, confidence is low for the rain outlook.


So you can see better agreement on the temperature outlook than the rainfall outlook.

***Right now I favor near-normal rainfall, nothing too extreme in either direction. I feel the same about the temperatures. A warmer than normal summer on average yes, but right now it does not look like an extreme summer.*** Remember this is a 3-month average not every day or every week.

I think the “brutal summer of extreme heat and drought” will be in the center of the country.

The Official NOAA/CPC outlooks for APRIL-AUGUST are provided below for comparison:



Based on the the expectations for a weak to neutral La Nina with a summer strengthening trend combined with Atlantic pressure patterns and sea-surface temp patterns another more active than normal tropical cyclone season (tropical storms and hurricanes) is anticipated for the coming summer and autumn.

My best estimate for this tropical season is not quite as active as last summer but still ABOVE NORMAL.

The expectation is for a total of about 18 named tropical systems with around 11 becoming hurricanes, including at least 3 major category hurricanes. Odds for land strikes on the U.S. above-average.

We will be monitoring the evolution of ENSO and the Atlantic in the months ahead and have a final summer outlook by early June based on the new data.

For daily weather tidbits and updates follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.

Kirk Mellish


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