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NOAA's drought and summer outlook 2001May 17, 2001 — Drought conditions in the Pacific Northwest and Southeast are expected to linger through August, as the Midwest experiences cool, wet conditions this summer according to NOAA. NOAA's latest seasonal outlook calls for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions to share the possibility of a drier-than-normal summer. Warmer-than-normal temperatures are predicted for the deep South. The seasonal outlook was released today.

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

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NOAA's drought and summer outlook 2001

"During the summer, nearly every area of the country is normally subject to periods of extreme heat, wetness, or dryness," said James Laver, acting director of the NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. "Summer weather patterns over the continental U.S. are more difficult to forecast than those in the winter season because they are not strongly tied to a climate indicator, such as an El Niño or La Niña."

NOAA's climate specialists base the summer outlook on statistical and dynamic models, which include soil moisture content and long-term trends. "Currently, the tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures are near normal," said Vernon Kousky, a CPC specialist. NOAA's scientists indicate the possibility of a weak-to-moderate El Niño event in the late fall or next winter.

For Summer 2001, the nation can expect:

  • Near-normal temperatures and precipitation are likely for the Pacific Northwest, with no relief from their long-term moisture deficits;
  • California can expect seasonal warmth and dryness;
  • In the central and northern Plains states, rainfall is expected to be above normal, with cooler than normal temperatures;
  • In the Southeast, drier-than-normal conditions will likely persist through June: Temperatures are expected to be above normal from Texas eastward;
  • Near-normal to slightly warmer-than-normal conditions are expected for the Mid-Atlantic region: Early season (June) dryness is likely, which could aggravate the already dry conditions in the region;
  • In the Great Lakes region, the outlook calls for equal chances of above, near or below-normal temperatures and precipitation;
  • Near-normal temperatures and precipitation are expected for the Ohio Valley: Portions of this region have been experiencing drier-than-normal conditions, which require above-normal precipitation to alleviate;
  • In the Southwest, expect above-normal temperatures and near normal precipitation;
  • Warmer-than-normal temperatures and near-normal precipitation are expected in Alaska;
  • In Hawaii, drier-than-normal conditions are expected to continue with warm temperatures in the northwest half of the state.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center

NOAA's Latest Seasonal Outlook

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center Drought Assessment

NOAA's Drought Information Center

Media Contact:
Carmeyia Gillis, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, (301) 763-8000 ext. 7163