By Madeline Sky, Weekend Meteorologist - bio | email
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - After record breaking cold this winter many people are excited for the warmth of summer. But if the Climate Prediction Center’s forecast holds for the next three months, temperatures will be cooler than normal from Montana to Michigan.
“As far as summer goes, we might see a few days in the 90s,” said Jeff Boyne, Forecaster at the National Weather Service in La Crosse. “But we won’t have as many 90s as we’ve seen in the last several years.”
According to Boyne, there are a couple of things going on right now that are driving this cooler forecast.
“First of all we’ve got an El Nino, which is warmer than normal water temperatures over the Tropical Pacific,” said Boyne. “And we also have warmer waters over the north-east part of the Pacific right now. Both tend to cool us down for the summer.”
This news may be a bit of a disappointment after the very cold winter. But if more cool weather sounds like a nightmare, you’ll want to keep reading. There are some positives.
First, with the exception of crops that need a lot of heat to mature, the cooler temperatures shouldn’t be a big issue for farmers.
“Last time we had an El Nino it really didn’t effect the crops too much,” said Boyne. “The only thing that might have some issues are tomatoes which might have a hard time ripening since we may not be quite as warm.”
Second, cooler than average temperatures in June, July, and August, are still pretty comfortable.
“Generally in the 70s most of the time,” said Boyne. “Some 80s will occur, of course, but the hot temperatures that we’ve been seeing the last couple of summers are going to be less.”
And third, the cooler temperatures may save you some money.
“We had a very cold winter, and we ended up having very high heating bills because of that,” said Boyne. “Fortunately, for this summer it looks like we’re going to see cooler than normal temperatures which will be good for our cooling bills.”
How strong the El Nino signal is later in the summer will give forecasters a better idea of what the weather will be like this winter. The Climate Prediction Center’s latest three month outlook can be found at http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/.
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