How Has Our Summer Outlook Fared So Far?

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Those of you who are saying “What happened to the cool summer you guys talked about”? My response is three fold. One, remember that no summer is ever cool. We predicate our summer outlook with this statement each year. Two, we talked about how this summer would have frequent breaks from the heat. That is, we’d have bursts of heat followed by breaks in the 70s especially early on. That was the critical element of our outlook WHICH HAS WORKED OUT TREMENDOUSLY! And third, we are only 30 days into the 3 months are summer so there is a lot of time left.

Before I continue, remember that summer outlooks are not the same as day-to-day forecasts. They are formulated quiet differently than daily forecasts. You can read about this in more detail HERE on my weather blog.

Here is our summer outlook map (for all 3 months) that we used looking at several years that were shaping up to be similar to 2014. Remember that I created this map on April 9th.

mei_moderateELNINO_JUNE_AUGUSTtempcomposite

Here is a better comparison between our forecast and the June conditions.

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1) The core of the heat we believed would push a bit east into the Great Plains. Although the heat has returned of late, the core has stayed out west where drought conditions prevail. This shift in the core heat due to the high pressure ridge across western North America enhanced by abnormally warm water off the coast of Alaska drove the jet stream further south which has allowed more frequent rain and storms across the Great Lakes.  We finished out with 6.26″ of rain which ranks 9th all time for June. In June of 2013, we had 7.90″ which was 5th all-time.

photo22) The areas of “cooler” air (gulf coast and Florida) were on target.

Our miss so far…

3) The slightly above normal temperatures for Ohio and the Ohio Valley were pretty close.  The pattern has allowed frequent storm systems to move across the Great Lakes which has kept long periods of heat away. However, we said that the OVERALL summer would be slightly below normal.  Average daytime and nighttime temperatures for June were around 0.9 degrees above the 30 year average.

The BIG miss was the “cooler” air in the upper Great Plains.

What would I grade myself in my April assessment of the summer would be like given the conditions at that time?   Probably a B-

How about the rest of the summer?  There are several things we are watching. More on this in the next two weeks.