Summer forecast sees rains dousing early heat

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June might bring more than its share of dreariness, says AccuWeather, but that would by no means be all bad for those who aren’t big fans of extreme heat.

Generous rainfall would mean a healthy portion of soil moisture, which research has shown to be an effective heat repellent.

While the commercial service in State College, Pa., is calling for a generally warmer-than-normal summer, it sees a slow start to the hot season.

“Storms hold back the front side of the heat,” said Paul Pastelok, long-range forecaster for the service.

We need not remind our readers of the perils of the long-distance forecast, but the outlook offers a measure of comfort in saying the summer of 2017 won’t be nearly as oppressive as its predecessor.

With an average temperature of 78.9 for the meteorological summer – June 1 through Aug. 31 – 2016 was the second-warmest such period on record.

Overall, 46 times during the warm season the temperature hit 90 or better; the normal is 24.

This time around, AccuWeather is forecasting 32 such days, said Pastelok.

As for the early-season wetness, he says an anomalously strong area of high pressure of the central United States, which favors dry and warm conditions there.

In response, areas to the East would be under lower pressure, which favors clouds and storminess.

In addition, the surface temperatures over the Gulf of Mexico are above normal, and they should help supply moisture.

What this forecast doesn’t address – nor do any others – is just how warm the nights will be. That’s a big question in some rowhouse neighborhoods where overnight heat can be life-threatening.

As we’ve reported, between 1874 and 1991, lows failed to get below 70 an average of 29 times during meteorological summer.

In the last 25 years, temperatures failed to get below 70 an average of 43 times.

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