The Southeast will have near- to slightly above-normal warmth this summer, according to the AccuWeather.com 2012 Summer Forecast. Meanwhile, some rain relief is in store, especially for Florida.
Cities such as Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh will be among those forecast to have near- to above-normal temperatures this summer.
It has been a very dry spring for the Southeast, which has allowed a strong dome of high pressure to set up over Florida. The worst drought conditions, exceptional drought, are gripping portions of Georgia and northern Florida.
With the pattern transitioning to El Niño, the ridge of high pressure should gradually break down this summer, according to AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski.
Near-normal precipitation is in store for much of the Southeast as a result.
While the most active severe weather is anticipated for the Great Lakes to the mid-Atlantic, AccuWeather.com Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said, "Any fronts that manage to make it as far south as northern Georgia and the Carolinas could spark active storms."
In fact, near- to above-normal rainfall may be in store for interior portions of the Southeast, including far northern Georgia and upstate portions of the Carolinas.
Steering currents in the tropics will also be directed toward the East Coast at times, particularly late in the summer. This may leave the Atlantic Seaboard open to a tropical system hit.
Rainy Florida photo by Flickr user zoovroo
Farther south, the pattern will change around for Florida with the return of showers and storms this summer that could help gradually cut into the drought gripping the state. Pastelok said that the Gulf of Mexico is warmer than normal, which should promote a typical, humid summer for the Sunshine State that will help support thunderstorm development.
There may even be a tropical system hit in Florida this season that could supply beneficial rain.
"If Florida remains dry through May and into June, then statistics would suggest a tropical hit in central or southern Florida," Kottlowski added.
While lulls in tropical activity in the Atlantic will continue, a rapid end to the hurricane season in September does not always occur during an El Nino.
After heat has dominated headlines this summer, cool air has finally taken control of the northern half of Europe with no signs of departing anytime soon.
Steering winds could take Ignacio, as a remnant storm, into the southeastern arm of Alaska or British Columbia during the middle days of next week.
While Tropical Storm Kevin will stay well away from Mexico, its moisture will still lead to an increase in showers and thunderstorms from Baja California to the Four Corners region of the United States.
A stormy weather pattern will prevail through September across much of southern South America.
Downpours will spread from Italy to Ukraine to start the weekend before cooler air works southward and eventually sweeps the heat wave away from the Balkan Peninsula.
Los Angeles, CA (1988)
110 degrees -- all-time September record.
Washington, DC (1939)
"Once in a hundred-year rainstorm" 4.40 inches in 2 hours at the Washington Zoo.
Minneapolis, MN (1941)
Tornado - 5 dead - $450,000 damage.