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.
Some of the warmest weather of the year will continue across Alaska over the next few days, challenging more records.
Join us on Thursday for AccuWeather LIVE, we will discuss the debate of climate change and hurricane frequency and the top five things you need to know about summer weather.
Warmth is forecast to build over much of the eastern half of the nation by July, with Alaska of all places helping out.
A brief synopsis of the top five worst weather events of last summer.
The storms could affect cities from St. Louis to Evansville, Ind., Louisville, Ky., Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio to Huntington, W.Va.
A tornado touched down at Denver International Airport as a severe weather system moved through the area.
Atlanta, GA (1991)
3.47" of rain in 1 hour.
Philadelphia, PA (1990)
Hail up to the size of marbles fell with wind gusts to 50 mph in the northeast part of the city.
Central Illinois (1964)
19th-20th) Hail as large as grapefruits battered more than 50 counties, causing crop and property damage totalling $9.2 million.