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.
Tropical Depression Two has formed in the Atlantic and could become the next tropical storm of the season by midweek.
Steamy air will return to the interior Northeast to the Ohio Valley this week, setting the stage for severe storms on Wednesday.
After a cool spell over the Detroit area, warmer air will return to the city for the new week.
Very warm and humid air will surge back across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast for the first half of the week, but the sticky air's presence will not last long.
Severe storms will fire up Tuesday afternoon and evening, threatening outdoor activities and travel for many.
With the recent heat fading away, more relief will greet the Northwest by midweek in the form of rain.
Atlantic Ocean (1498)
Christopher Columbus' third voyage. After leaving the Cape Verde Islands, the 4 ships drifted WSW in the equatorial current. "The wind stopped so suddenly and unexpectedly and the supervening heat was so excessive and immoderate that there was no one who dared go below after the casks of wine and water which burst, snapping the hoops of the pipes; the wheat burned like fire; the bacon and salted meat roasted and petrified."
Wasatch National Park, UT (1918)
504 sheep were killed by one lightning bolt.
Waterbury, CT (1926)
105 degrees -- record high for state.