AccuWeather.com Chief Long-Range Meteorologist Joe Bastardi is calling for a hot summer for most of the nation, with much warmer temperatures than the summer of 2009.
The latter part of the summer could be warmer than the beginning for much of the nation, with the exception of the West Coast, which could begin cooler in June.
"There will be substantial warmth for much of the U.S. this year," said Bastardi. "The warmest of the summer months relative to averages for the nation should be August and our forecast is for overall warmth to last into September."
Temperatures will be more than 3 degrees above normal from Colorado to western Texas and into the Southwest. This heat combined with a lack of moisture will result in a substantially increased wildfire risk.
In the Northeast, from interior Maine to western Virginia, temperatures several degrees above normal summer averages are expected.
Above-normal June temperatures will highlight much of the nation.
"Pockets of cooler-than-normal air may be a problem in June near the coasts," Bastardi said. "Most of the nation will be at or above normal and certainly warmer than last June."
However, those seeking a better chance for cooler weather this summer should be advised to head towards the West Coast or extreme northern Plains.
With increased numbers of thunderstorms across the northern half of the Mississippi Valley, there could be also some cooling as the summer progresses. Bastardi suggests that it will not be as cool as the summer of 2009 in these regions.
2010 Hurricane Season
Bastardi is calling for the 2010 hurricane season to be a top-10 active year, sharply contrasting last year's calm season.
"Hurricane season will start early and stay late this year," said Bastardi. "My biggest fear is that it goes beyond the nasty season I have forecasted since February. 2010 may be remembered as the hurricane season from Hades."
He predicts a total of 16-18 storms and an early start with one or two threats by early July. Fifteen storms could strike amid the western Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.
He is forecasting seven storms to impact the United States, five of those being hurricanes. Two or three of those hurricanes will be major landfalls for the United States.
He adds that in the heart of the season, there will be a "bunching" of tracks in the area around the southwest Atlantic.
Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 20.
(content contributed by AccuWeather.com Staff Writer Gina Cherundolo and Expert Senior Meteorologist Ken Reeves.)
Related to the story: AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center 2010 Atlantic hurricane season could rank in the top 10
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