A neutral ENSO phase remains in place across the Equatorial Pacific Ocean. Sea-surface temperatures are near to slightly warmer than average at this time, which indicates that there is still somewhat of a chance of at least a weak El Nino developing during the next few months. The possibility of this weak El Nino was taken into account for the July temperature outlook across the United States.
Overall, slightly above normal temperatures are expected across portions of the Pacific Northwest, Great Basin, Intermountain West, and Desert Southwest. Parts of the Southeast, Deep South, and eastern Gulf Coast may also see temperatures average a little warmer than normal in July due to ongoing drought conditions in these regions of the country. A surplus of monthly cooling degree days by between 20 and 60 as well as slightly higher energy costs with respect to cooling are projected throughout these areas.
On a whole, temperatures will likely average closer to normal across much of the Plains, Midwest, Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast during the month of July. It should be noted that parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast could also see warmer than normal temperatures in July if the NAO (North-Atlantic Oscillation) becomes positive over the next month.
On the flip side, given at least a weak El Nino signal, the possibility exists for parts of the north-central Plains to average slightly below normal temperatures in July. Confidence in both of these scenarios is not high enough to include them in the temperature outlook for July, but it should be monitored.