During the past month, sea-surface temperatures across much of the Equatorial Pacific Ocean continued to run slightly warmer than average. Some further warming has occurred across parts of the eastern Pacific during the past few weeks, which indicates that the El Nino is likely strengthening somewhat.
The latest long-range climate models indicate a 90 percent chance of this El Nino’s persisting through summer and as high as an 80 percent chance that this El Nino will continue through the remainder of this year.
This El Nino, along with some regional longer-term precipitation anomalies, likely will be the main influences on summer temperatures across the U.S. As for July, slightly above normal temperatures are forecast throughout parts of the Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies and Intermountain West. Total monthly cooling degree-days across these regions are projected to be at a surplus of between 30 and 60 in July. Cooling costs also will be slightly higher than normal.
In contrast, temperatures are predicted to be slightly cooler than normal across parts of the southern Plains, Ozarks and the lower Mississippi Valley. Very wet soils throughout portions of Oklahoma and Texas may hinder at times the amount of heating. Cooling degree-day deficits of between 30 and 90 are expected across these areas.
The northern Plains, upper Midwest and much of the East Coast will see closer to normal July temperatures.