Warm out west, cool over Great Lakes in May

Most of the latest climate indices suggest that the cooler than normal conditions that have persisted across the Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeast since late fall will continue in May.

Periodic shots of cooler air, thanks to a northwest flow out of Canada, are still expected to affect these regions during May. Some long-term climate models and indices indicate that a near to slightly cooler than normal summer may be in store for some of these areas.

As a result of the predicated slightly cooler than normal temperatures, a surplus of late-season heating degree-days of between 30 and 60 is forecast in parts of these regions.

On the flip side, slightly warmer than normal temperatures are projected across portions of the Pacific Northwest, Great Basin and Desert Southwest. This likely will cause a deficit of late-season heating degree-days across the Pacific Northwest and a surplus of early-season cooling degree-days in the Desert Southwest.

Overall, temperatures will average closer to normal from the plains down to the Southeast and Gulf Coast. As far as the ENSO phase is concerned, it remains neutral with no definitive signs of El Nino in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean yet, but there is still about a 50 percent chance of an El Nino this summer.

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