According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Californians should prepare for a summer season filled with heat.
The agency’s recent weather forecast for the months of June, July, and August indicates an elevated likelihood of warmer-than-usual conditions.
The temperature predictions for California, particularly its northern regions, suggest a 33% to 50% chance of temperatures soaring beyond the average.
The predictive temperature map, color-coded for ease of interpretation, illustrates the intensity of the predicted heat: the darker the color, the higher the probability of hotter-than-normal weather.
Summer Heat Not Exclusive to California
Good morning, #SoCal! ☀️
The big warm up starts today, with many inland areas hitting the 80 degree mark, and the lower deserts getting into the upper 90s.
Further warming is expected for the remainder of the week, with Saturday and Sunday as the warmest days. #cawx pic.twitter.com/e9eyCWvrrm
— NWS San Diego (@NWSSanDiego) April 26, 2023
The high-temperature trend is not confined to California; it is expected to extend across the majority of the U.S. However, a few Midwestern states are exceptions to this trend.
Notably, the forecast indicates that no regions of the country will likely see below-average temperatures this summer.
The Causes: Why Will It Be Hotter?
The reasons behind this potentially sweltering summer are not entirely clear to meteorologists. Several possible factors are being considered. One such factor is the frequent formation of high-pressure zones along the West Coast during the summer months.
These zones typically lead to clear skies, abundant sunshine, and elevated temperatures, according to Rich Thompson, a forecaster at the National Weather Service.
Another potentially influential factor is the impending El Niño phenomenon — the warmer phase of the El Niño-La Niña Southern Oscillation pattern. “The precise impact is challenging to ascertain,” Thompson noted.
California’s Weather Rollercoaster Continues
This prediction of a hot summer follows a year of unique weather events for Californians. A succession of winter rainstorms brought one of the most moisture-rich seasons in recent history.
Consequently, current drought conditions have significantly improved, with only 6% of the state now categorized as in drought. This is a marked contrast to last year, when over 99% of the state was grappling with drought, as reported by the U.S. Drought Monitor.