Thursday, April 6, 2017

Summer 2017 Outlook

Despite busting  my winter 2016-2017 temperature outlook, my snowfall outlook got it right for the most part. Which shows, you can get a lot of snow, even during a warm winter.  Summer outlooks are much harder to forecast,  than winter outlooks. For this reason this outlook is a little more limited in scope than my typical winter outlooks.

We have a developing El Nino in the Pacific. It won't be as strong as last summer's.  I do think it will act like the La Nina over the winter.  The 2017 El Nino will be short lived. It should be weakening as we head into the upcoming winter.  There is a good chance this will end up being a weak El Nino Modoki event. If this is the case late fall and the winter will see the greatest impacts in the Mid Atlantic and Northeast.

Looking at the sea level pressures in the Pacific, the SOI is looking to be negative over the next 6 weeks, This trend looks to continue into Summer 2017.  Those cold SSTs in the Indian Ocean and around Indonesia means this won't be a long lasting El Nino. The upcoming El Nino should end up being quite weak .

My analogs  were difficult to compare to this year. But the closest I could find were: 1959, 1960,1961, 1980, 1983, 2002, 2006, 2009. None of these were a exact match. But they were close enough to gather some insight.   (Note: NOAA has been readjusting the old data. This makes past events look cooler than they might have been. ) So that doesn't help.


The summer will start off cool. But then we will warm a little after midsummer. But we're going to see a lot of back and forth between cool shots and warm shots.  Typically transitions from La Nina to El Nino lead to overall cooler summer, especially during the 2nd half of summer.  This is because the atmosphere takes a little time to move from one phase to the other.  Overall, this upcoming summer, looks to be average to  slightly below average in temperatures. 


On my Facebook weather pages, I've been talking about how I expect to see a very active severe season in the Northeast.  Also the threat that I see from close to the East Coast forming tropical cyclones, again those warm SSTs off the East Coast, has to be taken into account.
We have an ongoing drought going on in New England down into eastern Pennsylvania , New Jersey, and the Mid Atlantic. This is especially true for Connecticut and Long Island; the rest of the region is doing OK.  There is also drought in the Southern U.S. I do expect to see the active pattern we're in erode quite a bit of this over the next couple of weeks. But these areas will have to be watched. As, they would have a part to play on where the heat sets up.  But I expect to see most if not all the drought in the Northeast gone by July.

I don't anticipate this to be a typical dry El Nino.      


The severe season  in the Northeast runs from June through August. The Plains will be cooler than average June July and August. This is typical for El Nino years.  With a trough setting up in the Plains. We would see back and forth ridging and troughing over the east coast, with an active storm track looking to be in the cards. Severe weather in the Northeast will ramp up. This should end up a fairly active year for severe weather, with perhaps several severe outbreaks over the region.

Bottom Line:

This Summer is going to see temperatures cooler than average in June into July .  Then we will start to see a change to warmer overall temperatures mid to end of July and August.  I expect the temperatures to end up over all average to slightly below average for New England and New York State into Western Pennsylvania. With temperatures  over the rest of Pennsylvania and the Mid Atlantic to be moderately above average.  But we won't have the sweltering heat we had in Summer 2016.
This Summer will see a wet June and July, with things starting to dry up a little in August.  Overall I think precipitation will be above average.  The wild card will be severe season and tropical activity. But if these play out like I think this Summer and Fall could be wet.  Going in to the Fall, could see us warm up to above average. 
I will have a separate post on the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season, and my thoughts on the Severe Weather Outlook for June through August.


  1. Walden Pond is so low, we have a sandbar exposed! I am hoping the drought eases in Eastern Massachusetts.

    1. The pattern at least for the next couple of weeks, looks active. So we will see storms move through every 2 or 3 days....this should make a big dent in the drought conditions.


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