FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Carmeyia Gillis
Drought conditions in the Pacific Northwest
and Southeast are expected to linger
"Drought continues to be the major concern for many areas of the country," said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Jack Kelly, director of NOAA's National Weather Service. "Areas of eastern Georgia, the western Carolinas, and the Florida peninsula are entering their fourth year of drought." Kelly added a lack of precipitation in the Northwest, where the summers are usually dry, will provide "little, to no, relief" from drought conditions.
"During the summer, nearly every area of the country is normally subject to periods of extreme heat, wetness, or dryness," said James Laver, acting director of the NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. "Summer weather patterns over the continental U.S. are more difficult to forecast than those in the winter season because they are not strongly tied to a climate indicator, such as an El Niño or La Niña."
NOAA's climate specialists base the summer outlook on statistical and dynamic models, which include soil moisture content and long-term trends. "Currently, the tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures are near normal," said Vernon Kousky, a CPC specialist. NOAA's scientists indicate the possibility of a weak-to-moderate El Niño event in the late fall or next winter.
For Summer 2001, the nation can expect:
Near-normal temperatures and precipitation are expected for the Ohio Valley: Portions of this region have been experiencing drier-than-normal conditions, which require above-normal precipitation to alleviate;
In the Southwest, expect above-normal temperatures and near normal precipitation;
Warmer-than-normal temperatures and near-normal precipitation are expected in Alaska;
In Hawaii, drier-than-normal conditions are expected to continue with warm temperatures in the northwest half of the state.
More information on the Summer Outlook
is available on the following NOAA web sites.