The rollercoaster weather this summer can be described as anything but mild. And in the latest “State of the Climate” report, it is shown to be one of the wettest – and warmest.
The report shows that from June to August, the contiguous United States had its eighth wettest and fifteenth warmest period on record.
“The West and parts of the Northeast were much warmer than average during summer. In the West, eight states, from New Mexico to Washington, had seasonal temperatures that ranked among the 10 warmest on record. In the Northeast, four states had one of their 10 warmest summers on record,” the report said.
Much of the East reported a very wet summer, with New York, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida reporting the wettest summer on record. Many states in the northern tier of the country, from Idaho to Illinois, reported significantly below-average rainfall for the summer.
However, August itself was far from the wet. In the Northwest and High Plains, it proved to be the No. 1 and No. 2 driest Augusts reported, respectively. In particular, August 2013 was one of the driest in state history in Nebraska (No. 1), Wyoming (No. 1), Idaho (No. 4), Oregon (No. 3) and Washington (No. 1).
So what’s ahead for the winter?
NOAA reports that most model forecasts continue to predict ENSO-neutral, also called “La Nada” by some meteorologists, well into next spring. Tony Lupo, climate scientist at the University of Missouri, agrees and believes that the Midwest should have an average winter.
“Most areas may see the colder weather come earlier than last year, when we were under the influence of La Niña,” Lupo said. “Also, we should see a normal amount of snow. Last year, the Midwest had little snow well into the winter and then we got a lot of snow late. I expect a more normal distribution of snow this year.”
Last year, as El Niño fizzled into La Nada, NASA climatologist Bill Paltzert explained to the Los Angeles Times that “with La Nada, it’s like teenagers without rules. It’s unconstrained and unpredictable.” Read more here.