After the pattern change, the Southeast will remain hot and dry into the early summer with a high fire danger.



As the season progresses, increasing amounts of thunderstorms, and perhaps tropical systems, could bring some relief from the heat and dryness, but would increase the threat of flooding.



"Areas from the Middle Atlantic on south and west will run with temperatures above normal, but not as warm as last year," Pastelok said. "The dryness in the Southeast will continue into the start of summer."


Pastelok said the chance for early season (June) tropical storm development is possible along the entire Southeast U.S. coast. If the systems are weak and non-destructive, tropical moisture could bring some very beneficial rainfall to the area. However, there is always the chance a system could develop into a hurricane.



The Southwestern Plains into the Southwest Deserts will remain hot and dry for much of the summer, which could mean an increased chance of wildfires.



"The drought in the Southwestern Plains and interior Southwest will continue, spreading northward into the central Rockies," Pastelok said. "As always, with this drought comes a high fire danger."



The monsoon season that was non-existent last year may be more robust this summer, according to Western Expert Meteorologist Ken Clark, which means thunderstorms over the Southwest.

Clark suspects this will be a more active tropical season in the Eastern Pacific, especially in late summer. Weakening Pacific tropical systems could send tropical moisture into the Southwest and trigger thunderstorm activity.



“June Gloom" might get a late start this summer, but could persist well into the summer along the California beaches. Although La Nina is weakening and transitioning to a more neutral state, Pacific Ocean waters will still be colder than normal, giving the extreme West Coast, including beach areas, a persistent chill.



"The West Coast will have near- or below-normal temperatures as the cold (ocean temperatures) hang on through the summer, while the interior West heats up," Pastelok said.

As for the Pacific Northwest, the region will be back and forth, with some drying late in the season.