News flash: Summer is coming, and it could be hot and dry.
AccuWeather Inc., The World-Herald's private weather consultant, is forecasting that much of summer's heat will hang over the Rocky Mountains and Central Plains.
That could mean the potential for long strings of days with temperatures in the 90s to 100-plus degrees in western Nebraska, said Paul Pastelok, lead forecaster for AccuWeather's long-range forecasting team. That kind of weather would average about 4 degrees above normal, he said.
For the rest of Nebraska and eastern Iowa, the odds don't favor any particular trend in terms of heat or moisture, the weather company said in its first summer forecast.
That doesn't mean the Omaha-Council Bluffs corridor or the Lincoln-area will escape the heat.
The rest of spring and start of summer are projected to be warmer than normal for eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, according to combined forecasts of AccuWeather and the U.S. Climate Prediction Center.
After that, the heat should move west toward the Rockies and intensify, according to AccuWeather.
The stormy start to spring should finish the summer in the Great Lakes region, AccuWeather says, and a number of the storms could fire up over Iowa, so much of the central and eastern part of that state could face a bumpier-than-normal ride, Pastelok projects.
Seasonal forecasts can be dicey propositions. However, for now, El Nino and its sibling La Nina, are the best-understood long-term predictors of seasons. The upcoming summer is being influenced by a developing El Nino, according to AccuWeather.
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