“The Midwest faces the highest risk of severe weather this summer, especially in June and July,” including the risk of a derecho, the private weather company said.
The good news emerging from the forecast is that Minnesota is less likely to have a repeat of summer 2021 when smoky, smoggy air filled the skies due to wildfires and seemingly endless drought.
Although the season for beach trips, vacations, and other outdoor fun doesn’t officially begin until the summer solstice on June 21, meteorological summer begins on June 1. Summer temperatures have already arrived in Southern California, while residents of the northern plains are still shivering from the lingering blasts of arctic air and blizzard conditionssaid AccuWeather.
All of this will soon be a distant memory, according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Paul Pastelok. Whether you live in a specific region or are planning a vacation, here’s what you need to know about summer 2022:
Rain, Tornadoes, Derechos
People living in the Northeast and Midwest can expect a wet spring to continue into summer. This could disrupt some summer activities. But look at it this way: You won’t have to water the lawn as much, Pastelok said. On the other hand, “you’ll probably have to mow the lawn often,” and finding a window to do so can be tricky.
More humidity could mean stronger storms, including damaging tornadoes, in the northeast through midsummer and in the Midwest through June and July.
Meteorologists are concerned about some similarities between weather patterns and 2012, a summer that produced a derecho that tore through the Ohio Valley and the Mid-Atlantic. A derecho is essentially an inland hurricane with damaging winds of at least 58 mph that spans at least 240 miles.
This year, the areas most at risk for derecho are the Midwest, the Ohio Valley and parts of the mid-Atlantic.
“Not a great summer at the beach”
People planning a vacation to the Southeast and Atlantic coast shouldn’t bank on a day at the beach every day. “You’re always going to have a hot day here and there, and I think it’s going to be a decent but not great summer at the beach,” Pastelok said.
In addition, an early tropical storm system could create problems in the central Gulf Coast, including most of Florida and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, according to forecasts. Hurricane season is expected to intensify in late summer and early fall.
Relief from dryness?
Drought conditions are persistent from Texas to Montana, with most High plains experiencing severe to extreme droughtaccording to the US Drought Monitor.
This should change, but not for the better.
“The High Plains are going to end up getting drier and drier as we move into the early part of the summer season,” Pastelok said. “So I don’t see any relief coming that way from a big [thunderstorm] developing complexes.”
He said temporary drought relief was expected from a “pretty decent annual monsoon season” in the Rocky Mountain and Four Corners regions of southwestern Colorado, southeastern Utah, northeastern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico.
It could disrupt outdoor plans across the western interior, including trips to visit sites such as the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Zion and Arches National Parks in Utah and the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
And with the monsoon season, there is an increased risk of lightning strikes, which could start fires, and a risk of mudslides. “So it’s not all good news, but it’s good news when it comes to water,” Pastelok said.
Fire season has already started in the Four Corners area.
Another active fire season
Temperatures will be 6 and 8 degrees cooler than last year from Seattle to Salt Lake City in early summer, but the cool and periodically rainy season won’t last long, writes AccuWeather. Along with the rest of the West Coast, the Pacific Northwest will experience hot, dry conditions in mid-summer, according to AccuWeather.
Although the monsoon season will bring some temporary relief, drought conditions in the interior southwest will continue to deplete reservoirs and could lead to water restrictions and hydro power disruptions.
Due to the drought, the wildfire season in Southern California could resume in June and become widespread in the western United States in July and August.