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First day of astronomical summer–forecast for July through September

Today is the first day of astronomical summer, as the sun reaches its highest point in the noon sky.  Climatologists don’t use June 21 as the first day of climatological summer, though, since for most people the warmest temperatures align best with the June 1-August 31 period.  But it is still a good chance to look ahead for the next few months to see what might be in store.  Indicators for July show that warmer and drier than normal conditions are likely across most of the Southeast.  The longer range forecasts for July through September show that warmer than normal temperatures are likely to continue through September, although the predictions for precipitation in the three-month period are less certain.  The biggest question about late summer precipitation is how much the tropics will contribute to precipitation amounts across the area.  We are still watching for an El Nino to develop in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, but while the probability is high, NOAA has not yet determined that an El Nino is in progress.