Sweating it Out: America Braces for Unusually Hot Summer 2024

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STATE COLLEGE, PA — Get ready to crank up the AC, America! According to AccuWeather’s long-range forecasters, millions across the country are set to experience above-historical average temperatures this summer.

This forecast comes hot on the heels of a spring season that saw cities like Baltimore hitting 90 degrees – a whole month ahead of historical averages – and Phoenix experiencing its earliest 100-degree day in six years.

“Summer 2024 can feature heat waves for many areas across the Plains to the Northeast. Compared to historical averages, the hottest areas could be over the Great Lakes, upper Midwest, and southwest Plains,” warns AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster, Paul Pastelok.

Such sweltering temperatures mean that air conditioners and other cooling devices will be working full throttle, resulting in a spike in energy demand and potentially leading to higher utility bills for families and businesses.

New York City is predicted to see double the number of 90-degree days compared to last summer, while Boston could experience a four-fold increase in such high-temperature days.

It’s not just the East Coast that’s expected to feel the heat. Philadelphia, Chicago, and Washington D.C. are also forecast to swelter under more 90-degree days than both last summer and historical averages.

On the brighter side, showers and thunderstorms could provide periods of respite by dampening the heat, particularly in June and July. However, drier weather in August may see the temperature rising again.

Gulf Coast states will also experience some relief from last summer’s dry spells, leading to less severe temperatures and drought conditions. Nevertheless, high humidity levels will keep nights warm.

In the Pacific Northwest, storms will be the saving grace, bringing showers and thunderstorms to Portland and Seattle, reducing the chance of prolonged heat waves.

Meanwhile, Denver is set to see more 90-degree days this summer, whereas Minneapolis, Dallas, Phoenix, and Portland, Oregon, can expect fewer.

This nationwide increase in heat is expected to trigger an uptick in storms, with severe weather events being particularly frequent in June and July. According to Pastelok, the intense summer heat can also enhance the risk of derechos – intense thunderstorms that can cause widespread wind damage over a long path.

Moreover, Pastelok forecasts an increase in monsoon activity in the Southwest and flooding from the Florida coast to the Texas coast this summer, paralleling an “explosive” hurricane season with 20 to 25 named storms across the Atlantic Basin and four to six direct impacts on the U.S.

Accompanying this rise in tropical activity is an anticipated ascent in wildfire risks across the U.S. and Canada, especially following a warm winter with below-average snowfall across much of the northern Plains and upper Midwest, which augments drought conditions.

Streaks of 100 to 110 degrees are predicted in the interior Southwest due to these dry conditions. Drought is also predicted to ensnare the northern Rockies to the far interior Northeast.

While things heat up across much of the country, California seems to be the cooling-off exception, remaining largely free of widespread drought through the end of 2025 due to above-historical average precipitation and mountain snowpack over two consecutive winters. Nevertheless, pockets of abnormally dry conditions could still emerge by late summer.

So, Americans should brace for a sweltering summer, remember to stay hydrated, and check on their community’s most vulnerable citizens during exceptionally hot days. As for power bills? It might be a good time to invest in energy-saving measures and appliances.

For more information on your local weather conditions or guidance, be sure to check out MyChesCo Weather Center.

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