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Why scientists believe this summer will be warmer than usual

Pacific Heat Wave Climate
Posted at 10:39 AM, May 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-20 13:39:46-04

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration experts predict this summer will be hotter than usual for most of the United States.

In its seasonal projections released this week, NOAA said most of the United States has a high probability of an above-average summer, especially in the western United States.

Johnna Infanti, a meteorologist with the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, said a La Nina pattern will be largely responsible for the expected warmth in the west. While in the northeast, warmer sea surface temperatures will likely help warm up the region, she said.

So far in 2022, most of the United States has been near average temperatures, while temperatures have been warmer than usual in California and Florida.

The United States isn't the only nation experiencing a warm-up.

The last seven years were the warmest on record and Earth is showing no signs of cooling down, a report released Wednesday by the World Meteorological Organization said.

The organization’s report noted that four key climate change indicators – greenhouse gas concentrations, sea-level rise, ocean heat and ocean acidification – set new records in 2021. The rise of carbon dioxide levels, which came from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and gas, were blamed for the record levels of greenhouse gas concentrations.

NOAA’s projection is also calling for drier-than-usual conditions in the western United States, which could further exacerbate the region’s drought.

The first four months of 2022 also marked the driest start to a year ever recorded in California, NOAA said. January-April also marked the third-driest start to the year for Nevada and Utah.

Infanti said the La Nina along with low soil moisture have contributed to the drought conditions.