Updated: May 26, 2022
Spring rain is extremely important when looking at a summer outlook. Areas going through spring with dry conditions have a greater than average chance of high summer heat and humidity. A wet spring means high heat and drought will be delayed if it even develops at all. Why? Watch!
As of May 25th, we are running a rainfall surplus of almost 4'' which is a good thing going into early summer. While it will keep the actual air temperature out of the triple digit category, heat index temperatures could exceed it with excess soil moisture.
Let's look at where drought conditions exist as of late May. Much of the western United States has had a very dry spring with severe drought ongoing.
The drought outlook through the end of August shows the drought persisting over that same area. Excessive summer heat is likely over the west and that raises concerns for a bad wildfire season there.
This is one of the reasons NOAA has a high chance for above average temperatures over the west. The confidence in above average temperatures elsewhere is lower. Keep in mind, my observation has been NOAA does NOT use blue much meaning there's a chance some areas may end up with below average temps for the summer outside of the western U.S.
The private company, weatherbell.com shows slightly above average temperatures for much of the western United States with an area of well above average across Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota. The rest of the country is near average. Very interesting to see the differences and similarities between NOAA and weatherbell.
NOAA has a good chance for below average rainfall over the drought areas of the west with above average east. Equal chances here meaning there are no strong signals to indicate which direction it may go. Wish they would not do that, IMO.