Summer forecast calls for heat but a bit more rain

Local outlook predicts high temperatures

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The heat saturating the Augusta area broke several records last week and came during a year that has seen above-normal temperatures every month. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center, the next three are likely to follow the same trend.

“Looking at their three-month outlook for July through September, there’s a good chance of above-normal temperature for the state,” Georgia State Deputy Climatologist Nyasha Dunkley said. “They’re looking at a lot of different factors to come up with an overall picture, so you’re not saying we’ll be two degrees over normal or five, but the general idea is that we will see above-normal temperatures.

“People will still have a good time in the sun, and you’ll still have afternoon pop-up thunderstorms, as is the summertime trend. The big question and concern will be with the tropical activity and if we will have any of that in this area, which we have yet to see.”

The National Hurricane Center is calling for a near-normal tropical season.

The Climate Prediction Center also forecast that Augusta and the rest of central and southern Georgia will likely see slightly above-normal summer rainfall, although there was no prediction of precipitation in the far northern areas of the state.

The rain, though, is not expected to stop the drop in water levels of area lakes. Billy Birdwell, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said levels in Thurmond Lake have begun to fall and will continue to do so.

“The decline there will be gradual,” Birdwell said. “But unless there is unusual or tropical activity, we expect the decline to continue all summer.”

All the prediction data translate to a typical summer in the Southeast, with temperatures slightly higher than normal.

“It looks like a fairly decent prediction for those who love summertime,” Dunkley concluded.

2012 AVERAGES

Augusta’s average monthly temperatures in 2012:

January 49

February 52

March 64

April 65

May 74

June 78

Note: Temperatures are rounded to the nearest degree Fahrenheit.

Source: Weather Source LLC

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