From the for-what-it’s-worth category: A pair of long-term forecasts indicate that the Ellicottville area and most of Western New York are likely to have “near or slightly above average” temperatures this summer.
With all the festivals and activities planned for the upcoming months, that’s good news.
Meanwhile, the Northeast as a whole, including Upstate New York just to the east, is likely to have a warmer-than-normal summer. Most of the Midwest is expected to be cooler than normal.
The Weather Channel and the Climate Prediction Center, the long-range forecasting arm of the National Weather Service, both said a warm summer is likely in store for the East and West coasts.
“Summer temperatures will be hotter than average on both U.S. coasts and cooler in the central part of the country,” the Weather Channel said. The climate center gave a similar forecast.
Both forecasts look at the overall pattern of June, July and August. Those months can be warmer than normal as a whole, but still have cool periods or even a cool month.
The Weather Channel and climate center agree that a weak El Nino drives the summer weather. The climate center said El Nino has a 65 percent chance of sticking around through the summer. El Nino is an abnormal warming of the eastern Pacific Ocean along the equator, and it can influence weather patterns for all of North America.
El Nino isn’t the only factor influencing the national summer forecast, though. The Upper Midwest and Plains are expected to be cooler than normal in part because of flooding rain that fell the past two months. Saturated soil lowers air temperatures.
In addition, the amount of sea ice along the western Alaska coast is below normal, which will help warm the Pacific Northwest.