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Forecasters say 50 percent chance for a hotter than normal summer

(File, Associated Press)

The odds of a “warmer than normal” summer in Western Washington are tilting toward above average, according to NOAA.

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Areas around Puget Sound have as high as a 50 percent chance of being hotter than a typical summer. Seattle has a 48 percent probability of seeing higher than normal temps, according to NOAA.

That may come as a surprise — or perhaps relief — for a region that has put up with record-breaking rainfall for months. Seattle measured 44.7 inches (114 centimeters) of rain between October and April, making it the wettest such period since records began in 1895, according to the National Weather Service. It’s been a bit of a drag for a region that typically experiences cold-weather systems with dry breaks in between.

Forecast models from NOAA indicate below-normal precipitation beginning Sunday. That dry period is expected to continue through at least Thursday.

University of Washington Professor of Climatology Cliff Mass says a dry period in mid-May isn’t unusual. It represents “the interregnum between the weakening storms of the winter season and the unpleasant June-gloom of late May and June.”

Though the Puget Sound region has a higher than normal chance for a hot summer, it isn’t guaranteed. There is a 33 percent chance for a near-average summer and 27 percent chance for a cooler summer, according to NOAA.

The following map depicts which states have higher probability of being warmer, or hotter, than normal (the darker the color, the higher the chance in either direction):



It is only the Great Plains that NOAA says has an equal chance of being cooler, normal, or hotter.

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