Summer forecast: Dry heat wave

Gardeners should appreciate the rain now — they’ll have to water their plants a lot this summer.

AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dale Mohler projected a hot, dry summer in central Pennsylvania.

“I don’t think it will be one of the hottest summers, but it will be a very, very warm summer,” he said. “1988 was blistering hot and so was 1983, 2011 and 2012 were pretty warm, but the last two to three have been relatively cool. It’s been a while since we had a really warm summer here, and people will notice the difference.”

A warmer than average summer, though, may seem small on paper.

“If you look at the three warmest months each year, June, July and August, we should expect the temperature to be one to two degrees above normal,” he said. “The normal high is somewhere in the 80s, so about 2 degrees warmer doesn’t sound hot. Factor in that we’ll still get days that will only be in the 70s and some other days we’ll be in at least the mid-90s. So, it will be very hot for some stretches.”

Mohler expects some crop production to decline due to the warmer, drier weather. There could also be less severe weather.

“Thunderstorms are determined by moisture from the Gulf of Mexico that is transported north to this area, and sometimes there are some disturbances if you get warm air at surface that rises quickly,” Mohler said. “We don’t think it’ll happen too much this summer. A lot of times there won’t be enough moisture.”

People on vacation will experience closer to normal temperatures in the southern half of the country.

“I don’t think temperatures will be out of line. There’s a little more potential for tropical storms and hurricanes than last year,” he said. “So, there may be a higher risk, but we’re not expecting a really active season.”

Shawn Annarelli: 814-235-3928, @Shawn_Annarelli