As a kid I remember those warm and steamy days of summer with periods of showers and thunderstorms in eastern North Carolina. It looks like the summer of 2012 will be a return to that period of time. We've seen some long dry periods over the past couple of decades, with many farmers and gardeners struggling due to the dry conditions. My dad was a farmer and would frequently say, "dry weather will scare you but wet weather will ruin you." It always seemed to me as well that a heavy rainfall could cause problems in the fields than a stretch of dry weather although it would worry you if the rain stayed away for too long.
It appears we don't have to worry about much dry weather this summer. Yes, we'll see some periods of dry conditions but I don't expect it to last very long. The overall pattern suggests a trough over the East Coast for much of the summer which would lead to periods of showers. The trough is a byproduct of a transition to El Nino later in the summer and fall. The showers and increased cloud cover will lower temperatures a bit over last summer when the 90s were common on many days. Keep in mind the relative humidity will be a bit higher this summer and that will give us a high heat index even when temperatures don't hit 90° or higher.
Will it turn out the way I've pictured it? We'll know the answer by August and September. Meantime, enjoy the different kind of summer this year.
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