Hotter than Average Summer Forecast for North Carolina

NORTH CAROLINA — Get ready to crank up the air conditioning! North Carolina is in for a hot summer.


What You Need To Know

  • The outlook for June, July, and August issued by the Climate Prediction Center is for a hotter and wetter than average summer for most of th eastern U.S.
  • In recent years, overnight lows have been warming at a faster rate during the summer months compared to afternoon highs.
  • We’ll all need to take heat safety precautions this summer like drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Sure, summers typically are hot in North Carolina, but the long range outlook for June, July, and August is for above average temperatures in much of the eastern U.S.

That seasonal outlook from the Climate Prediction Center also indicates the state should see higher than normal rainfall over the next few months.

A Humid Summer Too?

Near to above average rainfall this time of year would suggest that it will be a steamy summer.  In other words, we may often talk about how the humidity is making it feel even hotter than the actual temperature.

It’s Not Just the Afternoon Temperature

Just like every other season of the year, summers have been getting warmer in North Carolina over the last several decades.  Climate research has shown that our overnight lows have actually been warming at a faster pace during the summer months compared to daytime highs.

You may think that at least it’s not the daytime highs that are warming faster.  However, warmer nights do cause health concerns for us.

The effects of hot summer weather on our bodies is cumulative.  When we’re not able to cool down much at night, the risk for heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and even heat stroke increases.  

We say it every year, but it is important to remember again this summer: take all the precautions we always take to stay safe during the hottest part of the year.  Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.  If you work outside, take frequent breaks in the shade or air conditioning if possible.  Try to plan any strenuous activity for the cooler parts of the day like the early morning or late evening.

Drought Outlook

There is some good news in the summer outlook.  A summer drought does not appear likely at this time.

All of North Carolina is entering the summer without any stage of drought.  With the likelihood of near to above average rainfall, a drought is not expected to develop over the next few months.

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