The South and West are expected to experience a hot summer for 2008, but the Midwest and East could experience below normal temperatures for the months of June through August.

Of course, the trouble with weather forecasting is, as one pundit put it, “that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.”

With the economic outlook not exactly encouraging,The NEWSturned to the 2008 Old Farmer’s Almanac and tried to make sense of the data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Weather Service (NWS) to find out if the summer weather will be at least cooperative and help make contracting businesses busy.

Here is how the next three months are supposed to pan out:

SOUTHEAST(includes portions of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia):Summer will be slightly hotter than normal, with below-normal rainfall in eastern North Carolina and above-normal rainfall elsewhere. The hottest temperatures will occur in early June, early to mid- and late July, and early August.

Breaking that down, the NWS is calling for 54 percent above-normal weather for the Raleigh-Durham area in North Carolina over the next three months (June, July, and August), while the Augusta-Bush area in South Carolina is expected to experience only 24 percent above-normal temperatures during the summer months.

Meanwhile, Tallahassee, Fla., is expected to experience 43 percent above-normal temps over the next three months while Atlanta, Ga., is forecasted to have 36 percent above-normal temperatures for the summer of ’08.

APPALACHIANS(portions of District of Columbia, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia):Summer is expected to be rainier than normal, with near-normal temperatures. The hottest temperatures are forecasted to occur in early and late June and mid- and late July.

Turning to the NWS, it predicts the Detroit, Mich., area will experience equal above-normal (33 percent), near-normal (34 percent), and below-normal (33 percent) temperature swings. The same equation is forecasted for the New York City area. In Charleston, S.C., however, the service is predicting above-normal temperatures for more than one-half of the summer months (51 percent), while 31 percent of the time near-normal temperatures are expected.

NORTHEAST(portions of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Vermont):Summer is expected to be rainier and slightly hotter than normal. The hottest periods are expected to occur in mid- to late June and mid-July.

Examining the predictions from the NWS, the Bangor, Maine, area is calling for 60 percent above-normal temperatures for the months of June, July, and August. During this same time period, temperatures will be hovering equally (33 percent above-normal, 34 percent near-normal; and 33 percent below-normal) in the Boston, Mass., vicinity, while there will be 40 percent above-normal temperatures for the Allentown, Pa., area.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST(portions of California, Oregon, and Washington):Summer will be one to two degrees above normal, on average, with below-normal rainfall. The hottest temperatures will occur in early June, late July, and mid- to late August.

Getting specific, the NWS forecasts that the Sacramento, Calif., area will experience 37 percent above-normal temperatures this summer while Portland, Ore., is predicted to have 31 percent above-normal temps. The Seattle vicinity is expected to experience 31 percent above-normal temperatures.

HEARTLAND(includes portions of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin):Summer will be slightly cooler and drier than normal, according to the 2008 Farmer’s Almanac. The hottest temperatures will occur in early and mid to late June and mid- to late July.

Temperatures in St. Louis are supposed to be equal (33 percent above-normal; 33 percent below-normal; and 34 percent near-normal) over the summer months while the area around Milwaukee is supposed to have 51 percent above-normal temps during June, July, and August.

HAWAII:Summer temperatures will continue to average one to two degrees warmer than normal, with the hottest periods in mid-July and the first half of August. Rainfall will be slightly below normal from Kauai to Oahu, and slightly above normal in the eastern islands. The rainiest periods will occur in mid-June and mid-July.

ALASKA:Summer temperatures will average about a degree warmer than normal in the southern half of the state and about a degree cooler than normal in the north, with near-normal precipitation. The warmest periods will be in mid-July and early August.

Publication date:06/23/2008