Now that the nation is finally showing signs of emerging from the worst recession since the 1930s, HVAC contractors may get some relief from the cold, hard times of the last couple of years with a hotter than normal summer in much of the country.

The latest long-range seasonal forecast from the National Weather Service (NWS) notes that one of the main factors that influence the seasonal outlook is El Niño or La Niña conditions. El Niño is the name given to the warm phase of the climate pattern affecting the Pacific Ocean. La Niña is the cold phase.

NWS states that El Niño conditions continue across the tropical Pacific. The most recent monthly sea surface temperatures depart from the normal range from 1° to 2°C above normal across many areas in the equatorial central and eastern Pacific.

The May-June-July temperature outlook indicates above-normal seasonal mean temperatures for much of the western United States and Alaska, as well as for the Southeast. Enhanced chances for below-normal temperatures are indicated for portions of the Great Plains.

For the June-July-August to August-September-October periods, above normal temperatures continue to be indicated across much of the western U.S., parts of Alaska, and the Southeast. Elevated chances for below-normal temperatures are indicated during June-July-August across parts of the upper Mississippi Valley.

Publication date:05/10/2010