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Hot summer forecast for central U.S.

  |   May 3, 2012 at 12:01 AM
STATE COLLEGE, Pa., May 3 (UPI) -- The Rockies and U.S. Plains states will have a hot summer while active severe weather targets portions of the Great Lakes to the mid-Atlantic, forecasters say.

Meanwhile, the Northeast should escape any prolonged period of heat, meteorologists at AccuWeather.com reported in a summer 2012 forecast.

Drought-stricken and wildfire-ravaged areas of Florida should see some relief in the form of showers and thunderstorms while heavy monsoon downpours will target portions of the Southwest deserts as moisture streams in from the eastern Pacific, likely moving in across the Southwest by the middle of July, they said.

The La Nina pattern of cooler than normal water temperatures over the central and eastern equatorial Pacific that has been in place for of the last two years has ended and is transitioning into an El Nino pattern with above-normal temperatures, AccuWeather said.

The hottest summer weather will hit the central and western Plains into the Rockies as a large dome of high pressure sets up residence across the region, Paul Pastelok of the service's Long-Range Forecasting Team said.

"Western Nebraska, western Kansas and eastern Colorado have the potential to see temperatures in the upper 90s and more than 100 degrees for a long string of days," he said.

The large area of high pressure will shift farther west as the summer progresses, Pastelok said, drawing the hottest air farther north and west.

Wyoming and Colorado could be the hottest during the peak of summer in July and into August, while Denver is expected to have a hot summer, he said.

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