WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Summer is shining down on us once again, and it hasn’t been kind to the flowers.
We’re currently in week 2 of no precipitation across the Ohio Valley…and West Virginia climate experts say hot and dry may be the name of the game this summer.
You may remember what an odd winter it was.
While it got bitterly cold at times, the conditions never aligned for snowfall—and we ended up with about 1 inch total.
By the time the spring rain showed up—it was too late.
“It’s been almost a winterless type of year, basically, I mean really, a majority of the state did not receive much snowfall at all with the exception of the mountain counties.”Dr. Kevin Law, West Virginia state climatologist, Marshall University professor
We had a third year in a row of La Nina, a weather effect formed by lower sea surface temperatures—but things are heating up.
We’re in the process of swinging over to an El Nino year, where warmer currents in the Pacific are being pushed our way this summer.
But we’re not there quite yet—for the time being we’re in between El Nino and La Nina in what’s called an ENSO-neutral phase.
“Perhaps by late summer we’ll then be kind of in the weaker phases of the El Nino and then we might start to see some of the climate anomalies.”Dr. Kevin Law, West Virginia state climatologist, Marshall University professor
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, that will mean slightly higher than average precipitation and temperatures.
However—Dr. Law and Chief Meteorologist Zach Petey beg to differ.
When they look at past trends in El Nino years, they see drier than normal conditions, especially with the high pressure system hanging around our region.
So keep a watering can handy for your garden.
“I wouldn’t be very optimistic in terms of precipitation, at least what we’re seeing in these forecasts. Usually whenever we have these blocking highs, El Nino tends to make it a little bit drier.”Dr. Kevin Law, West Virginia state climatologist, Marshall University professor
But it also means that rain won’t cancel your vacation plans quite as often.
The New River Gorge just added hundreds of acres.
The state is offering free fishing June 10th and 11th.
And if you’re a golfer, a muggy day might just help you on the course.
“Believe it or not, that wet or that damp or humid air is actually going to be less resistant for the ball to fly.”Dr. Kevin Law, West Virginia state climatologist, Marshall University professor
Dr. Law says the hotter temperatures will also make the ball go further.
So while it may be less comfortable on the course, it’s looking like a prime season for the driving range.