(NEXSTAR) – This summer is shaping up to be a hot one in Texas.
In its long-range weather outlook for June, July and August, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts most U.S. states are leaning toward a hotter-than-average summer – and Texas is no exception.
The temperature map (below) is lit up in shades of orange and red. The darker the color, the higher the probability of above-normal temperatures.
Texas summers are usually hot, but this year may be even more blistering. Most of the state is “likely” to see above-normal temperatures, according to the outlook.
The highest chances are found in the western edge of the state, near El Paso, where the heat can be scorching even in a normal month. The average high in El Paso in June is 98 degrees.
The predictions for this summer’s precipitation are more of a toss-up. Most of the Lone Star State has equal chances of above-normal and below-normal rainfall.
How much rain is normal varies across the vast state. Austin typically sees about 3.7 inches in June, 2 inches in July, then 2.7 inches in August, according to KXAN meteorologist Nick Bannin.
West Texas is the only part of the state that NOAA’s forecast indicates is leaning toward a dry summer.
NOAA’s summer predictions come as meteorologists are on standby for an El Niño to start any minute. Forecasters say there’s an 80% chance the transition to El Niño takes place between May and July.
However, even if El Niño does kick in before the start of summer, it probably won’t have a big impact on how hot or rainy it is, National Weather Service meteorologist Michelle L’Heureux explains. El Niño and La Niña’s biggest impacts are typically on winter weather.
“Historically, El Niño events during the summer tend to have very weak impacts over the United States,” L’Heureux said. “Another way of phrasing that is that El Niño’s impacts can often be unreliable in the summer and not repeat from one El Niño event to the next El Niño event.”
Because the link between El Niño and summer weather isn’t strong, NOAA forecasters use other data to inform their outlook for June through August.
One consequence of El Niño we may see this summer has to do with hurricane season, which starts on June 1. El Niño can strengthen hurricane season in the central and eastern Pacific, but it tends to contribute to weaker hurricanes forming in the Atlantic basin.