For much of the United States, summer 2011 was sweltering, and the outlook for fall is not a cool one. The most recent seasonal outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center indicates an increased probability that temperatures will be significantly above normal (in the upper third of the temperature record for a given location and season) across much of the United States.
Red shaded areas are places where temperature is likely to be above normal. Moving from the outer edge of the shaded area to the interior, percentages indicate increasing probability that an area will experience temperatures in the top third of recorded temperatures for the season.
Unfortunately, among the states with the greatest likelihood of significant warmth are Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, where a months-long drought and record-breaking heat have already dried out water supplies and parched crops and pastures. For more on the dry conditions in summer 2011, see Drought in the Southern United States.