(You may be) feelin’ hot hot hot

Readers of my work over the years know my definition of the seasons differs from the National Weather Service and the calendar.

Summer runs from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. Fall runs until Thanksgiving. Winter runs from Thanksgiving to Easter. (Yes, winter is the longest season of the year.) And spring is from Easter to this weekend.

In the same way that those who pay the electric bills do not root for cold winters, one should not root for hot summers. And yet summer to me should be hot. You should break a sweat when you walk outside. I maintain that one of mankind’s greatest innovations is air conditioning, particularly automotive air conditioning. You can always find a cool spot in your house if you don’t have air (one of the functions of basements). Even when I was too young to know the specifics of air conditioning or car payments, I knew that 4-60 air conditioning — four open windows at 60 mph — was bogus.

According to AccuWeather, therefore, the young version of me, not to mention the part of me with the bizarre fascination with severe weather, should enjoy this summer starting in two weekends:

It will be a hot summer for the Rockies and Plains in 2012, while active severe weather targets portions of the Great Lakes to the mid-Atlantic. …

An active severe weather season will extend into the summer. Storms will ride over the northeastern edge of heat with increased chances for severe weather from the Great Lakes to portions of the mid-Atlantic. This type of severe weather pattern is often referred to as “ring of fire” storms.

Michigan and Minnesota to portions of Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey will lie in the battlegrounds of severe storms at times. Cincinnati, Ohio, Lexington, Ky., Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia are among the cities at risk for active severe weather.

During the early and middle part of the summer, the threats may include damaging winds and the threat for tornadoes before the northern jet stream weakens and an El Niño pattern sets in. Later in the summer, there may be a shift to more heavy rain events in the unsettled zone.

The one thing that comes to mind here is that I have lived in four of the six counties — in order, Dane, Grant, Dodge and Fond du Lac counties — that have had the highest number of tornadoes. (The other two are Iowa County, which is between Dane and Grant counties, and Marathon County, the state’s largest county in land area.) But I have yet to see a tornado. Twice tornadoes that were sighted near where I lived, but I was out of the area those days.

For what it’s worth, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting, so far, a pretty normal summer in terms of temperature …

… and precipitation:

The one warning I make about long-range predictions is that six months ago, AccuWeather predicted “The Worst of Winter.” Which may have been the worst prediction AccuWeather ever made. But AccuWeather had plenty of company, because the Weather Channel and the National Weather Service made essentially the same predictions, and those predictions were essentially all wet.

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