Apr 26, 2024 - Climate

Summer 2024 outlook: Warm, but maybe not so dry

A map showing most of the US expected to have a warmer than normal summer

Map showing the likelihood of above, average, and below average temperatures across the U.S. during June, July, and August 2024. Photo: NOAA/CPC

The streak of scorching hot and bone-dry summers in the Twin Cities might be coming to an end.

Why it matters: Three straight years of significant drought in Minnesota has ruined crops, hampered outdoor recreation, and turned a state that is normally lush green to brown.

Driving the news: The National Weather Service released its summer outlook last week. Most of the state is leaning toward a warmer-than-normal June-August, but some of it could just as likely be cooler than normal, per the NWS.

  • The outlook also suggests a coin-flip likelihood of getting normal amounts of precipitation — far better than our recent dry spell.

State of play: Solid rain this spring has erased the drought that lasted from last summer into the warm and dry winter.

  • Two waves of rain are heading our way Friday through Sunday and could bring close to 1.5 inches to the Twin Cities, according to models shared by MPR News.
  • Warmer air arrives Tuesday, with forecasts calling for 60s and 70s much of next week.

Zoom out: Despite a shift to a cooler La Niña cycle, it's highly likely that much of the U.S. will still continue to be hotter than usual this summer, writes Axios' Andrew Freedman.

What they're saying: Michelle L'Heureux of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center told Axios that other climate trends — including human-caused climate change — may outrank the seesaw from El Niño to La Niña as the dominant driver of U.S. summer temperature anomalies.

What we're watching: Canadian wildfires, which caused awful air pollution in Minnesota last summer. There's an above-average risk of another burning summer north of the border, according to MPR News.

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