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Sweltering, steamy summer in store, but light on Atlantic hurricanes, according to various predictions.

Video: Sizzling Summer Will Be Light on Hurricanes, Heavy on Heat and El Niño

ICTMN Staff
5/22/14

Weather experts have weighed in on the upcoming summer season, and the forecast is in. A strong El Niño could make for fewer hurricanes, while temperatures could skyrocket and rain could deluge.

In other words, the Northeast most likely will not have to worry about a Superstorm Sandy type tempest. However, in terms of comfort it will be “out of the freezer, into the fire,” as the Old Farmer’s Almanac put it.

“Summer is going to be a scorcher with higher-than-average temps and lower-than-average rainfall throughout most of the continent,” said the Almanac in its annual prediction, released at the end of April. “Be prepared for record-breaking ‘sizzle’ in parts of the country.”

The sizzle will be a bit too literal in some parts, the Almanac warned, with drought continuing and intensifying in many parts of the west, south, and mid-west, and an increased threat of wildfires.

RELATED: Southwestern Firefighters Brace for a Long Summer as Wildfire Season Starts a Month Early

On another front, NASA and other agencies are monitoring wind and wave patterns in the Pacific that could indicate a return of El Niño, the weather phenomenon that pushes water levels higher on Turtle Island’s side of the ocean. Usually the trade winds warm the water and move it toward Indonesia in a series of ripples called Kelvin waves, NASA said on May 19. But this year’s indications are that the wind is pushing these waves back toward the west coast of South America, which—if it happens—will put the world’s largest repository of warm water on Turtle Island’s doorstep.

Because of this, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center on May 8 said there’s a 65 percent chance than an El Niño will develop on the scale of the one that occurred during 1997-98, when weather patterns were significantly changed.

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