How hot is California going to get this summer? Here’s what experts say

Six people are silhouetted against a red sky and setting sun.
Visitors to Signal Hill in Long Beach are silhouetted against the setting sun in September. NOAA say the probability of above average temperatures in California this summer is 33% to 50%.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Californians can expect hotter-than-average temperatures this summer.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that the weather for June, July and August will be warmer than normal.

Map showing higher than normal temperatures in majority of the southern, eastern and western states.

The temperature map shows that in California, especially in northern parts of the state, there will be a 33% to 50% probability that temperatures will be above average.


The rest of the U.S. — with the exception of a few Midwestern states — can also anticipate a warmer summer. The map is color-coded and the darker the color, the higher the likelihood that it’ll be hotter than normal.

No portions of the country can expect below-normal summer temperatures.

Meteorologists can’t say for certain why this summer will be hotter, but they suggest several factors can contribute.

Areas of high pressure tend to develop along the West Coast during the summer, resulting in clear skies, more sunshine and higher-than-average temperatures, according to National Weather Service forecaster Rich Thompson.

There is also a developing El Niño this summer — the warm phase of the El Niño-La Niña Southern Oscillation pattern — that could have some influence, Thompson said.

“The exact impact is hard to say,” he added.

Californians have already experienced unusual weather this year.

After a series of winter rainstorms that brought one of the wettest seasons in recent memory, only 6% of California is considered to be in drought, compared with more than 99% of the state a year ago, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.