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Forecast: Warm, stormy summer ahead

Betsy Bloom/Daily News photo A Baltimore oriole dines on grape jelly at a feeder in Dickinson County. The later migrating songbirds such as orioles, tanagers, rose-breasted grosbeaks and hummingbirds have begun to return to the region.

IRON MOUNTAIN — The long-range outlook from the National Weather Service calls for a potentially warm and stormy summer season.

A southward dip in the jet stream has led to chilly weather last week, but the forecast calls for a high in the 60s this week.

Looking much further ahead, the Climate Prediction Center puts the chances for above-normal temperatures through July at 47% in the area, with chances for below-normal at just 21%.

The temperature outlook is tied to La Nina, the periodic cooling of water in the central Pacific Ocean. La Nina is now gradually weakening, which has typically led to warm summers in the U.S.

“If we look at summers following first-year La Nina winters, we can see a very hot signal across most of the western and northern U.S.” said Todd Crawford, a weather.com meteorologist.

AccuWeather forecasters, meanwhile, say the first part of summer could feature frequent thunderstorms across the Midwest. This should limit the potential for long-duration heat waves, meteorologist Brian Lada said.

AccuWeather predicts the most active zone for severe weather will be around Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri, due to drought in the western U.S.

Drought conditions tend to limit thunderstorm formation because of how dry it is near the ground, AccuWeather meteorologist Paul Pastelok said. The risk for severe storms and tornadoes, then, will extend a bit farther to the east than normal.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows no areas of concern in northern Wisconsin and the central Upper Peninsula.

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