The US government's forecast for summer 2016 was released this week, and it's not pretty. Most of the continental United States has a good chance of a scorcher this year. In fact, the only part of the country that's likely to escape it is the heart of the Great Plains.
In other words: the so-called "fly-over" states are going to be the place to be this summer, so start planning your road trip now if you're a coast-dweller. Kansas, Nebraska, and parts of South Dakota, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and northern Texas appear to be pretty much in the clear, and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cites the region's currently extremely high soil moisture as the cause.
coast-dwellers, start planning your road trips
In contrast, Alaska has the highest likelihood of a hotter-than-usual summer, as sea surface temperatures there are already averaging 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.
The map below shows where chances of a hot summer are highest, according to the NOAA.
The West Coast and the Northeast Atlantic region each have a 50 to 60 percent chance of summer temperatures that are "well above average." This means that temperatures there might put them in the warmest third of all summers in the US between 1981 and 2010. As for why this summer will be so hot (besides climate change), the NOAA says the West Coast is still feeling the effects of the record, two-year-long El Niño conditions in the Pacific Ocean, which have only recently begun to dissipate.
For people in New York City, where The Verge's offices are very unfortunately located, the effects of elevated temperatures will be compounded by the fact that they live on an "urban heat island." This is a term used to refer to the obnoxious situation in which human beings cover the ground with concrete and asphalt (which store heat exceedingly well), very tall buildings (which reflect and absorb sunlight), and zillions of cars (which expel waste in the form of more heat). It is, on average, 5 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit warmer in New York City than in the nearby ‘burbs on any given evening. Good job, everyone!
When is the first train to Beatrice, Nebraska? That sounds like a nice place.