By Zach Butler, Meteorologist Posted 10 days ago June 4, 2024

May 2024 Review & June Outlook for the Eastern U.S.

This May saw spring finally show up in New England with summer underway in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Above-normal precipitation and above-normal temperatures affected most of the East during May with thunderstorms and severe weather impacting all states in the East.

June will see equal chances of above and below-normal precipitation throughout the East, with 30-50% of above-normal temperatures for several areas in the East. Read on to learn more about the weather in May and the forecast for June.

May 2024 Review:

May saw a mix of active and inactive weather across the East. Spring and early summer heat finally made its way into New England, accompanied by thunderstorms that affected all states in the East. The 'green-up' has reached New England, making it feel like the start of summer.

Thunderstorms and severe weather were most frequent through the Southeast, causing above-normal precipitation through many areas. The Mid-Atlantic and New England experienced scattered thunderstorms in May, which caused areas to see above and below-normal precipitation.

Severe weather mainly affected the western and southern half of the East during May. Several storm systems brought favorable conditions across the US and into the Eastern US with tornados, severe wind, and hail. The severe weather lessened considerably in New England.

Below is a look at the preliminary severe weather reports from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in May 2024.

The severe weather and above-normal precipitation through much of the East were associated with above-normal temperatures in May. Thunderstorms need warm air to grow and strengthen, so not surprisingly warm air brought an increase in severe weather.

Nearly everywhere across the East saw above-normal temperatures in May. Temperatures were the most above-normal in New England. The southern half of the East saw slightly above-normal temperatures and was even near normal due to the increase in storms with the above-normal precipitation. The increase in storms and precipitation kept the atmosphere cooler thus keeping temperatures cooler to near normal.

June 2023 Outlook:

The outlook for June shows no clear signals of above or below-normal precipitation and temperature with equal chances of both occurring through most of the East. A few exceptions to this will be a favorable area for storm systems to impact New England, bringing a 30-50% chance of above-normal precipitation. An area of above-normal precipitation (30-50% chance) in the south-central US could extend above-normal precipitation into Georgia and the Carolinas.

Mid to late June is at or near the climatological peak for severe weather activity through much of the East so expect more days of severe weather in June.

Temperatures have equal chances of being above and below-normal through most of the East. There is a 30-50% chance of above-normal temperatures through parts of the Southeast and New England.

I do not see many opportunities for below-normal temperatures this June, so expect the start of summer heat to remain normal to above-normal.

Tropical Outlook:

The Atlantic Ocean tropical cyclone season starts on June 1, which means we are underway and will start to watch the Atlantic Ocean for hurricanes and tropical storms. There are already well above-normal sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean, which will cause favorable conditions for tropical cyclones to grow and strengthen.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has an 85% chance of above-normal hurricane and tropical storm activity. We will have News article updates on notable hurricanes and tropical storms this year so stay tuned!

Fire and Smoke Outlook:

Eastern US wildfires are not common and if they do occur, usually cover a small area with limited impacts. Despite that, wildfires occurring in the Western US and Canada can transport smoke and cause impacts across the East. We all remember the doomsday sites across the East from wildfire smoke transport from Canada in June 2023.

Below is a look at the wildfire potential across the US in June 2024.

The Western US wildfires and smoke transport will be fairly quiet in June, with no to limited impacts on the East. In Canada though, the wildfire season is expected to see above-normal wildfire activity. This is due to drought conditions across much of the country.

Below is a look at the wildfire forecast across Canada in June 2024.

It is too early to confidently say when, where, and if wildfires develop, let alone where they transport smoke. We will want to keep an eye on the sky and the OpenSnow smoke transport map

Happy June and enjoy the start of summer! I will continue the monthly reviews and forecasts at the start of each month this summer and into the fall.

Zach Butler

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About The Author

Zach Butler


Zach Butler is currently a PhD student in Water Resources Science at Oregon State University. He just finished his master's in Applied Meteorology at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. Originally from Maryland, he has grown up hiking and skiing up and down the East Coast. When not doing coursework, he enjoys cooking and exploring the pacific northwest on his bike.

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