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Summer weather outlook proves hard to predict

When summer officially arrives in Buffalo at 12:38 p.m. Sunday, it’s likely to be raining with temperatures in the 70s, National Weather Service forecasts show.

Given the soggy last couple of weeks, could it be a harbinger of things to come for the rest of the season this year?

Forecasters say there’s really no telling. Nor is there any real hint in the three-month outlook by the weather service’s Climate Prediction Center.

“There’s an equal chance of having above-normal, normal or below-normal conditions,” said John Rozbicki, a meteorologist at the Buffalo office of the National Weather Service.

In other words, wait and find out.

Last summer, following the harsh 2013-14 winter that brought a pair of blizzards to Buffalo, the mercury never hit 90 degrees and more than a foot of rain fell during the season. That was about 2ø inches more than average.

The summer of 2014 also had the fewest 80-degree days and coolest average high temperatures in five years.

And that followed warmer than average months of May and June.

Now, after another long, cold winter that gave way to the fifth-warmest May on record, residents could be re-primed for some sustained summer heat.

If you want to increase your chances for that, the national climate outlook suggests the warmest temperatures will be found out west and along the immediate Eastern Seaboard.

Take heart, though. Forecasters said there’s no way to extrapolate weather trends for this summer based on what happened last year.

“There’s really no correlation from one year to the next,” Rozbicki said.

What local forecasters can accurately predict is what the first seven to 10 days of the summer season will be.

According to Rozbicki, “it really doesn’t look all that unusual.”

There will be no extreme heat in the immediate forecast. Temperatures will stay right about average – in the mid-70s during the day and close to 60 degrees overnight – through at least Thursday, with alternating days of sunshine and showers and thunderstorms.

“It really is not going to change much from where we’ve been the last week or so,” Rozbicki said.