Expect a hot summer in the Philly region, NOAA forecasters say

Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict 2024 could be the world’s warmest year on record.

man sits on a chair in the path of a fire hydrant's spray

Philadelphia resident Daniel Tirado parked himself under an open fire hydrant during an intense heat wave on July 20, 2022. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

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The Philadelphia region is likely to experience a warmer-than-normal summer, according to a forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The prediction comes after several months in a row of record-warm global temperatures.

“Right now we’re just so far above all of the previous years,” said Karin Gleason, monitoring section chief at the NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, on a call with reporters Thursday.

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Last year was the world’s warmest year since records began in the 1850s. Recent warm ocean temperatures, exacerbated by El Niño, have alarmed scientists. 

Federal meteorologists are predicting El Niño conditions to fade and La Niña to potentially develop in the summer or fall, possibly bringing an active Atlantic hurricane season. At the same time, global temperatures are trending up due to human-caused climate change.

“It’s hard to say exactly regionally what will occur with the change towards La Niña,” said Dan Collins, a meteorologist with the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

A hotter-than-normal summer is considered likely in the southwestern and northeastern U.S., where officials say climate change–related warming trends are strongest. The East and Gulf coasts could also get more rain than normal this summer.

“These patterns of precipitation are generally consistent with the impacts of La Niña, as well as consistent with multidecadal climate change,” Collins said.

So far this year, temperatures have been above average in the Philly region and much of the eastern half of the country. Pennsylvania saw its fourth-warmest January-through-April period since records began in the late 1800s.

Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware have also gotten more precipitation than average this year, with Pennsylvania experiencing its second-wettest January-through-April period on record.

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NOAA officials say 2024 could turn out to be the world’s warmest year on record. Globally, last month was the warmest April on record — following 10 months of record-warm global temperatures.

“We’re still counting, of course,” Gleason said.

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