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POLL: What's Your Ideal Summer Temperature?

Along with updates on the summer forecast, such as escalating drought and severe storms, we ask about your ideal summer weather.

Each April, releases a summer forecast, providing the weather highlights for the United States. As summer approaches, see the updates to the forecast below which include the concerns of severe storms, drought and flash flooding.

JUMP TO: Escalating Drought for California, Texas| August to Usher in Strong Heat for East | Cool for Great Lakes | Storms to Grip the Central, Southern Mid-Atlantic States

1. Escalating Drought for California, Texas

With above-normal temperatures and below-normal rainfall expected from Phoenix to Los Angeles and up through Seattle, the Southwest will only dig deeper into the drought in the coming summer months.

As dry conditions mount, temperatures will spike with highs climbing into the 90s and 100s in the valleys of California.

Already this spring, multiple fires broke out across the West, including the Hunters, Slide and Poinsettia fires, burning thousands of acres, causing mandatory evacuations and destroying numerous homes in their path.

Drought conditions will also expand into the Northwest this summer, as heat coupled with the dry land will heighten the wildfire risk for the region.

"They are going to go into a very dry period, and that could lead to some big problems as we get into the middle to later parts of the summer," Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said.

While the drought locks in this summer across the West, heat will ramp up in southern Texas, putting the area at risk for strengthening drought conditions.

"We could have a drought developing in the lower valley of Texas along the Gulf Coast, southeast Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley," Pastelok said.

2. August to Usher in Strong Heat for East

A relatively normal summer is in store for much of the I-95 corridor with temperature swings and pop-up thunderstorms.

The region will experience some "refreshing cooldowns" in June and July due to areas of high pressure out of eastern Canada. August is expected to heat up for cities along the coast.

For those in the Southeast and Florida, spotty storms, high humidity and near-average temperatures will make for a typical summer season.

3. Cool for Great Lakes

With near-record ice coverage on the Great Lakes this winter, lingering springtime ice will make water temperature recovery difficult in the lakes and as a result, may impact summer weather for the region and some of the United States' major cities, including Cleveland, Detroit and Buffalo, New York.

"It's going to affect the overall atmosphere around the region," Pastelok said. "It may be a bit on the cooler side."

While there will be some warmth for the area in the short-term, overall temperatures will trend below-normal. The lagging lake temperatures could also lead to less severe weather near the lakes.

4. Storms to Grip the Central, Southern Mid-Atlantic States

A battle zone of unsettled weather will unfold between the warmth in Texas and the cooler weather in the Great Lakes, as severe storms erupt in the Midwest, Ohio Valley, central Appalachians and into the Carolinas for June and July.

Some of these storms will make their way to the southern mid-Atlantic as well.

Farther west, moisture from the Pacific Ocean will be ushered into the Rockies at times, helping to fuel numerous thunderstorms and threats for flash flooding in the area.

"They could have some flooding issues around Denver down towards Albuquerque during the course of the summer," Pastelok said.

However, this increase in moisture could help limit wildfires in the region as well.

For the full 2014 summer forecast, visit

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