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Most of the Mountain West is in for a hot and dry summer, forecasters say

A green tree grows amid dry, yellow bush on a hillside
Madelyn Beck
/
Mountain West News Bureau

News brief

The National Weather Service released its June outlook Tuesday, and more hot and dry conditions are forecasted for Utah, Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico.

Part of all of those states are expected to have higher than normal temperatures and lower than normal precipitation. And a forecast for later in the summer, published on May 19, suggests those higher temperatures will stick around.

There is some good news for Montana and areas of northern Idaho and Wyoming.

“Looks like the early part of June could see kind of a cool, relatively wet start – a continuation of what we’ve seen this past spring across both the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies,” said Brad Pugh, a meteorologist with the Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center.

However, those areas are expected to heat up as the summer progresses and face lower than normal levels of precipitation. That means vegetation growing well under early summer rains could dry out and fuel wildfires later on.

The next wildfire outlook is expected to be published by the National Interagency Fire Center on June 1.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

I'm the regional reporter with the Mountain West News Bureau at Boise State Public Radio.