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2017 Summer Weather Outlook & Planting Guide

SummerThe Heat
Is On!

Summer officially begins Wednesday, June 21, 2017, at 12:24 a.m. EDT. This is the date of the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year in terms of daylight. And according to our long-range weather predictions released in the 2017 Farmers’ Almanac, summer will be a real sizzler for most of the country.

How Hot Will Summer Be?

First let’s look back at last summer. It was slow to gain traction. We predicted that the real summer-like temps would arrive later in the season, and sure enough, it wasn’t until late August and early September that the real sweatin’ began. The lack of rainfall even plunged New England into an historic (albeit mild) drought.

This year, summer temperatures are expected to arrive right out of the gate with unseasonably hot and dry weather for the Rockies and Great Plains, as well as the eastern states. In fact, the Northeast/New England, Great Lakes/Ohio Valley, and South Central States could see a spell of hot weather with many 90-degree temperatures and even one or two spots breaking 100 in the very first week of summer!

The Southeast, which is having a hot spring, will have to get ready for ”typical“ summer weather, complete with oppressively high humidity, warm-to-hot temperatures, and the ongoing ”percolating effect“ of late-afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms popping up.

If you live in the North Central portion of the country, or plan on visiting there, you should prepare for scorching temperatures and dry conditions for most of the summer season.

For the South Central region of the U.S., we’re forecasting muggy and hot conditions overall. Watch out for severe thunderstorm activity for New Mexico, Texas, and Arkansas in late August and early September.

Is The Drought Out West Over?

The Southwest is in for a good old-fashioned, sweltering summer. Our long-range outlook is predicting it to be hot and mainly dry, save for the seasonal showers and scattered thunderstorms over the deserts. While California Governor Jerry Brown recently declared an official end to the statewide drought, residents are cautioned not to abandon their water conservation efforts just yet because Southern California, the driest part of the state, is still experiencing a drought. Our forecast calls for more sweltering and sizzling conditions overall, with average rainfall, which may not be enough to keep this region out of a water deficit entirely.

Summer Showers?

What’s summer without thunderstorms? There will be plenty of them! In fact, for the Northeast and New England, the season starts with a round of dangerous thunderstorms capable of hail, high winds, and even an isolated tornado. The Fourth of July holiday may also be a tad wet in these areas. Overall, we’re calling for average amounts of precipitation. The Northeast (Zone 1) toggles between storms/rain and fair conditions throughout the summer.

See The 5 best places to watch a thunderstorm here »

”Warm and soggy“ conditions are forecast for the Great Lakes and Midwest areas, where above-normal precipitation is predicted, chiefly from locally heavy showers and thunderstorms. ”Tornado Alley“ (which runs from northern Texas north through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and the eastern half of South Dakota) may become quite active, especially in July.

August’s Solar Eclipse

Of course, everybody will want a clear view of the Great American Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017, but many eclipse-chasers may have to stay mobile in order to dodge widespread clouds and showers along the lengthy aisle of totality. This is one time when we hope our weather predictions, which are said to be 80% accurate, miss the mark and fall within that other 20%. Time will tell.

See what we’re forecasting for your region »

Summer officially begins Wednesday, June 21, 2017, at 12:24 a.m. EDT. This is the date of the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year in terms of daylight. And according to our long-range weather predictions released in the 2017 Canadian Farmers’ Almanac, summer will be a real sizzler for most of the country.

How Hot Will Summer Be?

Before we look at this summer, do you remember last summer? It was one for the record books! We had predicted a warm one and, in fact, summer 2016 was the hottest on record for two of Canada’s largest cities (eastern): Toronto and Montreal, with mean temperatures of 23.07 degrees C and 21.55 degrees C, respectively.

This year, Mother Nature is going to once again dispel the myth that Canada is too cold for swimming. We are forecasting unseasonably hot and dry weather for the Rockies, Prairies, Quebec, and the Maritimes. The Great Lakes region should also be warm, but we are predicting a few more swimming in the rain days, with above-normal precipitation from locally heavy showers and thunderstorms on tap. British Columbia will enjoy a tranquil summer, with average precipitation and mainly pleasant conditions.

Summer Showers

What’s summer without thunderstorms? There will be plenty of them in many regions. In fact, the opening week of the season starts out with a bang -- we’re predicting showers and possible gusty thunderstorms for Newfoundland and Labrador; dangerous thunderstorms capable of producing hail, high winds, and even an isolated tornado or two across the Great Lakes, Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick and Quebec, as well as Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. These continue throughout the season, but luckily are intermingled with fair and pleasant spells. Be sure to check our forecast here before you plan your vacation week. Thunderstorm activity is high throughout July and August for Ontario, which is why we are labeling this region "warm and soggy."

Tropical Storms?

As for tropical activity, we are forecasting the threat of a hurricane for Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island in mid-September and some days later, another tropical cyclone might spin-up again near Nova Scotia, but may pose more of a threat to Newfoundland. But overall we don’t see too many tropical storms affecting the east coast of Canada. Take note that the traditional peak of the hurricane season is September 10.

 

See what we’re forecasting for your region »

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Top10Vegetables
To Grow
(click each vegetable for details)

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Start: Start seeds 6-8 weeks before the last frost

Transplant: Plant outdoors when night time lows reach 60°F or higher

Water: Regularly—soil must be evenly moist, but not soggy

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Start: Seeds best started directly in the garden after soil temperatures reach 60° to 65°F

Water: Regularly, particularly after flowers appear

Sweet Bell Peppers

Sweet Bell Peppers

Start: Start seeds 8-10 weeks before the last frost

Transplant: When soil temperatures reach at least 60° to 70°F

Water: Regularly–keep soil moist but not flooded

Beans

Beans

Start: Never start indoors, sow outdoors when average temperatures reach 60° to 70°F

Water: Once per week, or each time the soil starts to dry out

Carrots

Carrots

Start: Start seeds outdoors, after frost, when soil temperatures reach 55°F

Water: Daily, very lightly until seeds sprout, then cut back to once weekly, or as the soil dries

Summer Squash

Summer Squash

Start: Start seeds 3-4 weeks before the last frost

Transplant: When soil temperatures reach 60°F

Water: Weekly, or whenever soil starts to dry out

Onions

Onions

Start: 3 ways to start: (1) Start seeds in midsummer, harvest sets in the fall (2) Start seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost (3) Start last year’s sets outdoors 2-4 weeks before the last frost date

Transplant: (Seeds or sets) 2-4 weeks before the last frost

Water: Once to twice per week to keep soil moist–stop one week before harvesting

Lettuce

Lettuce

Start: Start seeds outdoors as soon as the soil can be worked, or indoors 3-4 weeks before you transplant them

Transplant: Transplant any time once plants have been hardened off

Water: Once per week during spring–switch to more frequent, light watering over the summer

Peas

Peas

Start: Sow seed outdoors as soon as the soil can be worked

Water: Only when the soil is dry–about once per week in the spring, more often in the summer

Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn

Start: Start outdoors after last frost

Water: Frequently–at least twice per week, more during hot, dry weather

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