Breakdown: What record-setting May heat tells us about summer temps

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - May has been unseasonably hot and many of you are starting to wonder if that is a sign of even an even hotter summer.

We have recorded 19 days of above average temperatures as of May 22nd. That was a big change from a cooler-than-normal April.

We looked up past data and there were a couple of years where an unseasonably warm May gave way to searing summer heat with several days above 100 degrees. But a warm May by itself does not necessarily mean a steamy summer.

The one-month temperature outlook for June and the three-month outlook for June, July, and August from the Climate Prediction Center has a 33 percent chance of above average temperatures during those periods.

The highest chance for unseasonably hot temperatures will be across the southwestern U.S. One reason it may be warmer is because we will be transitioning from an El Niño to a La Niña. That means the sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific will go from unusually warm to unusually cooler.

Those sea surface temperatures can impact global weather patterns along with rainfall and temperatures. In a La Niña summer, we would usually have drier and slightly above average temperatures.

Another factor can be rainfall leading up to the summer. It's been wet so far in 2018 across the Mid-South. We are close to nine inches above average in rainfall in Memphis since January 1st. That means there is more moisture to evaporate and moist air doesn't heat as effectively as dry air.

So, if we continue, that could lessen an unseasonably hot summer. If the pattern gets drier, we could be in store for some very hot days.

Copyright 2018 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.