Expect more hot weather

Temperatures will average above normal in most of the United States in August, extending what has been the warmest year on record so far, the U.S. National Weather Service said on Thursday.

“We’ve had record average warmth in 2006, and the outlook for August is above-normal for much of the country,” said Edward O’Lenic, meteorologist for the NWS.

The heat in August will be focused on the southern and central parts of the country, with temperatures well-above normal over eastern Texas, according to the monthly forecast.

The outlook could mean additional pressure on the U.S. electrical grid, which held up to bouts of record demand for air conditioning during a heat wave this month.

The Northeast and the eastern Midwest, big population centers, will have equal chances of getting hotter or cooler temperatures during the month, the NWS said.

Much of the Texas cotton-growing region and the U.S. Northwest will also see below-normal precipitation in August, the NWS said in its 30-day forecast.

“The existing drought in Texas will likely continue or deepen,” said O’Lenic.

The dry outlook could have implications for the Texas cotton industry, already facing problems from thin rainfall in July.