From floods and rain to droughts and unseasonably warm conditions, here’s the weather that Americans can expect in the coming months.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its long term weather forecast for Spring 2018, the period running from April until the end of June. Importantly, NOAA’s projections are just that: projections. They’re based on probabilities churned from intense number crunching and historical data. As always, stay tune to local weather conditions for more accurate reports as the season unfolds.
Temperatures are expected to be above average for the southern two-thirds of the continental United States, extending from California to the central Plains and into the Northeast. Places most likely to be warmer than usual this spring include an area extending from the southwest across Texas and into the Gulf Coast. The northern half of Alaska and Hawaii should also be warmer than usual. Only the northern rockies will see temperatures below the norm.
Right now, more than a quarter of the United States is experiencing drought, including southern California, the southwest, the northern and southern High Plains, and parts of the Southeast. NOAA expects drought to continue in most of these places, and even expand by June. On the positive side, drought conditions should wane in the northern Plains and the lower Missouri Valley owing to the usual spring rains.
Speaking of rain, those of you in the northern United States can expect wetter-than-average conditions this spring, from the northern High Plains through to the Great Lakes region, Ohio Valley, and into the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Hawaii and northern Alaska are also expected to see a bit more rain than usual. Below average precipitation is expected in the west and south, including California, the south-central plains—and in Texas and areas of Oklahoma where drought conditions are in effect.
Spring hasn’t arrived, but heavy rainfall has already triggered flooding in the Ohio and Mississippi River basins, and record flooding has been recorded in the lower Great Lakes region. Until the end of May, folks in the lower Mississippi Valley, the Ohio River Basin, the Illinois River Basin, and in parts of the lower Missouri River Basin, should expect moderate flooding. People living near the Columbia River and upper Missouri River Basin aren’t off the hook, either, where minor flooding is possible thanks to the heavy snowpack that built up this winter.
Mike Halpert from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center can tell you a bit more about what to expect this spring in this video.
Again, stay tuned to local weather conditions, and be prepared for changing conditions.