The new March, April and May forecast is for abnormally warm temperatures in much of the U.S. (Credit: NOAA/ CPC)
An unusually warm and dry spring is on the horizon for Florida and much of the eastern U.S., NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center said Thursday.
The CPC is forecasting above normal temperatures across the entire southern tier of states, from Southern California to Florida and up the East Coast to Maine. Only the Northwest and Upper Midwest is out of the warm spring forecast area — and even there, the agency hedged its bets and said there was an equal chance for above, below or normal temperatures.
No below normal spring temperatures are forecast anywhere in the U.S., including Alaska.
The Southeast, including Florida, should be dryer than normal, NOAA said.
The CPC also forecast above normal temperatures in Florida for February, despite what could be a cool start to the month.
The forecast for abnormally dry weather is perhaps a bit more troubling than the predicted heat. The Florida peninsula remains Abnormally Dry in the latest analysis by the U.S. Drought Monitor, issued Thursday morning.
With a little more than a week left in January, Palm Beach International Airport has had only 0.24 of an inch of rain all month, a deficit of 1.66 inches. Fort Lauderdale and Naples are also looking at a precipitation shortfall, although Miami precipitation is slightly above average for the month.
Sunday/ Monday’s forecast rainfall associated with an incoming cold front looks to be a quick splash of precipitation before more dry weather builds in by the middle of next week.
Miami is an outlier in its rainfall totals and precipitation deficits continue to mount in Key West, Marathon, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Tampa, Fort Pierce, Melbourne, Daytona Beach and Orlando.
SATURDAY UPDATE: The cold front expected to rip across the Florida peninsula on Sunday could bring strong thunderstorms, wind gusts of up to 60 mph, small hail and isolated tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service. The Storm Prediction Center’s forecast, above, is for a “slight” risk for severe weather Sunday and Sunday night into early Monday morning. (Credit: NWS-Miami)
MONDAY STORM WATCH: Winds accompanying the strong cold front due to sweep down the Florida peninsula late Sunday night or early Monday morning could gust as strong as 40 mph, according to the National Weather Service in Miami.
Some strong thunderstorms could accompany the front, forecasters said. Temperatures will be only slightly cooler behind the front.