Warm spring on tap for U.S., NOAA says, but widespread flooding possible

Winter’s last gasp will be history by the middle of next week as temperatures finally bounce back in South Florida — and above-average warmth is in the new long-range forecast for April through June.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above-normal temperatures for most of the U.S., with the exception of the West Coast and the northern Rocky Mountain states.

The agency also released its spring outlook Thursday and warned of flooding in North Dakota, Idaho, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The concern is melting snow pack coupled with possible heavy rains.

But even northwestern Florida and the panhandle face some flooding risk this spring, forecasters said.

Three months temps
(Credit: NOAA/ CPC)

“The greatest odds for above-normal temperatures include the south-central Plains and eastern U.S.,” NOAA forecasters said. “No areas in the U.S. are favored to see below-average temperatures this spring.”

In addition, although the U.S. Drought Monitor kept most of South Florida under Moderate Drought conditions in their latest analysis this week, CPC forecasters said drought would likely be removed in Florida over the next three months. The rainy season usually begins around May 15.

March rainfall totals are running from about an inch and a half deficit in West Palm Beach to a half-inch surplus in Miami.

Thursday was one of the coldest days of the season in South Florida, with temperatures 10-12 degrees below average in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Naples and West Palm Beach.

The normal high is now 80 in Miami and gets bumped up to 81 on Monday, the first official day of astronomical spring. The normal high turns over to 80 in West Palm Beach on March 26.


Nature celebrates St. Patrick’s Day Friday by painting the sky green — at least a touch of the Emerald Isle color — in the atmosphere over the Arctic, according to science writer Tony Phillips at Spaceweather.com.

The cause is something called a co-rotating interaction region (CIR), a transition zone between streams of solar wind moving at different speeds.


Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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