Breakdown: It’s Spring, here’s what that could mean for flooding, drought, & temps

Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 9:55 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -NOAA issued its U.S. Spring Outlook and the drought looks to continue as forecasters predict an extended and persistent drought in the West. Precipitation in the west is most likely to remain below-average. Meanwhile for most areas of the US the Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above-average temperatures from the Desert Southwest all the way to the East Coast and north through the Midwest to the Canadian border from April to June.

60% of the U.S. is experiencing minor to exceptional drought conditions, this is the largest drought coverage in the U.S. since 2013 according to research.

Another short-term drought has developed from North Carolina southward through parts of Florida. These dry conditions will bring an elevated risk of wildfires. Drought conditions in the Southwest are not likely to get better until late summer when monsoon season arrives.

Over half of the U.S. is predicted to experience above-average temperatures this spring. While below-average temperatures are most likely in the Pacific Northwest and southeast Alaska.

When it comes to wet weather, above-average precipitation is most likely in portions of the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, mid-Atlantic and the west coast of Alaska, while below-average precipitation is forecast for portions of the Central Great Basin, Southwest, Central and Southern Rockies and Central and Southern Plains, eastward to the Central Gulf Coast.

There is a small to medium flood risk throughout much of the eastern half of the U.S., including the Southeast, Tennessee Valley, lower Mississippi Valley, Ohio Valley, and portions of the Great Lakes, upper Mississippi Valley, and middle Mississippi Valley.

The NOAA’s National Hydrologic Assessment evaluates a several factors including current conditions of snowpack, drought, soil saturation levels, frost depth, streamflow and precipitation.

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