WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

NOAA: Southeast should see warm spring

Posted March 20, 2014

If you are sick of all the wintry weather, you're in luck: Government forecasters expect warmer-than-normal temperatures for our part of the United States.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its outlook Thursday for the spring 2014 season, predicting warmer-than-normal temperatures for the southeastern US, as well as parts of the Pacific coast, the desert Southwest, southern Plains and all of Alaska.  NOAA expert John Gottschalck conceded, however, that the short-term outlook through the rest of March into early April still points to cooler-than-normal temperatures and wetter-than-normal precipitation across much of the eastern and northeastern United States.

For the whole of the spring, precipitation will be just about normal; however, NOAA does not expect drought conditions to develop east of the Mississippi during the next three months. 

Drought conditions are expected to intensify across portions of the West, including California.  Drought conditions may expand eastward into portions of Arizona, New Mexicoand western Texas and Oklahoma, as well.  These dry conditions may lead to an early onset of the wildfire season in the southwest.  Meanwhile, drought conditions are expected to improve in the Pacific Northwest and parts of the central Plains.

The colder-than-normal winter for parts of the country has resulted in more river and lake ice than normal, with some 92.2 percent of the Great Lakes covered in ice as of early March.  The river ice has also resulted in more ice jams than in a typical winter, leading to mostly minor river flooding across the Mississippi and Missouri river basins.

Higher-than-normal snowpack and deep frost depths are expected to contribute to additional minor-to-moderate river flooding in these areas through the spring thawing season.

"This year's spring flood potential is widespread and includes rivers in highly populated areas putting millions of Americans at risk," said Louis Uccellini, Ph.D., director of NOAA's National Weather Service. "Although widespread major river flooding is not expected, an abrupt warming or heavy rainfall event could lead to isolated major flooding."


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  • Christopher Eaton Mar 24, 2014
    user avatar

    I have to laugh at all of this. Here we have people who can't even tell us, with ANY degree of certainty, what the weather will be like in 5 days...and they expect us to believe them when they predict what it will be like in 100 years. Sorry guys and girls...in the real world short term trends are the easiest to predict...and quite frankly, WRAL, you pretty much suck at it. By the way, when did NASA become weather gurus?

  • redwolfone Mar 23, 2014

    Its been warming for the last 2000 years. So what is normal?

  • Mar 20, 2014

    The anti-science nuts are out with their typical denials as usual (we expected as much) and then we've got the few who just have some kind of inner need to express a political viewpoint as well. Both need some serious help.

  • Knightwolf Mar 20, 2014

    Yipee! Can't wait until Baseball starts! Two week until the first Mudcats home game! Warm weather and cold beer.... :)

  • McLovin Mar 20, 2014

    Yet the next 8-14 day temperature range has below average temps for the eastern US. Bottom line is they make forecasts on the models, and the models are usually wrong. Like the models saying that by 2100 earth will be dangerously warmer than it is now.

  • A person Mar 20, 2014

    Didn't NOAA say we would have stronger than normal hurricane seasons the last 2 years. seems they have been "Obama" (wrong) about everything lately

  • Geez Louise Mar 20, 2014

    Welcome Spring! Take off your coat and shoes and stay awhile!

  • mcorson2 Mar 20, 2014

    GOOD! im tired of being cold!!!!!!

  • for the people Mar 20, 2014

    based on historical data, we've had a fairly middle of the road winter for temperatures in north carolina.

  • Maurice Pentico Jr. Mar 20, 2014
    user avatar

    NOAA: Southeast should see warm spring... to coincide with NASA's global warming predictions. LOL.