The Spring Outlook encompasses temperature, precipitation, drought, and flooding expectations for the coming three months, and Mike Halpert, Acting Director of the Climate Prediction Center, discusses the outlook and its implications.
For the record books: A review of the ten most significant or unusual global climate or weather events of 2011, as ranked by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in its yearly review of the Earth’s climate.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, an estimated 58 percent of the contiguous United States was in some level of drought as of January 29, with an additional 12 percent in the “Abnormally dry” category.
It’s natural to associate drought with heat and with summer, but drought also impacts us during winter months. Winter wheat yields are declining, and the Mississippi River is approaching an all-time low. Understanding drought conditions and how they are affecting us is part of being “climate smart.”
Much of the western and southern central United States could be in for a warmer-than-average winter this year, while the upper Midwest and Florida peninsula could experience colder-than-average temperatures. Most of California and western Nevada could experience well-below-normal precipitation, while parts of the southeast could receive well-above-normal precipitation.