Expect a Warm, Wet Spring Across the US
Cherry blossoms spring to life around the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C.
Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Spring is likely to bring weather that's warmer and wetter than usual to much of the U.S., especially in the mid-Atlantic region and the Northeast, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

However, areas plagued by recent drought — such as California, Oregon, southern Alaska and much of the Southwest — will see little relief, NOAA scientists reported during a teleconference March 15. In that broadcast, the agency shared its U.S. Spring Outlook for 2018, for the months of April through June.

What are the various weather conditions — and hazards — that the U.S. can expect as spring approaches? [The Four Seasons | What Causes Seasons?]

Areas of the United States where the average temperature for spring 2018 is favored to be in the upper (reddish colors) or lower (blue colors) third of the seasonal temperature record, from 1981 to 2010: Color intensity indicates higher or lower chances for a warm or a cool outcome.
Areas of the United States where the average temperature for spring 2018 is favored to be in the upper (reddish colors) or lower (blue colors) third of the seasonal temperature record, from 1981 to 2010: Color intensity indicates higher or lower chances for a warm or a cool outcome.
Credit: NOAA

Widespread above-average temperatures are anticipated across two-thirds of the southern U.S. — from California into the Northeast — and the northern Rockies are shaping up to be the only region with below-average temperatures. Meanwhile, Texas and the Gulf Coast are the areas most likely to experience warmer-than-average weather, the scientists reported. 

Much of the northern U.S. can expect spring to be not only warmer but also wetter than average, from the Northeast coast to the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region. But the South and West will have less moisture than usual, which could worsen drought conditions in some areas. Currently, over 25 percent of the U.S. is experiencing drought. And lower-than-average rainfall — combined with warmer temperatures —means that drought is likely to persist and even worsen in Southern California, the Southwest, parts of the Southeast and the High Plains, according to the report.

Places where the 2018 forecast favors well-above-normal (green) or well-below-normal (brown) spring precipitation. Color intensity indicates higher or lower probability for wet or dry conditions.
Places where the 2018 forecast favors well-above-normal (green) or well-below-normal (brown) spring precipitation. Color intensity indicates higher or lower probability for wet or dry conditions.
Credit: NOAA

However, the likelihood of more rainfall in the lower Missouri Valley and the Northern Plains should somewhat alleviate those areas' current drought, NOAA researchers said.

The wetter conditions will also bring flooding to regions that have already undergone record floods due to heavy winter rainfall, such as the lower Great Lakes region, the Ohio River Valley and parts of the Mississippi Valley.

Original article on Live Science.