NOAA spring weather outlook: High temperatures likely, drought to expand in West


(New York) — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued its spring 2022 outlook for the U.S. on Thursday, forecasting prolonged, persistent drought in the West and likely below-average precipitation for the second year in a row.

The NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center’s forecast predicts above average temperatures for most of the U.S. from April to June, from the Desert Southwest to the East Coast and north through the Midwest to the Canadian border.

The agency also foresees continuing or worsening drought April through June west of the Mississippi River, from Mississippi to California and north to Montana and Washington.

In the West and South, it will be drier than normal, worsening and expanding the drought. But in the East, drought that has been seen in the Southeast and parts of the Great Lakes will likely improve and end over the next few months.

“Severe to exceptional drought has persisted in some areas of the West since the summer of 2020, and drought has expanded to the southern Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley,” Jon Gottschalck, chief of the operational prediction branch of the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, said in a press release.

“With nearly 60% of the continental U.S. experiencing minor to exceptional drought conditions, this is the largest drought coverage we’ve seen in the U.S. since 2013,” Gottschalck added.

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