Inside the NOAA Spring Outlook: This is what to expect this April through June

The majority of the lower 48 are expected to be warmer than normal. (Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

We are three days away from official start of spring season on March 20, and the spring outlook is here!

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, has released their spring outlook for the country Thursday morning. The spring outlook covers April through June and dives into drought, temperature, precipitation, and flood risk. It’s important to remember, these are long-term forecasts which do not translate well day to day, but instead as an average trend over a season.

Temperature:

With the persistence of a La Nina pattern, NOAA is forecasting above-normal seasonal temperatures for the majority of the lower 48. Houston is in a region that is denoted to have over a 60% chance of seeing above normal temperatures. There is a 33% chance of seeing temperatures near-normal, and only a 6% chance of seeing below-normal temperatures throughout the seasonal mean.

The majority of the lower 48 are expected to be warmer than normal. (Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Precipitation:

The precipitation outlook has much of the West, and South expecting to see drier than normal conditions. Houston has a 44% chance of seeing below-normal precipitation, with a 33% chance of near-normal precipitation, and only a 23% chance of seeing above-normal precipitation for the season. Although Houston is in an area that is expected to see below-average precipitation, flooding events are still possible!

For much of the south and west conditions are expected to be drier than normal. (Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Flood risk:

Heavy rainfall can lead to flooding at any time, whether or not it’s indicated on the spring flood risk, but luckily for Houston we are not in the areas expected to see minor or moderate flooding. Much of the eastern part of the country is under a risk for flooding this spring. This is due to late fall and winter precipitation that has saturated soils and increased streamflows with ice melt.

This map shows where there is a greater than 50% chance of minor to moderate flooding this spring. (Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Drought:

Severe and exceptional drought has been a huge issue out to the west for several years. Currently about 60% of the lower 48 have minor to exceptional drought conditions, which is the largest drought coverage we’ve seen since 2013. Here in Texas there are over 17 million folks living in drought conditions with over 91% of the state in moderate to exceptional drought.

The drought out west has been historically bad. In Houston there is a severe drought to our south. (Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

The new spring outlook shows a worsening or persistent drought to the west where they have severe and extreme drought. Here in Texas the drought conditions are expected to continue or worsen with the Texas Gulf Coast expecting more drought to develop. With the development of more drought the risk for wildfires will increase.

Much of the west will see worsening or persistent drought conditions. (Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

About the Author: