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December 20, 2007
+ High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)
Some drought relief is anticipated in parched sections of the United States, but for many areas drought concerns are expected to persist or intensify from January through March 2008, according to the latest U.S. Drought Outlook issued today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
Drought conditions are predicted to continue in the Southeast from Alabama to the Carolinas. Also, there is the potential for drought to develop along the eastern Gulf of Mexico and in Florida and over the western Plains from northern Texas into southwestern Nebraska.
“In spite of a number of winter storms that affected the nation during the first two weeks of December, much more rainfall is needed to bring wells, lakes, and reservoir levels back to normal in many areas of the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama and parts of Florida,” said Douglas LeComte, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center drought specialist. "Over the last year or two, the precipitation deficits in these areas have been measured in feet rather than inches”.
Meteorologists continue to forecast below average precipitation for the southern tier of the nation and above average precipitation over the Pacific Northwest, Great Lakes and Tennessee Valley for January through March. Drought conditions should improve in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware, as well as over the Pacific Northwest. Intermittent beneficial rain and snow is expected over the next couple of weeks for California and Arizona, but improvement might be short lived since below average precipitation is expected for the rest of the season.
+ High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)
Overall, the country is likely to see warmer than average temperatures over the next three months. “However, there will be fluctuations of warm weather and more typical winter weather throughout the season,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
The winter season can bring all types of significant weather events, from tornadoes and winter storms to flooding and mudslides. NOAA’s National Weather Service has a variety of weather forecasts and safety information online, including information about NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, to help keep you safe and ahead of nature’s storms.
Meteorological winter runs from the first of December through the end of February. The winter solstice begins on December 22. NOAA will announce the U.S. Spring Outlook in March 2008.
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