The Day

Forecast calls for warmer than usual spring in Conn.


Spring conditions and allergies have already arrived in Connecticu­t. And according to a recent outlook, the season will be a warm one.

Forecaster­s at the National Oceanic and Atmospheri­c Administra­tion are predicting above-average temperatur­es in Connecticu­t for April through June, according to their 2023 U.S. Spring Outlook released Thursday.

Connecticu­t, along with the regions stretching from Massachuse­tts to Texas, have a 50 percent to 60 percent chance of a warmer than usual spring. Spring in Danbury has averaged around 51 degrees in the past 30 years, and New Hartford has an average of 47.

The outlook comes as the U.S. wraps up its third consecutiv­e La Niña winter, and for some parts of Connecticu­t, one of the warmest on record.

La Niña is a climate pattern where trade winds in the Northern Hemisphere blow stronger than usual and push cold water into the Pacific jet stream.

NOAA forecaster­s said La Niña ended on March 9 and announced the U.S. is now in ENSO-neutral phase, the transition period from La Niña to El Niño, a phenomenon that brings warmer water to the Pacific. NOAA said the neutral phase, in which none of these climate patterns are detected, “... is likely to continue into the early summer with elevated chances of El Niño developing thereafter.”

Until then, Connecticu­t has equal chances of having a drier or wetter spring, with the coastal region near the Long Island, New York, region expected to be wetter than normal, NOAA officials said Thursday. The state usually averages around 4 inches of rainfall from March to May.

Officials said the drought plaguing the western U.S. has been alleviated by the recent winter storms, with conditions at their lowest since August 2020. Drought conditions across California and the Great Basin will likely continue to improve in the spring as the snowpack melts, but will persist or worsen in areas like the southern High Plains.

The above normal to record snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains will benefit water supply in California and the Great Basin, but also increases the risk of spring flooding. Much of the eastern half of the contiguous U.S. is also at risk for spring flooding, officials said.

The NOAA outlook aims to help the U.S. prepare for potential weather disasters, which are becoming more severe due to climate change.

The astronomic­al spring season starts March 20 and runs until June 21.

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