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Weather Wiz Kids

Spring 2013

2012-13 Winter in Review

Looking back over the past three months, the 2012-2013 winter (December, January, February) was significantly cooler than the winter of 2011-2012. But don’t be misled. This past winter was still well above average in contrast to longterm records. It ranked as the 20th warmest winter recorded since record-keeping began. In late 2012-early 2013, the majority of the contiguous United States was relatively warmer and wetter than average. The U.S. Southeast and Midwest saw improved drought conditions by January and February of this year. However, the Central Plains and Mountain West remained relatively dry and saw very little drought relief.

The weather pattern was quite active across the eastern United States towards the end of January and into February 2013. As a ridge built across the western U.S., troughs or areas of low pressures pushed into the eastern United States. Generally, precipitation amounts were higher east of the Mississippi River and rainfall totals were well below normal west of the river. Also, the areas that received more rainfall than others also experienced warmer temperatures than average.

Typically, you associate warmer temperatures with dryer conditions. However, that was not the case for the eastern U.S. over the past two months. Many states in the Great Lakes region and across the U.S. Southeast, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia had winter precipitation totals ranking among their ten wettest. The drought continues across the western U.S. where fears of another intense wildfire season could develop in the spring and summer. Last year, we saw hundreds of thousands acres that were burned due to a very active wildfire season.

Spring Precipitation Outlook

The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above normal precipitation across parts of the Midwest this spring. They are forecasting below normal precipitation across parts of the West, Southwest and South.

Spring Precip Outlook

Spring Temperature Outlook


The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above normal temperatures across most of the United States this spring. They are forecasting below normal temperatures across parts of the Pacific Northwest.

Spring Temp Outlook

Tornado Alley


The geography of the central part of the United States, known as the Great Plains, is suited to bring all of the ingredients together to forms tornadoes. More than 500 tornadoes typically occur in this region every year and is why it is commonly known as "Tornado Alley".

Spring Temp Outlook

Spring Deal

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