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Spring Outlook: Will Six More Weeks of Winter Grip US?

A steady stream of warmth may not arrive until mid- to late spring in many regions
Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014

Though Phil has a few more days to prognosticate the next six weeks, the AccuWeather.com long-range forecasting team already predicts that the nation will be split in half: cold and snow will linger in the Northern states, while spring will get an earlier start in the southern half.

Where Will Cold Linger?

Wintry weather is forecast to hold longest across the the Great Lakes, Northeast and mid-Atlantic.

Cold air masses and a few snowstorms will continue to impact the regions as late as March before the winter season comes to an end.

A steady stream of warmth may not arrive for cities from Detroit to Boston and New York City until mid- to late spring.

"For the next six weeks in the Northeast, we're going to be dealing with some pretty good cold coming down out of northern Canada," AccuWeather.com Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said.

"I still think there's going to be a few systems of significance before the winter season is over with."

Similarly, snow and shots of cold air will persist across the northern Plains and Upper Midwest.

Where Will Spring Get an Early Start?

The best chances for an early spring will be found in the Southwest. Below-normal snowpack and dry conditions will contribute to a mild end of winter.

California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona, where severe drought conditions persist, will warm early. Area farther east, into Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, will begin feeling spring's warmth in March.

A slower transition to spring will sweep the nation's midsection, however, from Washington across the central Plains and down to the interior Southeast.

Florida will mark the exception, where a quick warmup is in store.

Spring Flooding Versus Drought Concerns

There is a slight chance for spring flooding for the Tennessee Valley and lower Ohio Valley. Above-normal snowfall has fallen across the Ohio Valley this winter so far, and potentially more wet systems in the forecast could result in a moderate rise in rivers and streams.

On the other side of the spectrum, little improvement is coming for the dire drought situation in the West.

Pastelok believes March could usher in some rain for California, but the impact will be minimal and the situation will remain serious moving forward, with no significant relief in sight.

As of Jan. 21, more than 60 percent of the West was experiencing moderate to exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Earlier this month, the San Francisco National Weather Service office called the situation a phase of drought "largely unseen by many alive today."

Dryness will also prevail in Florida through the springtime, though the situation will be far less severe than in the West. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, portions of the state are abnormally dry for late January. Since Oct. 1, Orlando, Fla., has received less than 30 percent of the city's normal rainfall for the period.

"I do feel they'll get a little bit of rain going forward in the next few weeks; however, I think they could back in a dry pattern before they actually get into their wet season in June," Pastelok said.

Severe Weather Threats

After a below-normal severe weather season in 2013, this year is forecast to follow suit.

"Last year's severe weather season was a quiet season," Pastelok said. "A lot of it had to do with a lot of cold, stable air in place and I see that same situation setting up for this year."

AccuWeather.com Severe Weather Center
Forecast Temperature Maps
Current AccuWeather Snow Map

While the season is anticipated to be below normal, it will be more eventful than 2013.

A few episodes of severe weather are possible in the Gulf Coast, where some severe tornado outbreaks occurred in 2013, Pastelok warns.

"I think you have to be concerned there again this year," he said.

RELATED ON SKYE: 22 People More Sick of Winter Than You Are


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I hate winter in the Boston area the weather blows 8 months out of 12 your lucky

February 07 2014 at 11:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I despise winter in fact I despise living in Boston most years your lucky if u get any spring, unfortunatley I, m stuck in this hole 3 years ago after no spring summer started in july and ended sept 1 not condusive to riding motorcycles, which I do .

February 07 2014 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Anyone else notice that the "Spring" map is just an overlay of the last two or three cold fronts?

January 30 2014 at 2:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I decided to leave New Jersey and move to Florida before this winter had started. I am moving there for sure now, and who the **** wants to live in nj anyway?

January 30 2014 at 12:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought after last year that Phil had to go into hiding with all the death threats, since he got it wrong and winter lasted longer than 6 weeks !

January 29 2014 at 11:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

we will have an early spring.....the pope stepped out sunday and didnt see his shadow.

January 29 2014 at 10:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cindy jordan

i love the snow and cold. my children love snow. i want more snow. i want alot of snow in Danville Va we dont see that much we got snow tuesday morning 2inch.but i would like to see a foot of snow in Danville Va before spring gets here. thanks cindy jordan

January 29 2014 at 10:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

J I like the winter and the snow that comes with it !!

January 29 2014 at 10:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Carlene Costantin-Gr

Will Phill be able to get out without help! Will he want to? , Remember last year he had death threats!

January 29 2014 at 9:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm looking forward to what Puxatawney Phil has to say :) Here in my area we have had a mild Winter...could use more rain and cold, just a little......?

January 29 2014 at 9:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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