Forecast predicts wet spring for MidwestFederal officials say odds favor a wetter-than-normal spring over the Great Lakes region.
By: By Chuck Quirmbach, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Federal officials say odds favor a wetter-than-normal spring over the Great Lakes region.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has just issued its weather outlook for the next three months. The NOAA says drought will continue or expand in the west and south, but there is a good chance for more precipitation in the upper Midwest.
Ed O’Lenic of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says the calculations are based on looking at data from 1981 through 2010 and figuring out the 10 wettest, 10 driest and “normal” years. He says typically there is a 33 percent chance the next year will be wetter.
“Over part of the Great Lakes, the probabilities reach around the mid-40s — 40 percent — which is about 10 percent higher than simply average conditions,” he said.
O’Lenic says factors such as current precipitation patterns, Pacific Ocean temperatures and consensus among climate forecast models push the precipitation odds higher for the Great Lakes region this spring. The NOAA spring forecast also says the melting of late season snow may cause minor to moderate flooding in southern Wisconsin.