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NOAA: Below Normal Temps Expected This Spring in Half of Lower 48

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said temperatures are expected to be below normal this spring for about half of the Lower 48 states, but they will be above normal for the other half plus Alaska.

According to the NOAA's Spring Outlook, released Thursday, below-normal temperatures are expected this spring for an area that begins in Montana and heads eastward, encompassing the northern plains and the Great Lakes region.

A map that accompanied the report shows temperatures for the next three months are expected to be equal -- meaning there was an equal chance that realized temperatures could be either above or below normal -- in an area stretching from Idaho and the eastern parts of Washington and Oregon, across the middle of the Plains and into the Mid-Atlantic states and New England.

NOAA said warmer-than-normal temperatures are expected in the western sections of Washington and Oregon, California, the desert Southwest, the southern Plains, the Southeast and all of Alaska.

The agency warned that half of the rivers in the United States faced a minor to moderate risk of flooding this spring, due to above-average snowpack and a deep layer of frozen ground in the Great Lakes region. But drought conditions were expected to continue or get worse in California, and Nevada, as well as most of the interior Oregon and Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, southeast Colorado, western Oklahoma, and most of west Texas.

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