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US weather forecasters expect warm spring, persistent drought

The National Weather Service predicts the Midwest and Southwest will face moderate to exceptional drought.

Spring flowers study 2013 01 17Enlarge
A new study suggests that global warming resulted in the earliest spring flowers in US history in 2010 and 2012. (ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)

The National Weather Service said Thursday it predicts a warm spring for much of the United States but cautioned some areas could face serious drought.

The Associated Press reported forecasters expect higher than normal temperatures for most of the lower 48 states and northern Alaska.

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The Pacific Northwest and northern Great Plains are, however, unlikely to get the warmer weather.

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The NWS also warned areas of Texas, the Midwest and Southwest will continue to face "moderate to exceptional drought... as well as Florida, with below-average spring precipitation favored there."

Meanwhile, flooding is expected in North Dakota.

"This outlook reminds us of the climate diversity and weather extremes we experience in North America, where one state prepares for flooding while neighboring states are parched, with no drought relief in sight," said Laura Furgione, deputy director of NOAA's National Weather Service.

The three-month US spring outlook covers the months of April through June.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130321/us-weather-forecasters-expect-warm-spring-persis