NOAA Issues 2023 spring outlook

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 6:01 PM EDT
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Now that winter is ending in less than a week, many may be wondering what kind of weather we’re going to see.

With minimal snow and above average temperatures in The Two Virginias, it feels like the seasons have already changed.

With the release of NOAA’s 2023 Spring Outlook, now we can get a better picture of what’s to come.

The biggest change? The end of a two year long La Niña.

Jon Gottschalck, Operational Prediction Branch Chief - Climate Prediction Center: “La Niña has ended. We’re currently in ENSO-Neutral conditions right now as we mentioned. We expect this to continue through the Spring and perhaps into the early Summer.”

La Niña is a climate pattern centered in the Pacific Ocean that brings us warmer and wetter winters.

This La Nina has been in place since September 2020, and now that it’s on its way out, we are returning to neutral conditions.

So, what does this mean for the Spring?

Right now, we’re leaning toward a warmer Spring, with around a 50% chance of above normal temperatures.

We also look to be slightly rainier too.

Jon: “Above normal precipitation chances are present for the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, and into parts of the Mid Atlantic and Northeast.”

This means we have little risk for drought.

We do, however, have a minor risk for flooding across the southwestern portions of our area as a result.

While it’s a few months early, forecast models suggest that we are heading toward an El Niño this winter.

That means we could be seeing drier conditions.