Meteorologists from AccuWeather have predicted spring-like weather to arrive in eastern Idaho between March 4 and March 17, despite Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of the end of winter on Groundhog Day on Feb. 2.
“Spring won’t be quick to dive into the central and northern Rockies, as some late-season snow is possible for cities like Denver and Cheyenne, Wyo.,” an AccuWeather article states.
With the exception of some late-season snow, it is predicted that the area will experience drier than normal conditions. Because of these conditions, drought issues could intensify into spring.
“There may be some concerns with water restrictions,” AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Max Vido said.
Nichole Peterson with the National Weather Service in Pocatello said it doesn't use a program to predict when spring-like conditions will take place, but instead utilizes temperature and precipitation outlooks.
According the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center, a drought in most of east Idaho is likely to develop, whereas drought conditions in southeast Idaho are likely to persist.
As the region transitions into spring, Peterson said they are projecting a 50 to 60 percent probability that temperatures will be above average throughout Idaho and much of the Pacific Northwest. Precipitation is predicted to be near average from February through April.
Peterson said similar conditions will persist through a majority of the summer.
Despite warmer than average temperatures projected for spring, February will see colder temperatures. Throughout most of Idaho and parts of northern Utah, it is projected that there is a 40 to 50 percent probability that temperatures are below average.
Projections are consistent with the Climate Prediction Center’s prediction that an El Niño will continue through the spring in the Northern Hemisphere In other words drier than average conditions can be expected in Idaho and the Pacific Northwest.