Warmer stretch means spring has arrived

Regina Bird

This year, March started off like a lamb for many.  

Although not specifically just the first day of the month, the first week of March started off with some mild temperatures in northern to central parts of the Plains. This warmth was not ideal in Oklahoma though. The warmth along with strong winds propelled a wildfire to burn almost 30,000 acres, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

To begin last month, a system brought some heavy rain to parts of central Texas. Totals were over 2 inches in many spots. Near the middle of the month, more moisture added up to daily record numbers for parts of Texas along with Oklahoma. Del Rio and Midland, Texas, along with Lawton and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, set daily records for precipitation. Colorado to Nebraska felt the impact of a winter storm around that same time.  

Southern Texas continues to deal with drought conditions, and it appears we won’t see much change to that in the next few months. With dry conditions in place, burn bans are ongoing for a majority of deep south Texas, according to the National Weather Service. 

El Niño-Southern Oscillation-neutral conditions (meaning neither El Niño nor La Niña) have continued this spring. As we inch closer to summer, there’s a good chance that ENSO-neutral will remain. Beyond that, it’s difficult to see what may be ahead in the global view. 

Looking ahead to the next month, Nebraska and most of Kansas should see precipitation totals above normal for the month.

For temperatures in April, expect it to be warmer than average in Texas. 

For the next several months, the warmer than normal conditions will spread farther north from Texas into Nebraska. 

Southern to northwest Texas is forecast to see less moisture than normal for the next three months. Central to eastern parts of Kansas and Nebraska should see the opposite with above average precipitation numbers for the next few months. 

I’m always keeping an eye to the sky (and the weather patterns), so watch for May’s update.

Editor’s note: Regina Bird grew up on a farm near Belleville, Kansas. The views from the farm helped spur her interest in weather. Following high school, she went on to get a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the University of Kansas. She currently works as a meteorologist for NTV and KFXL in central Nebraska. Follow her on Twitter: @ReginaBirdWX.