State College, Pa. -- 8 March 2011 -- AccuWeather reports for people from the Plains into the East who are hoping for an end to the stormy weather pattern that has yielded everything from heavy snow to flooding rain, tornadoes and wildfires, it may be a long wait.
The AccuWeather.com Long Range Forecasting Team, led by Expert Senior Meteorologist Paul Pastelok, expects this active weather pattern to continue through at least early April.
Late-Season Snow and Cold Shots
For people in the Northeast, this means more opportunities for snow may last into April. "There could even be one storm that brings snow all the way to the coast," Pastelok said.
The potential for late-season snow events is even higher for areas of the northern Plains and Upper Midwest.
On the back side of storms that continue charging through the Midwest and Northeast will be more shots of cold air. Pastelok said that these cold shots may start lingering a bit longer than recent ones that have only lasted about a day or two.
He added that cool shots will also make it into the South with nighttime temperatures being noticeably cool at times, especially across eastern parts of the region from Florida and Georgia into the Carolinas.
Despite the warning of more cold shots, Pastelok stressed that he still does not anticipate any prolonged periods of colder-than-normal weather, similar to that experienced December through mid-February, in the eastern part of the country.
"There will continue to be warm surges from the Ohio Valley and Midwest into the Northeast," Pastelok stated, "but they may not be as impressive getting into April."
Wet, stormy conditions in the Ohio Valley and Midwest and a lingering snowpack in parts of the Northeast are the factors of biggest concern for holding temperatures back.
Severe Weather and Flood Concerns
As stressed in the AccuWeather.com Spring 2011 Forecast, severe thunderstorms are expected to be an ongoing problem in the lower and mid-Mississippi Valley as well as part of Tennessee and Ohio valleys throughout the spring.
Areas from Louisiana to Missouri, Tennessee and Kentucky have already been hit hard by severe thunderstorms, some including tornadoes, in recent weeks. This general area is forecast to remain in the heart of severe weather activity over the next few months.
With rounds of stormy weather hitting the region, flooding has been and will continue to be a major concern as well.
Worsening Drought, Wildfire Situation
Drought conditions are already gripping areas of western Texas and the interior Southwest. With precipitation expected to stay below normal throughout the spring, conditions will only get worse.
Wildfires have ignited and spread in response to dry conditions and episodes of gusty winds. One fire that was recently sparked south of Silver City, N.M., destroyed several homes Monday.
The threat of wildfires is likely to remain elevated across the interior Southwest and western Texas in the coming weeks and months.
Concerns are also growing over how severely the drought will impact crops throughout the region, especially in western Texas, which is a major producer of wheat and cotton. More information on the drought and wildfire concerns this spring can be found in this AccuWeather.com news story.