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As spring arrives, NOAA cautions of flooding risks ahead

Spring is here, and with it comes flooding risks that are heightened this year because of heavy snow and ice across much of the country this winter.

The northern tier of Maryland all along the Mason-Dixon Line is included in an area with minor flooding risks this spring, according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration season outlook. Moderate flood risks are expected in parts of the Plains, Midwest and Great Lakes regions.

Drought is meanwhile forecast to persist across the West.

Climate forecasters said they aren't seeing strong signals suggesting temperature or precipitation trends in the mid-Atlantic. In fact, they aren't seeing any indication of precipitation levels anywhere except for dryness along the Pacific coast.

Warmer-than-normal temperatures are possible along the West coast and along the southern third of the country, into the Southeast. And colder-than-normal temperatures are expected along the Canadian border. But in between, equal chances of normal, above- or below-normal temperatures are expected.

While today is the first day of spring, the season technically arrives with the vernal equinox at 12:57 p.m. When that occurs, Earth is tilted neither toward nor away from the sun, with nighttime and daylight both taking up about 12 hours.

The Northern Hemisphere will be increasingly titled toward the sun as the summer solstice approaches, warming things up around here.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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