DROUGHT OUTLOOK: Improvement Expected

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Spring is here, but the rain we need, might not be on the way.

The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration just released its three month spring outlook.

“However you’ve still got that main core drought of D3, D4 right through the central plains, that area really hasn’t seen any improvement since this summer,” says David Miskus, NOAA Climate Prediction Center meteorologist.

NOAA’s meteorologists say as spring moves into summer, much of the nation can expect hotter than average temperatures.

More than half of the U.S. remains in a drought but they expect some improvement in the Midwest and northern plains because of recent rain and snow.

Dry and hot conditions increase the risk of wildfires and it also strains agriculture. That may force farmers and ranchers to consider cutting back on production, which will be felt in food prices.

“Moisture for the farmers, we need it to catch up. I mean that’s the only way our boss is going to make the bills is the grain. I mean that’s our livelihood,” says Missouri farmer Victor Link.

Along with drought, the outlook calls for more river flooding than last year, with the highest risk in North Dakota.  Folks there are already preparing. Starting next week, they start filling half-a-million sandbags.

The Red River is rising and will only go higher as the snow and ice start to melt.