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Randy Mann: Spring should be wetter than usual

Thu., March 14, 2013, midnight

The vernal equinox – and the beginning of spring – is Wednesday at 4:02 a.m.

The Earth’s tilt of about 23.5 degrees creates the four seasons. During the winter season, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the sun while in the summer, we are tilted toward the sun. In our winter, the angle of the sun is much lower in the sky than in summer.

At the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the entire planet will experience 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night.

With spring approaching, many are eager to get outside and golf, hike or do other activities. They also want to know if spring is going to come earlier than normal. Well, here’s the latest spring forecast for the Inland Northwest.

As of early March, we still have a La Nada, the in-between cooler La Niña and warmer El Niño sea-surface temperature pattern near the equatorial regions. Based on this pattern, moisture levels are expected to be above average through the spring season, but I’m not expecting the record and near-record totals like in 2012.

In addition to the predicted above-normal moisture, we should also see more thunderstorm activity than usual this spring. Parts of the Inland Northwest already had a thunderstorm, on March 6.

A pattern of sun and showers has already begun and should linger into the middle of June. There’s a chance this pattern could extend into early July. Then, we should enjoy another hot and dry summer season with lots of sunshine.

If you have any questions or comments, you can contact Randy at wxmann, or go to www.longrange for additional information.

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