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Spring starts Saturday, and the next three months will be warmer than normal. Here's the forecast.



After what seemed like a long, cold, lonely winter, spring is finally here. 

The vernal (spring) equinox – which marks the beginning of astronomical spring in the Northern Hemisphere – will take place on Saturday, March 20, at 5:37 a.m. EDT. 

The equinox is the precise moment the sun's rays shine directly on the Earth's equator.

Of course, spring-like weather can take a while to fully make its presence felt across the nation. 

But for fans of warm weather, we've got some good news: Federal forecasters Thursday said that overall, almost the entire nation should see warmer-than-average temperatures for the next three months, with the exceptions being a small portion of the Pacific Northwest and in southern Alaska. 

However, with the warmth, drought will also be a major issue, especially across most of the western U.S., where springtime rain and snow is forecast to be less than average. 

In fact, the western U.S. is enduring its most significant spring drought since 2013, forecasters said, which is affecting about 74 million people.

“We are predicting prolonged and widespread drought,” National Weather Service deputy director Mary Erickson said Thursday. “It’s definitely something we’re watching and very concerned about.”

The 2021 tornado season may be more destructive because of La Niña. Here's the forecast.Weather service and agriculture officials warned of possible water use cutbacks in California and the Southwest, increased wildfires, low levels in key reservoirs such has Lake Mead and Lake Powell and damage to wheat crops.

But the Northeast and Midwest could see a soggy spring, as above-normal rainfall is predicted for those regions for the next three months, the weather service said.  

Warmer-than-average temperatures (in red and orange) are forecast for nearly the entire U.S. from April through June, with the exception of the Pacific Northwest and southern Alaska.

What to know about the equinox

Saturday will be one of two days out of the year – the other being the day of the autumnal equinox in September – when the Earth's axis is tilted neither toward nor away from the sun, resulting in roughly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness almost everywhere on Earth. 

So it's an "equal night," which is where the word equinox originated: the two Latin words aequus (equal) and nox (night), according to the weather service. Each day for the next three months, the sun will get higher in the sky – and the daily amount of daylight longer – until the summer solstice in June. 

It's also one of only two days each year when almost every spot on Earth – except the poles – experiences a sunrise at due east and a sunset at due west. 

Meteorologists, who define the seasons differently, said spring began March 1.

And for the folks down under in the Southern Hemisphere, it's the autumnal equinox this Saturday, marking the first day of autumn. 

Source:-https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/03/18/first-day-spring-spring-starts-saturday-and-heres-your-forecast/4752395001/

Image_Source:-https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2021/03/17/USAT/5217d733-864e-4602-b128-b3b567ac451e-VPC_SPRING_BREAK_2021_DESK_THUMB.jpg

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