Drought and moderate flooding predicted for spring

March 20, 2014
A jogger runs along the Potomac River on a foggy morning in Washington, Thursday, March 20, 2014. On Thursday, the northern hemisphere will celebrate the first day of spring, an event marked by the vernal equinox. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

On the first day of spring, there's some bad news for the weather-weary nation.

Dry conditions that have gripped California and the Southwest will continue with little relief. Government forecasters say if the drought persists, it'll likely lead to a busy wildfire season.

Much of the country remains in a deep freeze, delaying the risk of spring flooding into April in the upper Midwest to New England.

While major flooding is not expected, experts say there's a moderate risk of flooding in the southern Great Lakes region because of above-average snowpack.

Below-normal temperatures are expected this spring across the northern U.S. while it's likely to be warmer than usual along the West Coast and across the southern portion of the country.

The federal government released its annual outlook Thursday.

Explore further: Melting snow threatens spring flooding in north

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