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May-June 2017

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January 2017

A side from persistently cold weather across the northern Plains and the Northwest, the nation experienced spring-like temperatures. Conditions were especially mild across the eastern half of the United States, where cold outbreaks were fleeting and mostly limited to a few days in early January. In fact, monthly temperatures averaged more than 8°F above normal in parts of the Southeast, raising concerns about potential spring impacts on fruit crops.

Widespread storminess accompanied the general warmth, particularly in the western and central parts of the country. In fact, phenomenally wet January storms added an average of two feet of liquid to the Sierra Nevada snowpack—more than 80% of the normal seasonal total. Periods of wintry precipitation plagued the northern Plains and the Northwest, resulting in hardship for cattle and wildlife. Monthly temperatures averaged more than 10°F below normal across parts of the interior Northwest.

Weatherwise Contributing Editor BRAD RIPPEY is the U.S. Editor of the Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin of the Joint Agriculture NOAA Weather Facility.

Weatherwise Contributing Editor JEFFREY B. HALVERSON is Professor of Geography at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

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