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A warm spring is ahead for Charlotte, federal forecasts say

Blooming Bradford Pear trees

February is on track to be one of the warmest if not the warmest Februaries on record. In keeping with higher temperatures many flowers and trees, like Bradford Pear trees, are in full bloom. The weather forecast for the March 1st calls for a chan
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February is on track to be one of the warmest if not the warmest Februaries on record. In keeping with higher temperatures many flowers and trees, like Bradford Pear trees, are in full bloom. The weather forecast for the March 1st calls for a chan

The spring equinox arrived Monday with an outlook for above-average warmth through June, according to federal forecasts.

The Climate Prediction Center, part of the National Weather Service, produces long-range forecast maps for temperature and precipitation each month.

The latest versions show a probability of warmer than normal temperatures across most of the United States, including the Southeast, from April through June. The maps show equal chances that rainfall in the Carolinas will be above, below or at normal levels.

If the predictions bear out, they would continue an unusually warm start to 2017.

January’s average temperature in Charlotte was 7.5 degrees and February’s 9.5 degrees. March, so far, has returned to near-normalcy with the average temperature to date 1.8 degrees below normal for the month.

Federal scientists who analyzed the bloom dates for common plants, lilacs and honeysuckle, released maps last month showing that spring actually arrived in Charlotte more than two weeks early.

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051, @bhender

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