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February 2017 outlook shows increased chance of warm conditions

NOAA released their latest monthly outlook today for the month of February.  The projections for the next month are for an increased chance of warmer than normal temperatures, a continuation of now 12 consecutive months of above normal temperatures for many areas in the Southeast.  Projections for precipitation are for equal chances of above, near and below normal precipitation.  The outlooks for the next two weeks are leaning towards wetter conditions, but drier conditions may return later in the month.  With that in mind, the Climate Prediction Center has indicated that drought may continue but improve in most of the driest areas of northern AL and GA, and that drought may develop in the central peninsula of Florida.

The above normal temperatures are already bringing out flowering trees in Athens, well ahead of schedule, and this may mean trouble for fruit farmers if we go back into colder conditions (which is very likely considering that we are just entering February now).  I will be checking chill hours later this week to see how those have accumulated in this warm winter.