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How Long Will The Unseasonably Warm Weather Last?

BOSTON (CBS) - This winter was one of the warmest on record, but now that spring is here, many are wondering how long this warm weather will last. Historically, warm winters like this can be followed by mild springs.

"It's just the law of averages. We can't be this good forever," says Waltham resident Joe Lesanto. "It's been too good for too long."

That is a feeling shared by many. While most of us in the United States benefited from the fourth warmest winter on record, other parts of the globe were not as lucky. Cold and snow was stuck over places like China, Europe and Alaska.

The weather has been warm for nine consecutive months and there may be more to go! Experts say the same pattern which has kept the cold air bottled up in Canada is expected to continue.

Meteorologist Dan Leonard of Weather Services International based out of Andover says, "Pretty much all winter we have had a La Nina pattern and that is what has pretty much driven the warmth especially from the Midwest to east. We think that is going to continue for the majority of the spring. So we will have those lingering Nina effects as we head into April and May with continued mild and dry conditions for most of the country."

The Climate Prediction Center's forecast for the spring of 2012 has similar thinking with temperatures averaging mainly above normal along the east coast for April through June.

Without the melting snow-pack, there is a very low risk of flooding this year. The ground is already thawing and drying quite rapidly. But if the warm dry pattern continues for too long, we could be looking at a drought for the summer months.

"Although it is not a problem yet, we are unusually susceptible to drought conditions as we head into the spring and early summer if we don't get some sort of pattern change going forward over the next couple of months" says Leonard.

Looking further ahead, Meteorologists are starting to see the return of El Nino. The warm water in the Equatorial Pacific ocean could end up playing a major role in our Summer weather.

"Right now, I would lean towards a changeable pattern. With a lot of the big heat shifting to the west of New England."

So while the 70's and 80's will not last much longer, temperatures are expected remain above normal well into the spring season. There will be a return to more typical April & May weather instead of June.

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