Mother nature has been boosting the thermometer this month ahead of the start of spring this Sunday.

Climate forecasters with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday that El Nino conditions remain in place in the United States, but a weakening is forecast over the course of the spring months.

They also say El Nino continues to be a strong climate signal that will shape the nation's weather this spring.

Jon Gottschalck, NOAA's chief of the Operational Prediction Bureau, says the state of New Jersey can expect more of what we've been experiencing lately.

"The continued El Nino impact during the first part of the spring, the May-April time period, does favor above-normal temperatures in the area."

Some may be tempted to plant early, but Brad Rippey, a meteorologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, says not so fast.

"You really have to still focus on these typical last frost dates, which for much of the northern mid-Atlantic is mid to late April."

Rippey says despite the outlook for above-normal temperatures through the spring period, he would be very "cautionary" to anyone attempting to plant early.

He says a frost can still zap some of the more tender crops. Rippey calls it a "pretty decent risk — about a 50-50 risk."


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