Spring brought major temperature swings to the Northeast states and numerous storm disruptions in Atlantic Canada, according to the newly released Gulf of Maine Region Quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlook. Precipitation levels in the spring ranged from 50 percent to 150 percent of normal, with drier conditions prevailing in the states.

Sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Maine remained abnormally high, a pattern that began last September. One notable regional impact involves phytoplankton, a keystone in the gulf's food web.

According to the June Outlook:

"An increase in precipitation over the past few decades washed more dissolved organic matter into rivers and increased river discharge, which carried the matter into the Gulf. This organic matter led to reduced water transparency and decreased productivity of phytoplankton, an essential part of the food chain. The effect was most noticeable along Maine's coast. Precipitation and discharges of organic matter are expected to increase over the next century."

The Outlook incorporates meteorological data generated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Environment Canada. It's the product of an ongoing collaboration between the two agencies sparked by the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, a regional partnership that has worked for 25 years to sustain the environmental health of the Gulf of Maine and its watershed.

The Gulf of Maine Region Outlook is issued every March, June, September and December. To view the June edition and to receive future copies, visit gulfofmaine.org/2/climate-network-climate-outlook/.