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HOME > Climate & Weather Linkage > Global Tropics Benefits/Hazards

Beginning June 6, 2014, CPC will be issuing an operational update of this product every Friday by 1 PM ET to further support the NWS regions. The update will only span the release period from June 1 through November 30 and a region from 120E to the Prime Meridian in longitude and from the equator to 40N in latitude. The update will not extend the time horizon of the product, but rather apply for the remaining 4 days of the previous Week-1 time period and Days 5-11 from the previous Week-2 period. This page will depict both the original and updated outlook maps as well short text outlining the forecast rationale for any changes.

Last Updated - 02.24.15 (Routine)

GIS Ready Formats
Tropical Cyclone Formation KMZ / KML / SHP KMZ / KML / SHP
Upper Tercile Precipitation KMZ / KML / SHP KMZ / KML / SHP
Lower Tercile Precipitation KMZ / KML / SHP KMZ / KML / SHP

Global Tropics Hazards and Benefits Outlook Discussion

Last Updated: 02.24.15 Valid: 02.25.15 - 03.11.15
There was no coherent MJO signal during the past week. The RMM-based MJO Index depicted a weak convective signal over the western Pacific with no eastward propagation, while the CPC velocity potential based index had very low amplitude. Spatial upper-level velocity potential patterns exhibit discontinuous areas of negative anomalies (associated with an enhanced convective signal) over the eastern Pacific, South America, and western Africa, with a more robust positive anomaly field (associated with a suppressed signal) over the Indian Ocean. Other modes of tropical convective anomalies are apparent in the OLR field, including Kelvin Wave activity over the Maritime Continent and Equatorial Rossby Wave activity over the eastern Indian Ocean. Destructive interference among these modes has led to a generally weak and incoherent global tropical convective pattern in recent days.

There is considerable spread among the dynamical model MJO Index forecasts. The GFS solutions favor a continuation of a weak MJO signal through Week-2, while the ECMWF ensembles, UKMET, and Canadian all depict a potential for a strengthening MJO signal over the Maritime Continent during Week-2. The statistical tools generally favor a weak MJO signal during the upcoming two weeks, although the Constructed Analog forecast depicts increasing signal over the eastern Indian Ocean by the end of Week-2. Based on recent observations and the dynamical and statistical models, the MJO is not anticipated to be a significant contributor to the global tropical convective pattern during Week-1, but there may be some MJO-related contribution during Week-2 towards enhanced convection over parts of the eastern Indian Ocean, Maritime Continent, and equatorial far western Pacific.

Tropical Cyclone Marcia developed over the Coral Sea on 18 February, attaining Category-3 intensity on the Saffir-Simpson scale before making landfall near Rockhampton, Queensland and causing significant damage. Tropical Storm Fourteen developed over the south-central Indian Ocean, south of Diego Garcia, on 24 February. Current forecasts from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center bring this tropical cyclone southwestward and then southward over open water while strengthening to Category-1 intensity well east of La Reunion. During Week-1, no additional tropical cyclogenesis is anticipated. During Week-2, large scale conditions are forecast to become increasingly favorable for tropical cyclogenesis over the far southwestern Indian Ocean near Madagascar and the Mozambique Channel.

Forecasts for areas of above or below normal precipitation in this outlook were based primarily on consensus among the dynamical models. During Week-1, enhanced convection is forecast over parts of southeastern Africa and Madagascar. Enhanced convection associated with Tropical Storm Fourteen is likely across the south-central Indian Ocean, while enhanced monsoonal convection is anticipated across the Timor Sea, much of Western Australia, and far northwestern Northern Territory. Enhanced convection is also favored over the southwestern Pacific near 10S, from 160E to the Date Line, while suppressed convection is forecast over the eastern Indian Ocean, far western Maritime Continent, and northeastern Australia.

During Week-2, enhanced (suppressed) convection is forecast over southern and central Indonesia and the southwestern Pacific (Northern Territory and northern Queensland). Additionally, dynamical models are in good agreement favoring a plume of tropical moisture extending from 10N straddling the Date Line northeastward towards Hawaii, where precipitation would be welcome following a dry rainy season to date. An area of enhanced convection is also favored over southeastern Brazil.

Product Release Information

The Global Tropics Hazards and Benefits Outlook is released once per week every Tuesday at 1530 UTC (1630 UTC when on standard time) including U.S. federal holidays. At the time of product release, there is a live briefing (available via webinar) open to all interested parties in which the latest conditions in the Tropics and the just released outlook and associated impacts are discussed. There is an opportunity to ask questions after the briefing and the briefings are available at the Live Briefing Archive.

Product Description

The Global Tropics Hazards and Benefits Outlook is a forecast for areas with elevated odds for above- or below-median rainfall and regions where tropical cyclogenesis is favorable or unfavorable for the upcoming Week-1 and Week-2 time periods. The rainfall outlook is for precipitation integrated over a week and targets broad-scale patterns, not local conditions as they will be highly variable. Above(below) median rainfall forecast areas are depicted in green and yellow respectively. Favored areas for tropical development are shown in red. Two measures of confidence are indicated, high (solid) and moderate (hatched) and are currently subjective in nature and not based on an objective system. Work towards a probabilistic format of the product and so an objective measure of confidence is ongoing. The weekly verification period ranges from 00 UTC Wednesday to 00 UTC the following Wednesday.

Along with the product graphic, a written text outlook discussion is also included at release time. The narrative provides a review of the past week across the global Tropics, a description of the current climate-weather situation, the factors and reasoning behind the depicted outlook and notes on any other issues the user should be aware of. The discussion discusses the impacts in the Tropics as well as potential impacts in the Extratropics when relevant.

Product Physical Basis

The product synthesizes information and expert analysis related to climate variability across multiple time scales and from various sources, including operational climate monitoring products. The physical basis for the outlooks include El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) , the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), strength and variations of the monsoon systems, other coherent subseasonal tropical variability such as atmospheric Kelvin waves (KW), Equatorial Rossby waves (ERW), African easterly waves, as well as interactions with the extratropical circulation (i.e. high latitude blocking, low-latitude frontal activity, etc.).

Product Forecast Tools

The outlook maps are currently created subjectively based on a number of forecast tools, many of which are objective. The final depiction is an assessment of these forecast tools based on a number of factors to create the final product. Work is ongoing to create an objective consolidation of some of the available forecast tools to serve as a first guess for the forecaster. Forecast tools include MJO composites, empirical and dynamical based MJO, ERW and KW forecasts, and raw dynamical model guidance from a number of modeling systems. Tropical cyclone areas are based on MJO composites and statistical and dynamical tropical cyclone forecasts as well as raw model forecast guidance.

Product Purpose

The product supports the NOAA mission in three primary ways:

  1. Assess and forecast important changes in the distribution of tropical convection (i.e., potential circulation changes across the Pacific and North America sectors) and communicate this information to NWS forecasters
  2. Provide advance notice of potential hazards related to climate, weather and hydrological events across the global tropics (including tropical cyclone risks for several NWS regions)
  3. Support various sectors of the U.S. economy (finance, energy, agriculture, water resource management) that have foreign interests.

Product Partners

The product is created through collaboration with other NOAA centers, [the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC)], the Department of Defense [The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) and the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS)], the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Taiwan Central Weather Bureau, the State University of New York at Albany (SUNY) and the Center for Climate and Satellites (CICS), among other collaborators.

Product Users and Applications

Known users include U.S. government agencies such as NOAA [National Weather Service (NWS), River Forecast Centers (RFCs), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the Department of the Interior (U.S. Forest Service), aid organizations (U.S. and international Red Cross, USAID), domestic and global private sector interests (financial, energy, water resource management and agricultural sectors), international weather services and various media meteorologists.

Some special applications of the product in the past include extended range predictions to support Haiti earthquake and Deepwater Horizon oil spill relief efforts as well as support for the Dynamics of the MJO (DYNAMO) scientific field campaign held from October 2011 through March 2012.

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Page Author: CPC Web Team
Page last modified: 9-Jun-2014 3:37 PM EDT
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