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Official 90-day Outlooks are issued once each month near mid-month at 8:30am Eastern Time. Please consult the schedule of 30 & 90-day outlooks for exact release dates.

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    0.5mn Mar 2017


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HOME> Outlook Maps>Seasonal Forecast Discussion
 
PROGNOSTIC DISCUSSION FOR MONTHLY OUTLOOK 
NWS CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER COLLEGE PARK MD
300 PM EST TUE FEB 28 2017

30-DAY OUTLOOK DISCUSSION FOR MARCH 2017

THE UPDATED MARCH OUTLOOK UTILIZES INFORMATION ACROSS TIME SCALES IN ADJUSTING
THE PREVIOUS MID-MONTH OUTLOOK. THE UPDATED OUTLOOK IS MODIFIED PRIMARILY BASED
ON SHORT-, MEDIUM- AND EXTENDED-RANGE DYNAMICAL MODEL GUIDANCE, MJO
CONSIDERATIONS, AND TO A LESSER DEGREE WEEK 3-4 MODEL GUIDANCE.

A MAJOR PLAYER EARLY IN THE PERIOD IS THE BLOCK SITUATED WEST OF ALASKA WHICH
FAVORS DOWNSTREAM TROUGHING ACROSS MAINLAND ALASKA INTO THE GULF OF ALASKA
LIKELY RESULTING IN STRONG ONSHORE FLOW INTO THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST. POSITIVE
500-HPA HEIGHT DEPARTURES ARE EXPECTED TO BE PREVALENT ACROSS MUCH OF THE
WESTERN AND CENTRAL CONUS AS WE APPROACH THE MEDIUM AND EXTENDED RANGES, WHILE
ACROSS THE EASTERN CONUS, THERE IS CONSIDERABLE VARIABILITY AND UNCERTAINTY FOR
THE DEGREE OF TROUGHING, AND SO INTRUSIONS OF COLDER AIR MASSES INTO THIS
REGION.

THE MJO REMAINS ACTIVE AND IS CURRENTLY CENTERED ACROSS THE WEST-CENTRAL INDIAN
OCEAN AND IS EXPECTED TO MAINTAIN AT LEAST MODEST ORGANIZATION ENTERING MARCH,
ALTHOUGH CANONICAL TELECONNECTIONS TO THE MID-LATITUDES OFTEN ASSOCIATED WITH
THE MJO HAVE BEEN LIMITED THIS WINTER TO DATE.

THE PREVIOUS TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK IS ADJUSTED IN THE UPDATE IN THE FOLLOWING
WAY. STRONG ANOMALOUS NORTHERLY FLOW DOWNSTREAM OF HIGH LATITUDE BLOCKING
RESULTS IN FAVORED BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES AT RATHER HIGH PROBABILITIES FOR
THE STATE OF ALASKA, A CHANGE FROM THE HALF MONTH LEAD OUTLOOK. MOREOVER, THE
TROUGHING FAVORS A WESTWARD SHIFT OF FAVORED BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES FROM THE
ORIGINAL OUTLOOK FROM THE NORTHERN ROCKIES TO A RELATIVELY SMALL REGION OF THE
PACIFIC NORTHWEST WHICH IS INDICATED BY MEDIUM- AND EXTENDED-RANGE MODEL
GUIDANCE. MONTHLY FORECASTS OF THE CFS ALSO INDICATE THE LATTER AREA, BUT THE
MAGNITUDE AND SPATIAL COVERAGE APPEAR TO BE OVERDONE.

COVERAGE AND PROBABILITIES OF ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE INCREASED IN THE
UPDATE FROM THE HALF MONTH LEAD OUTLOOK. MODEL GUIDANCE ACROSS TIME SCALES
SUPPORTS THIS CHANGE WITH THE GREATEST PROBABILITIES SITUATED ACROSS THE SOUTH
CENTRAL PLAINS. MJO ACTIVITY ENTERING MARCH WOULD ALSO FAVOR A WARMER SOLUTION
IN TIME FOR PARTS OF THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN CONUS.

FOR PRECIPITATION, THE NEED FOR SOME CHANGES FROM THE ORIGINAL OUTLOOK WAS ALSO
REQUIRED. THE AMPLIFIED 500-HPA HEIGHT PATTERN IN PROXIMITY TO ALASKA NOW
FAVORS BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION FOR MUCH OF THE STATE. MOREOVER, EARLY IN
THE PERIOD INTO THE EXTENDED RANGE THE PREDICTED FLOW IMPINGING ON THE PACIFIC
NORTHWEST AND LIKELY AN ENHANCED STORM TRACK ACROSS THE NORTHERN TIER OF THE
CONUS SHIFTS THE GREATEST LIKELIHOOD FOR ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION FOR MARCH
FROM THE NORTHERN ROCKIES TO THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, AND THIS AREA IS EXPANDED
ALONG THE EXTREME NORTHERN TIER OF THE CONUS TO THE GREAT LAKES.

THE AREA OF BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IN THE SOUTHWEST CONUS IN THE ORIGINAL
OUTLOOK IS EXPANDED TO STRETCH FROM CALIFORNIA TO THE CENTRAL PLAINS CONSISTENT
WITH SHORT-, MEDIUM- AND EXTENDED-RANGE MODEL GUIDANCE AND INTEGRATED MONTHLY
FORECASTS FROM THE CFS. EQUAL CHANCES IS FORECAST FOR PARTS OF THE OHIO VALLEY,
TENNESSEE VALLEY AND SOUTHEAST, AS SOMEWHAT COMPETING SIGNALS OVER THE COURSE
OF THE MONTH LOWERED CONFIDENCE FOR MONTHLY PRECIPITATION TOTALS AS A WHOLE IN
SOME OF THESE AREAS.

**** PREVIOUS DISCUSSION FROM MID-MONTH OUTLOOK IS BELOW ****

AN INITIAL REVIEW OF SOME OF THE FACTORS TYPICALLY CONSIDERED IN FORMULATING
THE HALF MONTH LEAD MONTHLY OUTLOOK INCLUDE CONDITIONS ACROSS THE TROPICS.
OCEANIC AND MOST ATMOSPHERIC INDICATORS ASSOCIATED WITH LA NINA CONDITIONS HAVE
FADED AND CPC ISSUED ITS FINAL LA NINA ADVISORY EARLIER THIS MONTH. LA NINA WAS
NOT CONSIDERED IN THE MARCH 2017 TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK. AT THE
SUBSEASONAL TIME SCALE, WE DO HOWEVER, OBSERVE A ROBUST MJO EVENT WITH THE
ENHANCED CONVECTIVE PHASE CENTERED ACROSS THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE AND THE
SUPPRESSED CONVECTIVE PHASE LOCATED ACROSS THE INDIAN OCEAN AND MARITIME
CONTINENT REGION AND THIS SIGNAL WAS CONSIDERED IN DEVELOPING THE MARCH
OUTLOOK. ANOMALOUS SNOW COVER AND ABOVE NORMAL COASTAL SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES
IN SOME AREAS WERE ALSO CONSIDERED.

INFORMATION FROM DYNAMICAL MODEL GUIDANCE PLAYED A LARGE ROLE AS WELL IN THE
INITIAL MARCH 2017 OUTLOOK AND INCLUDED WEEK 3-4 MODEL GUIDANCE FROM THE CFS
AND ECMWF MODEL SYSTEMS AND MONTHLY GUIDANCE AS A WHOLE FROM THE CFS.
STATISTICAL FORECAST GUIDANCE LINKED TO PREDICTORS SUCH AS THE MJO, ENSO AND
TREND FOR THE WEEK 3-4 TIME PERIOD ALSO CONTRIBUTED TO THE OUTLOOK.

THE MARCH 2017 TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK DEPICTS A CONSIDERABLE AREA OF EQUAL CHANCES
(EC) AT THIS HALF MONTH LEAD AS THERE IS CONSIDERABLE UNCERTAINTY IN A NUMBER
OF THE FORECAST TOOLS. LAGGED 200-HPA HEIGHT AND TEMPERATURE COMPOSITES LINKED
TO THE CURRENT MJO PHASE WOULD TEND TO FAVOR IN TIME NEGATIVE HEIGHT DEPARTURES
AND AREAS OF BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR CONSIDERABLE PORTIONS OF THE CONUS
DURING LATER FEBRUARY INTO EARLY MARCH INCLUDING THE EASTERN U.S. THIS IS
CURRENTLY AT ODDS WITH WEEK-2 GUIDANCE WHICH ON AVERAGE CONTINUES TO FAVOR
ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES IN THIS REGION CLOSE TO EARLY MARCH.

FOR THE INITIAL MARCH 2017 OUTLOOK, BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED FOR A
REGION WHERE MJO RELATED INFORMATION (ABOVE DESCRIBED COMPOSITES AND
STATISTICAL FORECAST TOOLS) AND DYNAMICAL MODEL GUIDANCE FROM BOTH WEEK 3-4 AND
THE CFS MONTHLY FORECAST ARE CONSISTENT. THIS REGION IS FOR A SMALL AREA THAT
INCLUDES PORTIONS OF THE NORTHERN ROCKIES AND NORTHERN HIGH PLAINS. ABOVE
NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED ACROSS THE SOUTHERN TIER OF THE CONTIGUOUS U.S.
WHERE, IN GENERAL, THERE IS AGREEMENT FROM WEEK 3-4 MODEL GUIDANCE FROM THE CFS
AND ECMWF AND THE CFS MONTHLY FORECAST AS WELL AS SUPPORT FROM LONG TERM
TRENDS. ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED FOR PORTIONS OF WESTERN
ALASKA SUPPORTED BY ABOVE NORMAL SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES IN SOME AREAS AND
AVAILABLE DYNAMICAL MODEL GUIDANCE.

THE MARCH 2017 PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK IS STRONGLY BASED ON AVAILABLE DYNAMICAL
MODEL GUIDANCE AND TO A LESSER DEGREE MJO CONSIDERATIONS. ABOVE MEDIAN
PRECIPITATION IS FAVORED FOR PORTIONS OF THE SOUTHEAST CONUS IN PART DUE TO MJO
STATISTICAL FORECAST GUIDANCE AND IS ALSO SUPPORTED BY DYNAMICAL MODEL GUIDANCE
FROM BOTH THE WEEK 3-4 PERIOD GUIDANCE AS WELL AS THE CFS MONTHLY FORECAST.
ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IS ALSO MOST LIKELY DURING MARCH 2017 FOR AREAS OF
THE NORTHERN ROCKIES AND NORTHERN HIGH PLAINS WHERE BOTH LONG TERM TRENDS AND
DYNAMICAL MODEL GUIDANCE DEPICT A POTENTIAL SIGNAL. PRIMARILY BASED ON THE CFS
MONTHLY FORECAST AND LONG TERM TRENDS, THERE ARE ELEVATED ODDS FOR BELOW-MEDIAN
PRECIPITATION FOR AREAS STRETCHING FROM ARIZONA TO WEST TEXAS, WHILE
WEST-CENTRAL ALASKA IS FAVORED TO SEE ABOVE-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION.


FORECASTER: JON GOTTSCHALCK


THE CLIMATIC NORMALS ARE BASED ON CONDITIONS BETWEEN 1981 AND 2010, FOLLOWING
THE WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION CONVENTION OF USING THE MOST RECENT 3
COMPLETE DECADES AS THE CLIMATE REFERENCE PERIOD.  THE PROBABILITY ANOMALIES
FOR TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION BASED ON THESE NEW NORMALS BETTER REPRESENT
SHORTER TERM CLIMATIC ANOMALIES THAN THE FORECASTS BASED ON OLDER NORMALS.



THE NEXT MONTHLY OUTLOOK...FOR APR ... WILL BE ISSUED ON THU MAR 16 2017


THESE OUTLOOKS ARE BASED ON DEPARTURES FROM THE 1981-2010 BASE PERIOD.

$$

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