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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 FMA 2017
    1.5mn MAM 2017
    2.5mn AMJ 2017
    3.5mn MJJ 2017
    4.5mn JJA 2017
    5.5mn JAS 2017
    6.5mn ASO 2017
    7.5mn SON 2017
    8.5mn OND 2017
    9.5mn NDJ 2017
   10.5mn DJF 2017
   11.5mn JFM 2018
   12.5mn FMA 2018
    0.5mn Feb 2017


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HOME> Outlook Maps>Seasonal Forecast Discussion
 
PROGNOSTIC DISCUSSION FOR LONG-LEAD SEASONAL OUTLOOKS 
NWS CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER COLLEGE PARK MD
830 AM EST THU JAN 19 2017

SUMMARY OF THE OUTLOOK FOR NON-TECHNICAL USERS

WEAK LA NINA CONDITIONS CONTINUE ACROSS THE EQUATORIAL PACIFIC OCEAN, AS
REPRESENTED IN CURRENT OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC OBSERVATIONS. THE OFFICIAL CPC
ENSO FORECAST INDICATES A TRANSITION TO ENSO-NEUTRAL CONDITIONS DURING FEBRUARY
2017. ENSO-NEUTRAL CONDITIONS ARE FAVORED TO PERSIST THROUGH AT LEAST THE
BOREAL SUMMER.

THE FEBRUARY-MARCH-APRIL (FMA) 2017 TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK FAVORS ABOVE-NORMAL
TEMPERATURES FROM THE NORTHEAST TO THE GULF COAST, AND WESTWARD ACROSS THE
SOUTHERN PLAINS TO THE FOUR CORNERS REGION. THE HIGHEST ODDS (GREATER THAN 50
PERCENT) FOR ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE INDICATED OVER NEW MEXICO AND TEXAS.
ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE ALSO FAVORED FOR WESTERN AND NORTHERN ALASKA.
ELEVATED ODDS FOR BELOW-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE PREDICTED FROM THE PACIFIC
NORTHWEST TO THE NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS AND UPPER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY.

THE FMA 2017 PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK INDICATES ENHANCED PROBABILITIES OF
ABOVE-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION FROM THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, ACROSS THE NORTHERN
GREAT PLAINS, TO THE GREAT LAKES AND OHIO VALLEY. BELOW-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION
AMOUNTS ARE MOST LIKELY FOR THE SOUTHWEST AND WESTERN TEXAS, AS WELL AS FROM
THE CENTRAL GULF COAST TO THE SOUTHEAST AND THE MID-ATLANTIC.

EQUAL CHANCES (EC) ARE FORECAST OVER AREAS WHERE ODDS OF ABOVE-, BELOW-, OR
NEAR-NORMAL SEASONAL MEAN TEMPERATURES AND SEASONAL ACCUMULATED PRECIPITATION
AMOUNTS ARE EXPECTED TO BE SIMILAR TO CLIMATOLOGICAL PROBABILITIES.

BASIS AND SUMMARY OF THE CURRENT LONG-LEAD OUTLOOKS
NOTE: FOR GRAPHICAL DISPLAYS OF THE FORECAST TOOLS DISCUSSED BELOW SEE:
HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV/PRODUCTS/PREDICTIONS/90DAY/TOOLS/BRIEFING

CURRENT ATMOSPHERIC AND OCEANIC CONDITIONS

OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC OBSERVATIONS INDICATE THAT LA NINA CONDITIONS ARE
PRESENT. DURING THE PAST FOUR WEEKS, EQUATORIAL SSTS IN THE NINO INDEX REGIONS
REMAINED BELOW (ABOVE)-AVERAGE ACROSS THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN PACIFIC OCEAN
(NEAR THE MARITIME CONTINENT). NEGATIVE ANOMALIES REMAINED IN PLACE FROM THE
DATE LINE TO 80W. ANOMALIES WERE AS LARGE -1.0 DEGREE C, THOUGH THE NINO REGION
INDEX VALUES HOVERED NEAR -0.5 DEGREE C AS THE LARGER MAGNITUDE ANOMALY VALUES
EXTENDED OVER RELATIVELY SMALL AREAS.  NEGATIVE SUBSURFACE TEMPERATURE
ANOMALIES PERSISTED, SINCE APRIL 2016, ACROSS THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN PACIFIC.
HOWEVER, THESE ANOMALIES WEAKENED DURING DECEMBER. THE ONI VALUE (OCTOBER -
NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2016), BASED ON SST DEPARTURES FROM AVERAGE IN THE NINO 3.4
REGION, WAS -0.8 DEGREES C.

ENHANCED CONVECTION REMAINED CENTERED OVER THE MARITIME CONTINENT, WITH
SUPPRESSED CONVECTION EXTENDING EASTWARD FROM 160E ACROSS MUCH OF THE
EQUATORIAL PACIFIC. DURING THE PAST COUPLE OF MONTHS, SUBSEASONAL VARIABILITY
HAS DISRUPTED THIS PATTERN AND LED TO PERIODIC DRYING ACROSS PARTS OF THE
MARITIME CONTINENT AND EASTERN INDIAN OCEAN. TRADE WINDS AVERAGED NEAR NORMAL
ACROSS THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN EQUATORIAL PACIFIC FROM NOVEMBER 10 TO DECEMBER
9, 2016.

AS OF EARLY JANUARY, NEGATIVE SST ANOMALIES WERE PRESENT OVER THE NORTH PACIFIC
ALONG 45N. POSITIVE SST ANOMALIES WERE MEASURED OVER THE BERING SEA AND NEAR
THE COAST OF ALASKA, AS WELL AS OVER THE CENTRAL PACIFIC ALONG 30N. THE
ABOVE-NORMAL SSTS NEAR ALASKA, COMBINED WITH THE RECENT ATMOSPHERIC
CIRCULATION, HAVE RESULTED IN SEA ICE COVERAGE THAT IS MUCH BELOW-NORMAL AND
LATE TO ARRIVE AT POINTS ALONG THE WEST COAST OF ALASKA.

PROGNOSTIC DISCUSSION OF SST FORECASTS

THE CPC SST CONSOLIDATION FORECAST, WHICH INCLUDES THREE STATISTICAL FORECASTS
ALONG WITH THE CFS, PREDICTS ENSO-NEUTRAL CONDITIONS DURING FMA 2017 AND
BEYOND. THERE IS A SLIGHT TILT TOWARD BELOW-AVERAGE SSTS DURING NEXT WINTER,
BUT THE UNCERTAINTY IS TOO LARGE TO MAKE ANY DEFINITIVE STATEMENT ABOUT
TROPICAL PACIFIC SSTS NEXT WINTER. THE NORTH AMERICAN MULTI-MODEL ENSEMBLE
(NMME) ENSEMBLE MEAN FORECAST FOR THE NINO-3.4 SST ANOMALY IS SLIGHTLY WARMER
THAN LAST MONTH, WITH ENSO-NEUTRAL FAVORED EARLY IN OUTLOOK PERIOD. BASED ON
THE LATEST OBSERVATIONAL AND MODEL FORECAST INDICATORS, THE OFFICIAL CPC/IRI
ENSO OUTLOOK FAVORS ENSO-NEUTRAL CONDITIONS AT 70% DURING FMA 2017.

PROGNOSTIC TOOLS USED FOR U.S. TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION OUTLOOKS

THE OUTLOOKS FOR FMA 2017 THROUGH JJA 2017 ARE BASED ON DYNAMICAL MODEL OUTPUTS
FROM THE NMME AND IMME (INTERNATIONAL MULTI-MODEL ENSEMBLE) BALANCED WITH INPUT
FROM THE CPC CONSOLIDATION AND CONSTRUCTED ANALOG BASED ON SSTS (CA-SST).
BEYOND THE SUMMER (JJA) OF 2017, THE OUTLOOKS ARE BASED ON TRENDS, THE CPC
CONSOLIDATION, AND CA-SST.

PROGNOSTIC DISCUSSION OF OUTLOOKS - FMA 2017 TO FMA 2018

TEMPERATURE

THE OUTLOOK FOR FMA 2017 WAS CHANGED LITTLE FROM LAST MONTH. PROBABILITIES FOR
ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES FROM THE OHIO VALLEY TO THE SOUTHEAST WERE REDUCED
DUE TO UNCERTAINTY IMPLIED BY MODEL OUTLOOKS AND STATISTICAL TOOLS (CCA AND
CA-SST) INDICATING THE POTENTIAL FOR COLDER AIR TO SPILL ACROSS THE GREAT LAKES
REGION. THE DECREASED ODDS RESULTED IN EC NOW INDICATED OVER THE OHIO VALLEY,
WHILE A SLIGHT TILT TOWARD ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES REMAINED OVER THE
TENNESSEE VALLEY, MID-ATLANTIC, AND THE SOUTHEAST. RECENT HEAVY SNOWS AND THE
LAGGED IMPACT TO TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE GREAT BASIN AND CENTRAL ROCKIES ALSO
RESULTED IN A SHIFT AWAY FROM FAVORING ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES IN THOSE
REGIONS.

SUBSEASONAL TROPICAL VARIABILITY SUCH AS THE MADDEN-JULIAN OSCILLATION,
ESPECIALLY DURING FEBRUARY WHEN VARIANCE IS HIGHEST, MAY PLAY A ROLE IN
DETERMINING THE OBSERVED TEMPERATURE FIELD DURING FMA 2017 ACROSS THE CENTRAL
AND EASTERN U.S. IF ENHANCED CONVECTION REMAINS CENTERED OVER THE MARITIME
CONTINENT AND FAR WESTERN PACIFIC, THE COLDER OUTCOME INDICATED BY STATISTICAL
GUIDANCE IS MORE LIKELY ACROSS THE NORTHERN CONUS. THE ARCTIC OSCILLATION (AO)
HAS BEEN POSITIVE FOR THE PAST 45 DAYS. THE GFS MODEL INDICATES THAT A POSITIVE
AO INDEX WILL PERSIST INTO THE LATTER HALF OF JANUARY AND INTO EARLY FEBRUARY.
THE AO INDEX HAS VERIFIED OUTSIDE OF THE MODEL ENVELOPE A FEW TIMES DURING THE
PAST 60 DAYS, SO THERE IS UNCERTAINTY WITH THE AO OUTLOOK GOING FORWARD.

THROUGH THE SPRING AND SUMMER, THE OUTLOOK TOOLS INDICATE THAT ABOVE-NORMAL
TEMPERATURES ARE MOST FAVORED FOR MOST OF THE CONUS AND ALASKA. THE CPC
CONSOLIDATION INDICATES A WEAKNESS IN THE SIGNAL FOR ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES
OVER THE CENTRAL PORTIONS OF THE CONUS, WHICH IS REFLECTED IN THE OUTLOOKS. BY
AUTUMN, ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED FOR THE ENTIRE FORECAST DOMAIN.

PRECIPITATION

THE FMA 2017 PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK REFLECTS THE WEAK LA NINA WITH A GENERALLY
DRY PATTERN ACROSS THE SOUTHERN TIER AND AN ACTIVE STORM TRACK OVER THE
NORTHERN CONUS. MODEL OUTPUTS REFLECTED THAT SAME PATTERN, ALTHOUGH SIGNALS IN
THE MODEL OUTLOOKS WERE VERY WEAK, WITH MANY SMALL SCALE ANOMALIES AND LOW
PROBABILITIES. COMPARED TO THE FMA OUTLOOK FROM LAST MONTH, THE NEW OUTLOOK
REFLECTS A WEAKER LA NINA SIGNAL WHILE INCORPORATING THE LATEST MODEL GUIDANCE
AND STATISTICAL TOOLS. THE RESULTING OUTLOOK FAVORS BELOW-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION
OVER THE MID-ATLANTIC, SOUTHEAST, AND SOUTHWEST, WHILE SLIGHTLY INCREASING ODDS
FOR ABOVE-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION OVER THE NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS. THROUGH MAM
2017, ABOVE- (BELOW-) MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IS FAVORED OVER THE NORTHERN
(SOUTHERN) CONUS, BUT THAT SIGNAL FADES THROUGH THE SPRING. BY NEXT SUMMER,
ABOVE-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IS MORE LIKELY OVER THE SOUTHWEST CONUS, CONSISTENT
WITH MODEL OUTPUTS, AND THE NORTHEAST, CONSISTENT WITH TRENDS AS INTEGRATED
INTO THE CPC CON. BY AUTUMN OF 2017, NO SIGNIFICANT SIGNALS ARE EVIDENT. TRENDS
FAVOR BELOW-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION OVER THE SOUTHEAST AND PORTIONS OF NORTHERN
CALIFORNIA, SO THOSE SIGNALS ARE INDICATED IN THE OUTLOOKS FOR LATER IN 2017
AND EARLY 2018.

FORECASTER: MATTHEW ROSENCRANS

THE CLIMATIC NORMALS ARE BASED ON CONDITIONS BETWEEN 1981 AND 2010, FOLLOWING
THE WORLD METEROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION CONVENTION OF USING THE MOST RECENT 3
COMPLETE DECADES AS THE CLIMATIC 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.

FOR A DESCRIPTION OF OF THE STANDARD FORECAST TOOLS - THEIR SKILL- AND THE
FORECAST FORMAT PLEASE SEE OUR WEB PAGE AT
HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV/PRODUCTS/PREDICTIONS/LONG_RANGE/TOOLS.HTML
(USE LOWER CASE LETTERS)
INFORMATION ON THE FORMATION OF SKILL OF THE CAS FORECASTS MAY BE FOUND AT:
HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV/PRODUCTS/SOILMST_MONITORING/US/OUTLOOK/OUTLOOK.SHTM
L
(USE LOWERCASE LETTERS)
NOTES - THESE CLIMATE OUTLOOKS ARE INTENDED FOR USE PRIOR TO THE START OF THEIR
VALID PERIOD.  WITHIN ANY GIVEN VALID PERIOD OBSERVATIONS AND SHORT AND MEDIUM
RANGE FORECASTS SHOULD BE CONSULTED.

THIS SET OF OUTLOOKS WILL BE SUPERSEDED BY THE ISSUANCE OF THE NEW SET NEXT
MONTH ON FEB 16 2017


1981-2010 BASE PERIOD MEANS WERE IMPLEMENTED EFFECTIVE WITH THE MAY 19, 2011
FORECAST RELEASE.
$$

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Page last modified: January 17, 2006
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