Skip Navigation Links www.nws.noaa.gov 
NOAA logo - Click to go to the NOAA home page National Weather Service   NWS logo - Click to go to the NWS home page
Climate Prediction Center
 
 

CPC Search
About Us
   Our Mission
   Who We Are

Contact Us
   CPC Information
   CPC Web Team

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.

Text Discussions
   90day Prognostic
   30day Prognostic
   Hawaiian
   Tools


More Outlooks
    0.5mn JAS 2015
    1.5mn ASO 2015
    2.5mn SON 2015
    3.5mn OND 2015
    4.5mn NDJ 2015
    5.5mn DJF 2015
    6.5mn JFM 2016
    7.5mn FMA 2016
    8.5mn MAM 2016
    9.5mn AMJ 2016
   10.5mn MJJ 2016
   11.5mn JJA 2016
   12.5mn JAS 2016
    0.5mn Jul 2015


Tools Used (see Discussion for explanation)
   CCA
   OCN
   CMP
   SMT
   POE
 
HOME> Outlook Maps>Seasonal Forecast Discussion
 
PROGNOSTIC DISCUSSION FOR LONG-LEAD SEASONAL OUTLOOKS 
NWS CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER COLLEGE PARK MD
830AM EDT THURSDAY JUN 18 2015

SUMMARY OF THE OUTLOOK FOR NON-TECHNICAL USERS

EL NINO CONDITIONS CONTINUE TO STRENGTHEN AS INDICATED BY RECENT OBSERVATIONS
OF EQUATORIAL WATER TEMPERATURES IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN. ATMOSPHERIC OBSERVATIONS
ABOVE THE TROPICAL PACIFIC ALSO ARE IN GOOD AGREEMENT WITH THOSE NORMALLY
ASSOCIATED WITH EL NINO. SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE (SST) ANOMALIES CONTINUE TO
INCREASE OVER THE EASTERN PACIFIC, WHILE SUB-SURFACE EQUATORIAL OCEAN
TEMPERATURES ARE STILL WELL ABOVE AVERAGE IN THE EASTERN AND CENTRAL PACIFIC.
THIS SUPPORTS THE OVERALL ENSO FORECAST WHICH SUGGESTS THAT A MODERATE TO
STRONG EL NINO IS LIKELY TO PERSIST INTO EARLY 2016.

THE JULY-AUGUST-SEPTEMBER (JAS) 2015 TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK INDICATES ENHANCED
PROBABILITIES OF ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR ALASKA, AREAS WEST OF THE ROCKY
MOUNTAINS, AND THE EASTERN SEABOARD.  CHANCES FOR BELOW-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE
ELEVATED FOR PARTS OF THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN PLAINS, AS WELL AS FOR PARTS OF
THE FRONT RANGE AND MID-MISSISSIPPI VALLEY.

THE JAS 2015 PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK INDICATES ENHANCED CHANCES OF ABOVE-MEDIAN
PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS FOR PARTS OF THE GREAT BASIN, THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS FROM
SOUTHERN MONTANA SOUTHWARD, AND THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS INCLUDING
PARTS OF TEXAS. BELOW-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IS FAVORED FOR A NARROW REGION
EXTENDING FROM SOUTHEASTERN TEXAS TO THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES.

IN THE SUBSEQUENT SEASONS, THE OUTLOOK SLOWLY CHANGES TO REFLECT MORE CANONICAL
ENSO IMPACTS AS WE HEAD TOWARD METEOROLOGICAL WINTER.

IN AREAS WHERE THE LIKELIHOODS OF SEASONAL MEAN TEMPERATURES AND SEASONAL
ACCUMULATED PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS ARE SIMILAR TO CLIMATOLOGICAL PROBABILITIES,
EQUAL CHANCES (EC) IS INDICATED.

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

SST ANOMALIES ACROSS THE EQUATOR ARE MORE THAN +1.0 C FROM THE SOUTH AMERICAN
COAST TO AROUND LONGITUDE 160 E. ANOMALIES IN EXCESS OF +2.0 C ARE OBSERVED
NEAR THE SOUTH AMERICAN COAST EXTENDING WESTWARD TOWARD NINO REGION 3.
ANOMALIES IN THE NINO 3.4 REGION ARE CURRENTLY AROUND +1.3 C. OCEAN
TEMPERATURES ALONG THE EQUATOR JUST UNDER THE SURFACE ARE CONSIDERABLY ABOVE
AVERAGE, WITH ANOMALIES OF UP TO +6.0 C BETWEEN 50 AND 150 METERS DEPTH
THROUGHOUT MUCH OF THE EASTERN PACIFIC. THE POSITIVE SUB-SURFACE HEAT ANOMALY
PROVIDES A SOURCE OF WARMER-THAN-AVERAGE OCEAN WATER FOR CONTINUATION OF
POSITIVE SST ANOMALIES FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL SEASONS.

THE ATMOSPHERIC TELECONNECTIONS TO THE SSTS CONTINUE TO BE ROBUST, WITH
PERSISTENT ENHANCED CONVECTION OVER THE EQUATOR, NEAR AND TO THE EAST THE DATE
LINE, AND SOME SUPPRESSED CONVECTION OVER THE MARITIME CONTINENT. LOW-LEVEL
WESTERLY WIND ANOMALIES AT 850 HPA HAVE BEEN CONSISTENTLY OBSERVED NEAR THE
ENSO SENSITVE REGIONS SINCE MARCH WHILE ANOMALOUS EASTERLY WINDS PERSIST AT
UPPER LEVELS. THESE LARGE SCALE ATMOSPHERIC PATTERNS SUGGEST THAT EL NINO IS
CURRENTLY AT A MODERATE STRENGTH, THOUGH GIVEN THE LOW-VARIANCE TIME OF YEAR,
THIS EVENT IS AMONG THE STRONGEST AT THIS TIME.

THE EXTRA-TROPICAL PACIFIC OCEAN REMAINS CONSISTENT WITH THE POSITIVE PHASE OF
THE PDO, ALTHOUGH THE MONTHLY INDEX WEAKENED IN MAY TO +1.2 AS DOCUMENTED BY
THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON.  THIS MAY HAVE SOME IMPACT ON CONDITIONS NEAR THE
WEST COAST OF NORTH AMERICA, ESPECIALLY IN LATE SUMMER AND EARLY AUTUMN.


PROGNOSTIC DISCUSSION OF SST FORECASTS

MOST DYNAMICAL MODELS FOR SSTS CONTINUE TO SUGGEST NINO 3.4 ANOMALIES WILL
INCREASE AND PEAK THE LATE FALL. THE PDF CORRECTED NINO 3.4 SST ANOMALY FROM
THE CFSV2 PEAKS NEAR +1.8 C IN OND 2015. THIS AGREES WELL WITH THE CONSENSUS OF
MODEL FORECASTS FOR NINO 3.4 SSTS RUN AT OTHER CENTERS, THAT ALSO SUGGEST PEAK
ANOMALIES OF AROUND +2.0 C LATE IN THE YEAR. STATISTICAL FORECASTS OF NINO 3.4
ANOMALIES ARE WEAKER, BUT THE MAJORITY PREDICT ANOMALIES EXCEEDING +1.0
EXTENDING THROUGH THE FALL. THE CPC CONSOLIDATION FORECAST FOR NINO 3.4 SSTS
SHOWS THE VALUE INCREASING TO AROUND +1.8 C BY NDJ 2015-2016, THEN DECREASING,
BUT REMAINING ABOVE +1.0 C THROUGH JFM 2016. A CONSENSUS OF EXPERTS AT CPC AND
IRI HAVE ISSUED PROBABILITIES EXCEEDING 80% FOR EL NINO CONDITIONS TO CONTINUE
INTO JFM 2016.

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

THE SERIES OF OUTLOOKS FROM JAS 2015 THROUGH MAM 2016 WERE BASED PRIMARILY ON
TYPICAL ATMOSPHERIC RESPONSES TO EL NINO, ASSESSED MOSTLY THROUGH LINEAR
REGRESSION ANALYSIS. THE NMME AND IMME TOOLS WERE ALSO GIVEN SOME WEIGHT
THROUGH EARLY WINTER. THE OUTLOOKS FOR AMJ THROUGH JAS 2016 CONSIST OF A BLEND
OF EL NINO COMPOSITES AND LONG TERM TRENDS, EMPHASIZING THE CPC CONSOLIDATION
AT THE LONGEST LEAD TIMES.

PROGNOSTIC DISCUSSION OF OUTLOOKS - JAS 2015 TO JAS 2016

TEMPERATURE

THE JAS 2015 TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK INDICATES ENHANCED PROBABILITIES OF ABOVE
NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR ALASKA, AREAS WEST OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS, AND THE
EASTERN SEABOARD.  CHANCES FOR BELOW-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE ELEVATED FOR PARTS
OF THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN PLAINS, AS WELL AS FOR PARTS OF THE FRONT RANGE AND
MID-MISSISSIPPI VALLEY. THE NMME, IMME, EL NINO COMPOSITES, AND FORECASTS BASED
ON CONSTRUCTED ANALOGS OF BOTH GLOBAL SSTS AND SOIL MOISTURE ANOMALIES ARE IN
GENERAL AGREEMENT ON THE FORECAST TEMPERATURE ANOMALY PATTERN. THERE CONTINUES
TO BE SIGNIFICANT DISAGREEMENT AMONG TOOLS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION, WITH
DYNAMICAL MODELS GENERALLY FAVORING ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES, WHILE
STATISTICAL ENSO-BASED GUIDANCE TENDS TO LEAN COOLER DURING THE FIRST COUPLE OF
LEADS.

TEMPERATURE ANOMALIES ARE FORECAST TO SLOWLY EVOLVE FROM THIS LATE SUMMERTIME
PATTERN TO THE WINTERTIME EL NINO PATTERN OF TEMPERATURE ANOMALIES. THE
ENHANCED CHANCES OF BELOW-NORMAL TEMPERATURES SHIFTS FROM THE CENTRAL PART OF
THE COUNTRY TO THE SOUTH-CENTRAL CONUS, AND THEN EXPANDS TO COVER MUCH OF THE
SOUTHERN CONUS BY DJF 2015-16. THE CHANCES OF ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES REMAIN
ELEVATED FOR MUCH OF THE WESTERN CONUS, GRADUALLY SHIFTING NORTHWARD AND
EXPANDING ALONG THE NORTHERN CONUS TO THE UPPER GREAT LAKES BY DJF. THE LARGEST
CHANGE FROM THE LAST FORECAST CYCLE IS THE INCREASE IN PROBABILITIES DURING
WINTER. THIS IS WARRANTED NOW THAT THE PROBABILITY OF A MODERATE TO STRONG EL
NINO TO CONTINUE THROUGH THE WINTER IS EXCEEDINGLY HIGH. STRONGER EVENTS ARE
ASSOCIATED WITH GREATER CHANCES OF ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES IN THE GREAT LAKES
REGION. EL NINO CONDITIONS GENERALLY FAVOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR MUCH
OF ALASKA THROUGH THE FALL AND WINTER, AND THE FORECASTS FROM THE NMME AND IMME
SUGGEST GREATER CONFIDENCE IN ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES THAN WOULD BE EXPECTED
ON THE BASIS OF EL NINO ALONE. PROBABILITIES FOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE
PARTICULARLY ELEVATED FOR NORTHERN ALASKA WHERE THE EXPECTED ANOMALOUSLY LOW
ARCTIC OCEAN ICE COVER MAY HELP RAISE TEMPERATURES IN NEARBY AREAS.

THE FORECASTS INDICATE THAT SSTS IN THE NINO 3.4 REGION MAY REMAIN ELEVATED
INTO LATE WINTER, SO EL NINO IMPACTS ARE EXPECTED TO EXTEND INTO THE LATE
WINTER BEFORE LIKELY ENDING BY THE SPRING OF 2016. THE OUTLOOKS FOR AMJ AND MJJ
2016 SHOW A TRANSITION OF TEMPERATURES ASSIOCIATED WITH EL NINO TO ANOMALIES
SUGGESTED BY THE LONG TERM TRENDS. TYPICALLY ANOMALOUS SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS
RESULTING FROM THE WINTERTIME EL NINO IMPACTS CAN RESULT IN LOCALIZED CLIMATE
ANOMALIES PERSISTING INTO THE LATE SPRINGTIME IN SOME AREAS. FOR JJA AND JAS
2016, THE CPC CONSOLIDATION, WHICH EMPHASIZES TRENDS, IS MOST HEAVILY RELIED
UPON. ONE ISSUE THAT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED IN FUTURE FORECAST CYCLES IS THE
TENDENCY TO TRANSITION FROM STRONG EL NINO EVENTS TO LA NINA EVENTS. THIS
EMPIRICAL RELATIONSHIP COULD BE USED IN FORECASTS FOR SUMMER 2016 AND BEYOND.

PRECIPITATION

THERE IS GOOD AGREEMENT AMONG THE NMME, IMME, EL NINO COMPOSITES AND
CONSTRUCTED ANALOGS BASED BOTH ON SSTS AND CURRENT SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS FOR
ENHANCED CHANCES OF ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS OVER MUCH OF THE CONUS,
EXTENDING FROM THE INTERMOUTAIN WEST TO THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS.
THE NMME AND IMME SUGGEST THAT THE CHANCES OF BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION
AMOUNTS ARE ELEVATED ALONG THE WESTERN GULF COAST, WHICH IS BROADLY CONSISTENT
WITH ENSO. THIS REGION FAVORING BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IS EXTENDED TOWARD
THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES, WHERE THERE IS A WEAK ENSO SIGNAL AND SUPPORT FROM THE
LATEST CFS GUIDANCE.

THE BEST SIGNAL FOR ABOVE-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION OVER THE CENTRAL CONUS SHIFTS
SOUTHWESTWARD WITH TIME, CONSISTENT WITH STATISTICAL ENSO-BASED GUIDANCE. EL
NINO IMPACTS TENDS TO ELEVATE THE CHANCES OF TROPICAL MOISTURE FROM THE EASTERN
PACIFIC INFLUENCING NORMALLY DRY REGIONS OF THE SOUTHWEST IN THE FALL, FAVORING
ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS IN THE SOUTHWEST EXTENDING TO THE SOUTHERN
CALIFORNIA COAST IN ASO AND SON 2015. THE NMME FORECASTS STILL APPEAR TOO WET
THROUGH ALL LEAD TIMES AND HAVE BEEN REVISED DOWNWARD TOWARD MORE TYPICAL EL
NINO IMPACTS. HOWEVER IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE NMME FORECASTS FROM EARLIER
IN THE SPRING APPEAR ON TARGET BASED ON RECENT PRECIPITATION OBSERVATIONS OVER
MUCH OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS AND GREAT PLAINS.

THE FORECAST ROBUST EL NINO CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO YIELD SIGNIFICANT
PRECIPITATION IMPACTS FROM AUTUMN 2015 TO SPRING 2016. THUS THE CHANCES FOR
ABOVE-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION ARE ELEVATED THROUGHOUT THE SOUTHERN CONUS FROM SON
2015 - FMA 2016. INCREASED CHANCES OF BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS ARE
EXPECTED FOR THE NORTHERN ROCKIES AND PARTS OF THE INTERIOR EAST NORTH-CENTRAL
CONUS FROM DJF - FMA 2015-16. GIVEN THE INCREASED CONFIDENCE IN A ROBUST ENSO
EVENT THROUGH THE WINTER, PROBABILITIES HAVE BEEN INCREASED WITH RESPECT TO THE
PREVIOUS OUTLOOK CYCLE FOR THE COLD SEASON. THIS INCLUDES INCREASED
PROBABILITIES FAVORING ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION OVER SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.

WITH THE STRENGTH AND CERTAINTY OF EL NINO CONDITIONS DIMINISHING IN THE EARLY
PART OF 2016, THE RELIABLE SIGNALS FOR PRECIPITATION ANOMALIES VANISH BY AMJ
2016, LEADING TO EQUAL CHANCES FOR ABOVE- NEAR- AND BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION
AMOUNTS THROUGHOUT THE FORECAST DOMAIN FOR AMJ 2016 AND BEYOND.

FORECASTER: STEPHEN BAXTER

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/90DAY/DISC.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/SOILMST/FORECASTS.HTML (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 JUL 16 2015


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

NOAA/ National Weather Service
National Centers for Environmental Prediction
Climate Prediction Center
5200 Auth Road
Camp Springs, Maryland 20746
Climate Prediction Center Web Team
Page last modified: January 17, 2006
Disclaimer
Information Quality
Credits
Glossary
Privacy Policy
Freedom of Information Act
About Us
Career Opportunities