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HOME> Outlook Maps>Seasonal Forecast Discussion
 
PROGNOSTIC DISCUSSION FOR LONG-LEAD SEASONAL OUTLOOKS 
NWS CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER COLLEGE PARK MD
830AM EDT THURSDAY MAY 21 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 HAVE INCREASED
MARKEDLY IN THE PAST MONTH AND ARE MORE THAN 1 DEGREE C ABOVE NORMAL ALONG THE
EQUATOR FROM SOUTH AMERICA TO WEST OF THE DATE LINE. SUB-SURFACE EQUATORIAL
OCEAN TEMPERATURES ARE ALSO WELL ABOVE AVERAGE IN THE EASTERN AND CENTRAL
PACIFIC, LENDING SUPPORT TO CONTINUATION OF EL NINO CONDITIONS FOR THE NEXT FEW
MONTHS AT LEAST, LIKELY PERSISTING INTO THE LATER PART OF THE YEAR.

THE JUNE-JULY-AUGUST (JJA) 2015 TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK INDICATES ENHANCED
PROBABILITIES OF ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR ALASKA, AREAS WEST OF THE ROCKY
MOUNTAINS, FLORIDA AND SURROUNDING REGIONS, AND FOR NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND.
CHANCES FOR BELOW-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE ELEVATED FROM THE FRONT RANGE OF THE
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAINS EASTWARD TO NEAR THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER.

THE JJA 2015 PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK INDICATES ENHANCED CHANCES OF ABOVE-MEDIAN
PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS FOR PARTS OF THE GREAT BASIN, THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS FROM
SOUTHERN MONTANA SOUTHWARD, THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS INCLUDING
TEXAS, AND PARTS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN STATES. BELOW-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IS
FAVORED ALONG THE WEST COAST OF NORTH AMERICA FROM SOUTHEASTERN ALASKA TO
COASTAL AREAS OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST.

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. ANOMALIES IN THE NINO 3.4 REGION ARE CURRENTLY
AROUND +1.0 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 100
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 SST'S 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 FAR WESTERN EQUATORIAL PACIFIC.
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 NOW NEAR THE BORDER LINE BETWEEN WEAK AND MODERATE STRENGTH.

THE EXTRA-TROPICAL PACIFIC OCEAN REMAINS CONSISTENT WITH THE POSITIVE PHASE OF
THE PDO, ALTHOUGH THE MONTHLY INDEX WEAKENED IN APRIL.  THIS MAY HAVE SOME
IMPACT ON CONDITIONS NEAR THE WEST COAST OF NORTH AMERICA.


PROGNOSTIC DISCUSSION OF SST FORECASTS

MOST DYNAMICAL MODELS FOR SST'S CONTINUE TO SUGGEST NINO 3.4 ANOMALIES WILL
INCREASE AND PEAK THE LATE FALL. THE BIAS CORRECTED NINO 3.4 SST ANOMALIES FROM
THE CFSV2 PEAKS AT JUST UNDER +2.0 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 OF +1.0
EXTENDING THROUGH THE FALL. THE CPC CONSOLIDATION FORECAST FOR NINO 3.4 SST'S
SHOWS THE ANOMALIES INCREASING TO AROUND +1.5 C BY OND AND NDJ 2015-2016, THEN
DECREASING, BUT REMAINING ABOVE +1.0 C THROUGH JFM 2016. THE CPC CONSOLIDATION
FORECAST PROBABILITIES FOR SST ANOMALIES STRONG ENOUGH TO PRODUCE SIGNIFICANT
ATMOSPHERIC TELECONNECTIONS ARE 90% THROUGH THE SUMMER, AND REMAIN ABOVE 80%
FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE YEAR. A CONSENSUS OF EXPERTS AT CPC AND IRI HAVE
ISSUED SIMILAR PROBABILITIES FOR EL NINO CONDITIONS FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE
YEAR.

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

THE SERIES OF OUTLOOKS FROM JJA 2015 THROUGH MAM 2016 WERE BASED PRIMARILY ON
TYPICAL ATMOSPHERIC RESPONSES TO EL NINO, WITH SOME ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATION
GIVEN TO TRENDS AND CURRENT SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS AT EARLY LEAD TIMES. THE
NMME AND IMME TOOLS WERE ALSO GIVEN CONSIDERABLE WEIGHT IN THE FORECAST THROUGH
OND 2016. THE OUTLOOKS FOR MAM THROUGH MJJ 2016 CONSIST OF A BLEND OF EL NINO
COMPOSITES AND LONG TERM TRENDS. THE OUTLOOK FOR JJA 2016 REFLECTS MAINLY THE
FORECAST FROM STATISTICAL TOOLS AND TRENDS AS INDICATED BY THE CPC
CONSOLIDATION FORECAST.

PROGNOSTIC DISCUSSION OF OUTLOOKS - JJA 2015 TO JJA 2016

TEMPERATURE

THE JJA 2015 TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK INDICATES INCREASED CHANCES FOR ABOVE NORMAL
SEASONAL MEAN TEMPERATURES FOR MOST AREAS WEST OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS, ALL OF
ALASKA, AS WELL AS PORTIONS OF THE SOUTHEAST CONUS AND IN NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND.
BELOW NORMAL SEASONAL MEAN TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED FROM THE FRONT RANGE OF THE
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN ROCKIES EASTWARD TO NEAR THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER. 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 IS DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN TOOLS IN
AREAS TO THE THE EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER, LEADING TO A FORECAST OF EQUAL
CHANCES AMONG THE THREE TEMPERATURE CATEGORIES, EXCEPT FOR NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND
AND PARTS OF THE SOUTHEAST WHERE ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED.

TEMPERATURE ANOMALIES ARE FORECAST TO SLOWLY EVOLVE FROM THIS SUMMERTIME
PATTERN TO THE WINTER TIME 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 COOL
SEASON STRENGTH OF EL NINO REMAINS UNCERTAIN AT THIS TIME SO PROBABILITY
ANOMALIES ARE FAIRLY LOW. 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 WILL LIKELY 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. THE OUTLOOK FOR
JJA 2016 WAS BASED PRIMARILY ON THE STATISTICAL TOOLS AND TRENDS AS REFLECTED
IN THE CPC CONSOLIDATION FORECAST.

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,
AND SOUTHEASTWARD TO INCLUDE THE SOUTHEASTERN STATES. THE NMME AND IMME SUGGEST
THAT THE CHANCES OF BELOW-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS ARE ELEVATED ALONG THE
PACIFIC COAST FROM THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST TO THE ALASKAN PANHANDLE. THE FORECAST
FROM THE NMME IS WETTER THAN EL NINO COMPOSITES WOULD SUGGEST. THIS IS
PARTULARLY TRUE IN INTERIOR ALASKA, THE GREAT LAKES, AND THE WESTERN PORTIONS
OF THE SOUTHWESTERN MONSOON REGION, WHERE EL NINO COMPOSITES FAVOR DRY
CONDITIONS, WHILE THE NMME FAVORS WET. THESE AREAS ARE MARKED AS EQUAL CHANCES
FOR ABOVE- NEAR- OR BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS IN VIEW OF THE
CONFLICTING INDICATIONS.

THE SIGNAL FOR ABOVE-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION OVER THE CENTRAL CONUS DIMINISHES
WITH TIME, SHIFTING TO THE SOUTHERN ROCKIES AND THE SOUTHWESTERN CONUS IN THE
FALL. 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 APPEARS
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. THERE ARE SOME
HINTS THAT THE CHANCES FOR BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION ARE ELEVATED NEAR PARTS
OF THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES IN THE LATE SUMMER, SUPPORTED WEAKLY BY THE CFSV2 IN
JAS 2016. ONE OF THE FEW PLACES WHERE THE NMME FAVORS DRY CONDITIONS OVER THE
CONUS IS NEAR THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, SUGGESTING THAT ELEVATED CHANCES FOR BELOW
MEDIAN PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS EXPECTED IN JJA WILL PERSIST INTO THE FALL AND
EARLY WINTER. EL NINO COMPOSITES SUGGEST WET CONDITIONS IN THE FALL AND EARLY
WINTER ALONG THE SOUTH COAST OF ALASKA WITH SOME SUPPORT FROM THE NMME AND IMME.

EL NINO CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE WITH SUFFICIENT STRENGTH INTO THE
WINTERTIME TO PRODUCE ITS TYPICAL PRECIPITATION IMPACTS. THUS THE CHANCES FOR
ABOVE-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION ARE ELEVATED THROUGHOUT THE SOUTHERN CONUS FROM OND
2015 - JFM 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. WINTER IS STILL A LONG WAY OFF, MAKING THE
STRENGTH OF THIS THE EL NINO SOMEWHAT UNCERTAIN AT THIS TIME, SO PROBABILITY
ANOMALIES ARE QUITE LOW ON THIS SERIES OF WINTERTIME OUTLOOKS. IF THE
SUBSEQUENT EVOLUTION OF EL NINO STAYS ON TRACK, CONFIDENCE WILL INCREASE
CONSIDERABLY AS WINTER APPROACHES.

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. THE OUTLOOK FOR
MAM 2016 WAS REVISED FROM THE THE ONE RELEASED LAST MONTH TO REFLECT THE
INCREASING CONFIDENCE THAT EL NINO CONDITIONS WILL PERSIST LONG ENOUGH IN THE
WINTER TO IMPACT SPRINGTIME SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS. ELEVATED SOIL MOISTURE
CONDITIONS RESULTING FROM EXPECTED ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION NEAR WEST TEXAS
AND EASTERN NEW MEXICO ARE EXPECTED TO HELP ELEVATE THE CHANCES OF ABOVE-MEDIAN
PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS IN PARTS OF TEXAS AND THE SOUTHERN ROCKIES IN MAM 2016.

FORECASTER: DAVID UNGER

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 JUN 18 2015


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

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