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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 ASO 2015
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    5.5mn JFM 2016
    6.5mn FMA 2016
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    0.5mn Aug 2015


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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 JUL 16 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 TRADITIONALLY
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.
ALL OF THESE FACTORS CONTRIBUTE TO THE OFFICIAL ENSO OUTLOOK, WHICH CALLS FOR
EL NINO TO CONTINUE THROUGH EARLY SPRING, 2016.

THE AUGUST-SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER (ASO) 2015 TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK INDICATES ENHANCED
PROBABILITIES OF ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR ALASKA.  ABOVE NORMAL
TEMPERATURES ARE ALSO FAVORED FROM THE WEST COAST TO THE NORTHERN HIGH PLAINS
TO WESTERN ARIZONA, AND FROM THE CENTRAL GULF COAST TO THE MID-ATLANTIC AND
NORTHEAST. CHANCES FOR BELOW-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE ELEVATED FROM THE SOUTHERN
HIGH PLAINS AND EASTERN PORTIONS OF THE SOUTHWEST TO THE LOWER GREAT LAKES,
INCLUDING PARTS LOWER AND MID-MISSISSIPPI VALLEY.

THE ASO 2015 PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK INDICATES ENHANCED CHANCES OF ABOVE MEDIAN
PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS FROM THE SOUTHWEST TO THE CENTRAL ROCKIES, INCLUDING THE
GREAT BASIN, AND EASTWARD ACROSS THE CENTRAL GREAT PLAINS TO THE THE OHIO
VALLEY. BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IS FAVORED FOR A SMALL PORTION OF THE
PACIFIC NORTHWEST, AND ACROSS THE GREAT LAKES AND PORTIONS OF THE NORTHEAST.
ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IS ALSO FAVORED FOR SOUTHERN ALASKA AND THE EXTREME
NORTHERN PORTIONS OF THE ALASKA PANHANDLE.

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 ALONG THE EQUATOR ARE MORE THAN +1.0 C FROM THE SOUTH AMERICAN
COAST TO AROUND LONGITUDE 170 E, WITH HIGHER AMPLITUDE ANOMALIES OBSERVED NEAR
THE SOUTH AMERICAN COAST EXTENDING WESTWARD TOWARD 130 W. ANOMALIES IN THE NINO
3.4 REGION ARE CURRENTLY AROUND +1.5 C. SUB-SURFACE WATER TEMPERATURES ALONG
THE EQUATOR 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 ARE
OF SUB-SURFACE, ANOMALOUSLY WARM WATERS PROVIDE A WELL OF WARM WATER TO HELP
SUSTAIN THE CURRENT EL NINO CONDITIONS.

THE ATMOSPHERIC TELECONNECTIONS TO THE SSTS CONTINUE TO BE ROBUST, WITH
PERSISTENT ENHANCED CONVECTION OVER THE TROPICS FROM NEAR 160 E TO THE EASTERN
PACIFIC, WITH SUPPRESSED CONVECTION DURING THE PAST MONTH OVER THE WESTERN
MARITIME CONTINENT. LOW-LEVEL WESTERLY WIND ANOMALIES AT 850 HPA HAVE BEEN
CONSISTENTLY OBSERVED NEAR THE ENSO SENSITIVE REGIONS SINCE MARCH WHILE
ANOMALOUS EASTERLY WINDS PERSIST AT UPPER LEVELS. THESE LARGE SCALE ATMOSPHERIC
PATTERNS SUGGEST THAT EL NINO IS CURRENTLY MODERATE TO STRONG.

THE EXTRA-TROPICAL PACIFIC OCEAN REMAINS CONSISTENT WITH THE POSITIVE PHASE OF
THE PDO, WITH THE MONTHLY INDEX INCREASING TO 1.54 DURING JUNE, 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 DURING THE LATE FALL. THE AVERAGE AMONG THE DYNAMICAL MODELS
PROVIDED TO IRI PEAKS AT JUST OVER +2.0 C DURING OND 2015. THE CPC SST
CONSOLIDATION HAS A SLIGHTLY DELAYED PEAK DURING NDJ 2015-2016, BUT AT ABOUT
THE SAME MAGNITUDE. THE EVENT THEN WEAKENS IN MOST OF THE DYNAMICAL AND
STATISTICAL MODELS THROUGH NEXT SPRING. THE CPC SST CONSOLIDATION REMAINS ABOVE
+1.0 C THROUGH FMA 2016. A CONSENSUS OF EXPERTS AT CPC AND IRI HAVE DETERMINED
THAT THERE IS AT LEAST AN 80% CHANCE OF EL NINO LASTING INTO EARLY SPRING, 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 THROUGH LINEAR REGRESSIONS
AND COMPOSITE TECHNIQUES. THE NMME AND CONTRIBUTING MODELS 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 - ASO 2015 TO ASO 2016

TEMPERATURE

THE ASO 2015 OUTLOOK RELIES ON NMME OUTPUT, SST CONSTRUCTED ANALOGS, AND TO A
LESSER DEGREE EL NINO COMPOSITES.  ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED FOR
ALL OF ALASKA, CONSISTENT WITH TRENDS, NMME OUTPUTS, AND REGRESSIONS BASED ON
ENSO CONDITIONS. ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE ALSO FAVORED WEST OF A LINE FROM
EASTERN MONTANA TO WESTERN ARIZONA, WHERE TRENDS, RECENT SOIL MOISTURE
CONDITIONS, REGRESSIONS OF TEMPERATURE ON THE PDO, AND NMME OUTPUTS SUGGEST
ODDS OF ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE INCREASED. BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE
FAVORED OVER AN AREA EXTENDING FROM NEW MEXICO AND CENTRAL TEXAS NORTHEASTWARD
TO THE LOWER GREAT LAKES, CONSISTENT WITH NMME MODEL OUTPUT AND COMPOSITES OF
EL NINO CONDITIONS. ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED FROM THE CENTRAL GULF
COAST, NORTHWARD ALONG THE IMMEDIATE EAST COAST TO NEW ENGLAND.

AS THE FORECASTS PROGRESS INTO THE AUTUMN, THE PATTERN SLOWLY MORPHS TO ONE
CONSISTENT WITH MODERATE TO STRONG EL NINO CONDITIONS, LARGELY FAVORING BELOW
NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE SOUTH-CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST CONUS, WITH ABOVE
NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE NORTHERN TIER. PROBABILITIES OF BELOW NORMAL
TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS ARE HIGHEST IN FMA 2016. THE MOST
SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO THE OUTLOOKS ISSUED LAST MONTH ARE THE INCREASED
PROBABILITIES ACROSS THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST AND SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS,
CONSISTENT WITH THE OUTLOOK FOR EL NINO BEING MORE CERTAIN ON A MODERATE TO
STRONG EVENT. MORE CERTAINTY IN THE STATE OF EL NINO DURING THE WINTER ALLOWS
FOR SLIGHTLY INCREASED CERTAINTY, WHICH ALSO ALLOWS FOR SLIGHTLY MORE COVERAGE
OF PREDICTED SHIFTS IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF TEMPERATURES.

BEGINNING IN AMJ 2016, THE LIKELIHOOD OF CONTINUED IMPACTS RELATED TO EL NINO
CONDITIONS DIMINISHES DUE TO THE EXPECTED WEAKENING OF THE WARM EVENT DURING
SPRING 2016, WITH ONLY A SMALL AREA OF BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE
SOUTHERN HIGH PLAINS INDICATED FOR THE CENTRAL CONUS. BY SUMMER 2016, THE
TRENDS TOWARD ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES BEGIN TO GAIN INFLUENCE AS THE WANING
EL NINO LOSES INFLUENCE, SO THE FORECAST REFLECTS THE CPC CONSOLIDATION AND
TRENDS.

PRECIPITATION

DURING ASO 2015, THE PRECIPITATION TOOLS INCLUDING THE NMME, REGRESSIONS OF
PRECIPITATION ON NINO 3.4, AND CONSTRUCTED ANALOGS BASED ON SST AND SOIL
MOISTURE INDICATED ENHANCED ODDS FOR ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION ACROSS MUCH OF
THE LOWER 48. THE DYNAMICAL MODELS AVAILABLE INDICATE INCREASED ODDS FOR ABOVE
MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IN GENERALLY TWO AREAS, THE SOUTHWEST AND ROCKIES, AS WELL
AS A MUCH WEAKER SIGNAL ACROSS THE SOUTHEAST. THE ASO 2015 OUTLOOK FAVORS ABOVE
MEDIAN PRECIPITATION FROM SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TO TEXAS, NORTHWARD TO THE
CENTRAL ROCKIES AND EASTWARD TO THE MID-MISSISSIPPI VALLEY. EL NINO IMPACTS
TEND 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 2015. BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IS FAVORED FOR THE
PACIFIC NORTHWEST, REFLECTIVE OF A SIGNAL IN THE NMME OUTLOOKS. BELOW MEDIAN
PRECIPITATION FROM THE GREAT LAKES TO THE NORTHEAST IS A SIGNAL IN THE EL NINO
COMPOSITES AND NMME OUTPUTS.

THE STRONGEST SIGNAL FOR ABOVE-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION OVER THE CENTRAL CONUS
SHIFTS SOUTHWESTWARD WITH TIME, CONSISTENT WITH STATISTICAL ENSO-BASED
GUIDANCE.  THE NMME FORECASTS STILL APPEAR TOO WET THROUGH OND 2015, BUT THEN
EXHIBIT GOOD ALIGNMENT WITH CANONICAL EL NINO IMPACTS IN NDJ 2015-2016. THE
NMME HAS BEEN ABLE TO CAPTURE THE LARGELY WET PATTERN OVER MUCH OF THE CENTRAL
CONUS DURING THE PAST COUPLE OF MONTHS.

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: CPC FORECASTER

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 AUG 20 2015


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

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