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


Tools Used (see Discussion for explanation)
   CCA
   OCN
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   SMT
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HOME> Outlook Maps>Seasonal Forecast Discussion
 
PROGNOSTIC DISCUSSION FOR MONTHLY OUTLOOK 
NWS CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER COLLEGE PARK MD
300PM EST WEDNESDAY DEC 31 2014

30-DAY OUTLOOK DISCUSSION FOR JANUARY 2015

THE JANUARY 2015 OUTLOOK CONTINUES TO REFLECT A HIGH AMOUNT OF UNCERTAINTY DUE
TO THE POSSIBLE IMPACTS OF ENSO. A PATTERN CHANGE FROM WHAT HAS BEEN OBSERVED
FOR MUCH OF DECEMBER IS INDICATED IN MANY OF THE DYNAMICAL AND STATISTICAL
TOOLS IN THE TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION PATTERNS ACROSS THE CONUS. THE
PATTERN CHANGE, ESPECIALLY IN TEMPERATURES, WAS INDICATED IN THE HALF-MONTH
LEAD OUTLOOKS, SO THE UPDATED OUTLOOKS ARE NOT SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT FROM
THOSE.

THE MEDIUM RANGE FORECASTS (THROUGH DAY 14) DEPICT COLDER THAN NORMAL
TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE NORTHERN TIER OF THE COUNTRY.  THIS IS IN CONTRAST TO
THE TYPICAL EL-NINO RESPONSE.  GIVEN THE LACK OF CLEAR ENSO TELECONNECTIONS IN
THE MIDLATITUDES, MUCH OF OUTLOOK IS BASED ON DYNAMICAL MODEL OUTPUT AND SOME
STATISTICAL TOOLS. THE NAO AND AO ARE LIKELY TO BE POSITIVE FOR THE FIRST HALF
OF THE MONTH, LIMITING THE POTENTIAL FOR COLD AIR TO PENETRATE INTO THE DEEP
SOUTH AND HAVING SOME CORRELATION WITH DRY CONDITIONS OVER NORTHERN CALIFORNIA.

THE TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK HAS BEEN MODIFIED TO REDUCE THE COVERAGE OF AREAS WHERE
BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED ACROSS THE CENTRAL GREAT PLAINS, WHILE
EXPANDING THE COVERAGE OF WHERE BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED OVER THE
GREAT LAKES AND INTO THE NORTHEAST. A POSITIVE AO AND NAO ALSO FAVORS ABOVE
NORMAL TEMPERATURES OVER THE SOUTHEAST, AS DO MANY OF THE DYNAMICAL MODELS.

THE PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK WAS CHANGED SLIGHTLY, TO INCLUDE AN ENHANCEMENT OF
PROBABILITIES FOR ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION OVER PORTIONS OF THE TENNESSEE AND
LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEYS DUE TO HEAVY RAINS EXPECTED EARLY IN THE MONTH. ODDS
FOR ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION OVER NORTHERN CALIFORNIA HAVE BEEN REDUCED DUE
TO THE FORECAST FOR A POSITIVE AO, DYNAMICAL MODEL GUIDANCE FROM SUCCESSIVE
RUNS OF THE CFS, GFS, AND EUROPEAN CENTER, AND THE CONTINUING LACK OF
ATMOSPHERIC RESPONSE TO SST ANOMALIES OVER THE CENTRAL PACIFIC. A SMALL
REDUCTION IN COVERAGE OF THE BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION OVER THE NORTHERN
INTERMOUNTAIN WEST IS SUPPORTED BY MEDIUM RANGE AND MONTHLY TIME SCALE OUTPUT
FROM THE DYNAMICAL MODELS.

THE PREVIOUS DISCUSSION, ISSUED DECEMBER 18, FOLLOWS:

THE JANUARY 2015 OUTLOOK REFLECTS A GENERALLY HIGH AMOUNT OF UNCERTAINTY AS
COMPARED TO OTHER MONTHLY OUTLOOKS. SEVERAL FACTORS ARE LIKELY TO IMPACT THE
TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION DURING THE MONTH. SOME OF THE INPUTS SUGGEST A
LIKELY TO FLIP IN SIGN OF TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION ANOMALIES DURING THE
MIDDLE OF THE MONTH, SPECIFICALLY INDICATED IN THE DYNAMICAL MODEL GUIDANCE
PRODUCTS.

DYNAMICAL MODEL GUIDANCE FOR THE WEEKS 3 AND 4 PERIOD FROM THE CFS AND EUROPEAN
CENTER DEPICT SIMILAR PATTERNS THROUGH THE MIDDLE JANUARY. BOTH MODELS SHOW A
COLD START TO JANUARY FOR THE CONUS, EAST OF THE ROCKIES, WITH ABOVE NORMAL
TEMPERATURES FAVORED ACROSS THE WEST AND FOR ALASKA. MODEL OUTLOOKS FROM THE
CFS, NMME, AND IMME FOR THE ENTIRE MONTH DEPICT A MILD PATTERN ACROSS MOST OF
THE CONUS AND ALASKA, IMPLYING THE POTENTIAL FOR A PATTERN SHIFT DURING THE
MIDDLE OF THE MONTH.

A ROBUST ATMSOPHERIC RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE AVERAGE EQUATORIAL PACIFIC SSTS
REMAINS LACKING. THE PDO REMAINS POSITIVE, AND REGRESSIONS OF JANUARY
TEMPERATURE ON NOVEMBER PDO VALUES SUPPORT A COOLER PATTERN, ESPECIALLY EAST OF
THE ROCKIES. IN CONTRAST, THE MJO IS FORECAST TO INCREASE INTENSITY OVER THE
INDIAN OCEAN LATER IN DECEMBER, AND LAGGED COMPOSITES BASED ON THAT MJO
FORECAST FAVOR WARMING OVER THE NORTHERN AND EASTERN CONUS.

THE JANUARY 2015 OUTLOOK INCORPORATES A WEAK ENSO WARM PHASE SIGNAL, SOME
INFLUENCE OF THE POSITIVE PDO, AND SOME OF THE SIGNAL FOR COLDER CONDITIONS
EAST OF THE ROCKIES IN THE DYNAMICAL GUIDANCE. THE MJO PLAYED LITTLE ROLE IN
THE MONTHLY OUTLOOK AT THIS TIME SINCE THERE IS HIGH UNCERTAINTY WHETHER THE
MJO WILL ACT TO ENHANCE CONVECTION OVER THE INDIAN OCEAN/MARITIME CONTINENT
LATER THIS MONTH. GIVEN THOSE INPUTS, ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED FOR
ALASKA AND OVER THE CONUS FROM THE WEST COAST TO THE ROCKIES.  BELOW NORMAL
TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED OVER THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS, AS WELL AS
PORTIONS OF THE OHIO VALLEY. SOME DYNAMICAL MODEL GUIDANCE SUPPORTS COOLER THAN
NORMAL CONDITIONS FOR THE CENTRAL GREAT PLAINS, WHILE ENSO AND PDO COMPOSITES,
AS WELL AS SOME DYNAMICAL GUIDANCE SUPPORT BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE
SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS.

GUIDANCE FROM SOME OF THE NMME CONSTITUENTS ALIGN WITH WARM ENSO COMPOSITES AND
POSITIVE PDO REGRESSIONS TO SUPPORT ABOVE AVERAGE RAINFALL OVER PORTIONS OF
CALIFORNIA.  MODEL GUIDANCE AND ENSO WARM PHASE COMPOSITES SUPPORT WETTER THAN
AVERAGE CONDITIONS ACROSS THE SOUTHWEST AND PORTIONS OF THE SOUTHERN GREAT
PLAINS, WHILE FAVORING BELOW AVERAGE PRECIPITATION ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE
NORTHWEST.  NO RELIABLE SIGNALS ARE EVIDENT FOR PRECIPITATION ACROSS ALASKA.

IN AREAS WHERE CLIMATE SIGNALS ARE WEAK SUCH THAT THE LIKELIHOODS OF MONTHLY
MEAN TEMPERATURES OR MONTHLY ACCUMULATED PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS ARE SIMILAR TO
CLIMATOLOGICAL PROBABILITIES, EQUAL CHANCES (EC) IS INDICATED.

THE MAIN FACTORS THAT USUALLY INFLUENCE THE MONTHLY CLIMATE OUTLOOK INCLUDE:
1) EL NINO AND LA NINA - WHICH COMPRISE ENSO. IMPACTS OF THESE EVENTS ARE
SUMMARIZED BY SEPARATING 3-MONTH OBSERVATIONS FROM THREE OR MORE DECADES INTO
EL NINO, NEUTRAL AND LA NINA SETS, AVERAGING EACH SEPARATELY, AND THEN
COMPUTING ANOMALIES. THESE ARE CALLED "COMPOSITES" AND USED AT TIMES TO
SUBJECTIVELY MODIFY THE FORECAST.
2) TRENDS - APPROXIMATED BY THE OCN TOOL AS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE MOST
RECENT 10-YEAR MEAN OF TEMPERATURE OR 15-YEAR MEAN OF PRECIPITATION FOR A GIVEN
LOCATION AND TIME OF YEAR AND THE 30-YEAR CLIMATOLOGY PERIOD (CURRENTLY
1981-2010).
3) THE TROPICAL 30-60 DAY OSCILLATION - CALLED THE MADDEN JULIAN OSCILLATION
(MJO) - AFFECTS CLIMATE VARIABILITY WITHIN SEASONS.
4) THE ARCTIC OSCILLATION (AO), THE SIMILAR NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION (NAO),
AND THE PACIFIC NORTH AMERICAN (PNA) PATTERNS - WHICH AFFECT THE TEMPERATURE
ANOMALY PATTERN ESPECIALLY DURING BOREAL WINTER AND ARE GENERALLY CONSIDERED TO
HAVE LOW PREDICTABILITY.
5) THE PACIFIC DECADAL OSCILLATION (PDO) - AN ENSO-LIKE PATTERN OF CLIMATE
VARIABILITY AFFECTING THE TROPICS AND THE NORTH PACIFIC AND NORTH AMERICAN
REGIONS, BUT WHICH VARIES ON A MUCH LONGER TIME-SCALE THAN ENSO.
6) PERSISTENTLY DRY OR WET SOILS IN THE SPRING AND SUMMER AND SNOW AND ICE
COVER ANOMALIES IN THE WINTER. THESE FACTORS TEND TO PERSIST FOR LONG PERIODS
AND ACT AS A KIND OF MEMORY IN THE CLIMATE SYSTEM.
7) STATISTICAL FORECAST MODELS - CANONICAL CORRELATION ANALYSIS (CCA),
SCREENING MULTIPLE LINEAR REGRESSION (SMLR), CONSTRUCTED ANALOG (CA), AND
ENSEMBLE CCA (ECCA).
8) DYNAMICAL FORECAST MODELS - INCLUDING THE NCEP CLIMATE FORECAST SYSTEM
VERSION 2 (CFS) AND FOR THE ZERO-LEAD UPDATE FORECASTS THE NCEP GLOBAL ENSEMBLE
FORECAST SYSTEM (GEFS).  AN EXPERIMENTAL FORECAST SYSTEM, THE NATIONAL
MULTI-MODEL ENSEMBLE (NMME), COMPRISED OF SEVERAL DYNAMICAL MODELS IS ALSO USED.


FORECASTER: MATTHEW ROSENCRANS


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 FEB ... WILL BE ISSUED ON THU JAN 15 2015


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

$$

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