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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 FMA 2016
    1.5mn MAM 2016
    2.5mn AMJ 2016
    3.5mn MJJ 2016
    4.5mn JJA 2016
    5.5mn JAS 2016
    6.5mn ASO 2016
    7.5mn SON 2016
    8.5mn OND 2016
    9.5mn NDJ 2016
   10.5mn DJF 2016
   11.5mn JFM 2017
   12.5mn FMA 2017
    0.5mn Feb 2016


Tools Used (see Discussion for explanation)
   CCA
   OCN
   CMP
   SMT
   POE
 
HOME> Outlook Maps>Seasonal Forecast Discussion
 
PROGNOSTIC DISCUSSION FOR MONTHLY OUTLOOK 
NWS CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER COLLEGE PARK MD
300 PM EST SUN JAN 31 2016

30-DAY OUTLOOK DISCUSSION FOR FEBRUARY 2016

THE UPDATE OF THE FEBRUARY 2016 FORECAST AT THE VERY END OF JANUARY IS BASED
PRIMARILY ON DYNAMICAL MODEL PREDICTION THAT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE INITIAL
STATE OF THE ATMOSPHERE AT THE PRESENT TIME. THIS GENERALLY YIELDS HELPFUL
INFORMATION FOR THE FIRST SEVERAL DAYS OF THE MONTH. SPECIFIC TOOLS CONSULTED
FOR THIS PURPOSE ARE THE GFS, GEFS AND CFS, WPC'S LATEST DAY 1-7 FORECAST FOR
QPF AND ALSO YESTERDAY'S WEEK 2 FORECAST AND THE EXPERIMENTAL WEEK 3 AND 4
FORECAST MADE JUST 2 DAYS AGO. THE LONG LEAD FORECAST FOR FEBRUARY MADE AT
MID-MONTH NEEDS ONLY MINOR ADJUSTMENT FOR TEMPERATURE. FOR PRECIPITATION THE
ADJUSTMENT IS SOMEWHAT LARGER. THE CANONICAL ENSO RESPONSE FOR PRECIPITATION
OVER THE US DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE FIRMLY IN PLACE FOR THE FIRST 2 WEEKS AT
LEAST. FOR BOTH TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION THE ADJUSTMENTS ARE MAINLY IN
TERMS OF PROBABILITY. PATTERN CHANGES ARE RELATIVELY SMALL AND NO 2-CLASS
CHANGES.

A PRECIPITATION EVENT CURRENTLY UNDERWAY IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WILL PRODUCE A
NARROW STRIPE OF PRECIPITATION FROM SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TO THE GREAT LAKES BUT
IN NONE OF THESE AREAS WILL THIS SYNOPTIC EVENT BE ENOUGH TO FORCE THE MONTHLY
TOTAL IN THE ABOVE MEDIAN TERCILE. PROBABILITIES FOR BELOW MEDIAN HAVE BEEN
REDUCED IN THE GREAT LAKES AREA, WHILE PROBABILITY FOR ABOVE MEDIAN
PRECIPITATION HAVE BEEN PUSHED NORTHWARD IN UTAH AND COLORADO. WE REDUCED THE
PROBABILITY FOR ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IN TEXAS AND SOUTHERN NEW MEXICO AND
ARIZONA BECAUSE CFS, WHICH COMBINES THE WELL PREDICTED EARLY SYNOPTIC EVENTS
WITH THE CLIMATE SIGNAL IN THE REMAINDER OF THE MONTH, PREDICTS LITTLE
PRECIPITATION IN THOSE AREAS. IN OTHER AREAS THE PRECIPITATION FORECAST IS
UNCHANGED FROM MID-JANUARY.

AS FOR TEMPERATURE WE REDUCED THE PROBABILITY FOR ABOVE NORMAL ACROSS THE
NORTHERN TIER EAST OF THE DAKOTAS SOMEWHAT BECAUSE AFTER A MILD START A COLD
AIR OUTBREAK IN THE 2ND WEEK SEEMS LIKELY. BASED ON CFS WE EXTENDED THE BELOW
NORMAL AREA ACROSS THE SOUTH SLIGHTLY INTO COLORADO.  IN OTHER AREAS THE
TEMPERATURE FORECAST IS UNCHANGED FROM MID-JANUARY.

MESSAGE AT MID-MONTH WAS:
THE ONGOING, STRONG EL NINO IS THE IMPORTANT DRIVER OF CLIMATE FORECASTS OVER
NORTH AMERICA, ESPECIALLY IN FEBRUARY. PLEASE SEE THE ENSO DIAGNOSTIC
DISCUSSION AT:
HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV/PRODUCTS/ANALYSIS_MONITORING/ENSO_ADVISORY/ FOR A
MORE DETAILED ANALYSIS OF SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE EQUATORIAL
PACIFIC. THE CURRENT EVENT IS AMONG THE STRONGEST ON RECORD AND IS FORECAST TO
REMAIN STRONG IN FEBRUARY. PRETTY MUCH ALL TOOLS SHOW THE ENSO IMPACT.

THE MADDEN-JULIAN OSCILLATION IS A POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTOR TO THE VARIABILITY
OVER NORTH AMERICA BUT IS CURRENTLY WEAK. MOST OUTLOOKS SHOW IT WILL STRENGTHEN
SO IF THIS HAPPENS IT WILL BE CONSIDERED IN THE UPDATE.

DYNAMICAL MODEL OUTPUTS, INCLUDING THE NMME AND CFS, PLAYED A ROLE IN THE
OUTLOOKS. IN THE TEMPERATURE FIELDS, MOST OF THE MODELS IN THE NMME SUITE
INDICATE PATTERNS CONSISTENT WITH THE EL NINO REGRESSIONS OR COMPOSITES, WITH
SOME SMALL SPATIAL SHIFTS. THE NMME AND CFS MODEL OUTLOOKS FOR PRECIPITATION
ARE ALSO CONSISTENT WITH CANONICAL, EL NINO COMPOSITES AND CORRELATION MAPS.
GUIDANCE FROM THE CFS HAS BEEN CONSISTENT AND ALIGNS WELL WITH CORRELATION MAPS
OF FEBRUARY PRECIPITATION WITH NINO3.4 VALUES. THOSE CORRELATIONS IMPLY ABOVE
MEDIAN PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE SOUTHERN TIER OF THE CONUS, ALONG MUCH OF THE
WEST COAST, AND SOUTHERN PORTIONS OF THE MID-ATLANTIC.

THE CFS FORECAST USED AT MID-MONTH IS BASED ON 40 MEMBERS PUT TOGETHER BY
LAGGED FORECASTING. AS WE GET CLOSER TO THE UPDATE ON JANUARY 31 2016 A CFS
ENSEMBLE USING ONLY FORECAST RUNS OF THE LAST 24 HOURS IS USED SO AS TO GIVE
PROPER IMPORTANCE TO THE ATMOSPHERIC INITIAL CONDITIONS AS SHORT LEADS. AT THIS
TIME WE ARE PREDICTING MAINLY THE CLIMATE SIGNAL.

ENHANCED ODDS FOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES (UP TO 50%) ARE PREDICTED ALONG THE
WEST COAST AND THE NORTHERN STATES ALL THE WAY TO NEW ENGLAND AND THE NORTHERN
MID-ATLANTIC. MUCH OF ALASKA IS PREDICTED TO HAVE ENHANCED PROBABILITIES FOR
ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES, EXCEPT ALONG ITS WEST COAST WHERE EQUAL CHANCES (EC)
IS FAVORED. THE ALASKA PANHANDLE HAS 50% CHANCE FOR THE ABOVE NORMAL TERCILE.
ELEVATED CHANCES FOR BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE INDICATED ONLY IN TEXAS AND
ALONG THE GULF COAST.

ENHANCED ODDS FOR ABOVE-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION ARE FORECAST ACROSS CALIFORNIA,
THE SOUTHWEST, CENTRAL/SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS, GULF COAST STATES, PARTS OF THE
EAST COAST AND ALSO SOUTHERN COASTAL ALASKA. THE HIGHEST PROBABILITIES (UP TO
60 PERCENT) FOR ABOVE-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION ARE FORECAST ACROSS THE FLORIDA
PENINSULA. FEBRUARY TYPICALLY HAS THE STRONGEST SIGNAL DURING EL NINO.
BELOW-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IS FAVORED ACROSS THE NORTHERN ROCKIES, PARTS OF THE
NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS, GREAT LAKES, THE OHIO VALLEY AND MUCH OF ALASKA EXCEPT
ITS SOUTHERN COAST. THE DRY SIGNAL ACROSS THE OHIO VALLEY PEAKS TYPICALLY IN
FEBRUARY DURING EL NINO.


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: HUUG VAN DEN DOOL


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 MAR ... WILL BE ISSUED ON THU FEB 18 2016


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

$$

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