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HOME> Expert Assessments>Hazards Outlook

U.S. Hazards Outlook - Made October 20, 2014

 Days 3-7Days 8-14Prob. Days 8-14
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Categorical OutlooksDay 3-7Day 8-14
8-14 Day Probabilistic OutlooksTemperature HazardsPrecipitation Hazards

Valid Thursday October 23, 2014 to Monday November 03, 2014

US Hazards Outlook
NWS Climate Prediction Center College Park MD
300 PM EDT October 20 2014

Synopsis: Low pressure systems are predicted to bring unsettled weather to New England, the Pacific Northwest, and southern Florida, while the rest of the Lower 48 is expected to see relatively calm weather. No cold air outbreaks are expected, as the flow is predicted to come primarily off the Pacific Ocean.

Hazards Detailed Summary

For Thursday October 23 - Monday October 27: This forecast period is expected to begin with a strong storm just off the East Coast near Cape Cod. This low is predicted to bring heavy rain to parts of Maine and high winds for much of New England. Additional rain of 1-2 inches is possible, which would be in addition to heavy rain expected to fall before this Outlook period begins. Thus, flooding is also a potential hazard. Sustained winds of at least 20 knots are anticipated, due to the strong pressure gradient around the low pressure system. Winds will likely be strongest right along the Maine coastline, as a strong fetch off the Atlantic is predicted.

An area of disturbed weather in the southern Caribbean is forecast to make its way northeastward towards the Florida Keys. As of 2pm ET, on 10/20, there is a 50% chance of this disturbance becoming a tropical system. While there is uncertainty in the numerical models as to the exact strength of this potential system, all agree that it brings a significant chance of heavy rain to southern Florida, including the Keys, on Thursday and Friday, the 24th and 25th, with totals of 2 to 4 inches likely. Of course, if the system strengthens significantly, wind and wave hazards will have to be introduced in future Hazards Outlooks.

The west coast is forecast to see a number of systems impacting it with stormy weather during this Outlook period. The first system is an upper-level trough digging down south of Alaska. As the trough makes its way inland, enhanced surface winds are possible in parts of the northern California and northern Nevada. Because these areas are also in long-term drought, any enhanced winds could enhance the risk of wildfires. Because the magnitude of the surface winds is unknown at this time, no hazards are indicated on the map. Also, strong onshore flow at the surface is expected to lead to heavy rain for the West Coast, from northern California to the Canadian border, bringing an additional 2 to 3 inches of rain from what is predicted to fall before this Outlook period begins. In addition, heavy rain at low elevations and heavy snow at high elevations is expected over parts of northern Idaho.

Later in the period, the remnants of Ana are expected to merge with an upper-level trough south of Alaska and move towards the west coast of North America. While there is some model uncertainty as to which locations will receive the most rainfall, there is good agreement on parts of the West Coast getting another 1 to 2 inches of rainfall. With 5 to 10 inches of rain possible over the next seven days, flooding is also a possibility.

A strong storm is predicted to impact the west coast of Alaska on Friday, the 24th, bringing the chance of significant waves and high winds. Also, the potential exists for the southern coast of Alaska and the Aleutians to experience stormy weather from the interaction of the remnants of Ana with an upper-level trough, but there is currently too much uncertainty to warrant a hazard.

For Tuesday October 28 - Monday November 03: Continued heavy rain along the Pacific Northwest coast is predicted at the beginning of this period. Afterwards, the upper-level pattern is predicted to flatten out, reducing the chance of temperature and precipitation hazards to Alaska and the Lower 48.

The most recent Drought Monitor, released October 16, shows a slight decrease in the areal coverage of severe drought, from 18.6% to 18.1%. There is also the lowest amount of areal extent without any level of dryness since December 2011.

Forecaster: Kenneth Pelman


Click here to see a display of the GFS Ensemble Forecasts

Please consult local NWS Forecast Offices for short range forecasts and region-specific information.