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HOME> Expert Assessments>Hazards Outlook

U.S. Hazards Outlook - Made May 25, 2018

 Days 3-7Days 8-14Probabilistic Days 8-14
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Categorical Outlooks
Experimental Probabilistic Outlooks (Information)

Valid Monday May 28, 2018 to Friday June 08, 2018

US Hazards Outlook
NWS Climate Prediction Center College Park MD
300 PM EDT May 25 2018

Synopsis: The summer season is expected to move in quickly for much of the contiguous U.S., with two high impacts events in the day 3-7 forecast. Subtropical storm Alberto in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to bring unsettled weather to the southeastern U.S, while intense upper-level high pressure is forecast to dominate the central region. Impacts from this anomalous high pressure are expected to last into Week-2 for the middle third of the U.S. Upper-level ridging over Alaska in Week-2 is likely to quiet the previously active storm track along the southern Coast.

Hazards Detailed Summary

For Monday May 28 - Friday June 01: The Southeast is a focal point for this forecast, as subtropical storm Alberto has formed in the Gulf of Mexico. The National Hurricane Center currently is forecasting a track through the Gulf of Mexico and into the central Gulf Coast through the day 3-7 period. Model guidance shows this system moving overland in the Southeast during days 3-7, first impacting the Southeast before moving northward toward the mid-Atlantic. High winds (sustained winds exceeding 35 knots) and significant wave heights are likely for the central Gulf Coast in conjunction with the track of the tropical system. Heavy rain is forecast from the Southeast to the Mid-Atlantic, May 28-Jun 1. The highest totals are likely to be in the Southeast early in the period, with some areas receiving more than 2 inches of rain in 24 hours.

Upper-level ridging over the central U.S. during the day 3-7 period is forecast to cause widespread warm temperatures over the region. Today's model guidance shows the peak intensity of this ridge toward the end of this period into Week-2. Much above normal temperature (anomalies of +16 degrees F) are forecast over the Plains region and into the Mid-west for May 28-Jun 1. A shortwave trough early in the period is forecast to quickly weaken as it moves eastward over the northern tier of the U.S.; this pattern likely will interrupt the warmer temperatures for parts of the north central Plains, so the area of concern for the high temperatures has shifted eastward from yesterday's forecast. The forecast extreme heat index values for the Southern Plains are not quite as widespread as yesterday; however, excessive heat (heat index values exceeding 105 degrees F) is still likely for parts of the lower Mississippi River Valley and Southern Plains for Jun 1, as the ridge intensifies.

Surface low pressure systems moving over the northern Plains and Rockies early in the period are likely to cause heavy rain from May 28-30. The storm system is expected to cause localized heavy rain, first in the Dakotas on May 28 and then moving eastward over the central Plains and also northeastward into Minnesota, May 29-30. The GFS model shows several localized regions of heavy rainfall (1.5 inches in 24 hours) over the entire highlighted region, while the ECMWF focuses the higher rainfall totals in the central Plains.

An upper-level ridge is forecast to build in the Gulf of Alaska, while upper-level troughing is expected for mainland Alaska throughout days 3-7. A few surface low pressure systems are forecast in the region, one in the Bering Sea and another moving north along the southern coast from the Gulf of Alaska; however, impacts from these systems are forecast to remain below hazardous thresholds.

For Saturday June 02 - Friday June 08: With model guidance forecasting the upper-level ridge over the central U.S. to amplify late in Week-1 and into Week-2, the early season heat wave in the southern and central Plains, as well as parts of the Midwest, is likely to peak during the early part of Week-2. The axis of this ridge is forecast to be more positively tilted over the Southern Plains in to the Great Lakes region. A slight risk for much above normal temperatures is forecast over this general region, as warm temperatures are likely to penetrate into the upper Midwest, Jun 2-5. A moderate risk is forecast for parts of the southern Plains and lower Mississippi River Valley, Jun 2-4, while a high risk is forecast for parts of Texas, Jun 2-3, when upper-level ridging is likely to be most intense. The GFS ensemble forecasts a 20% chance of exceeding the 90th percentile of climatological normal over the entire highlighted region, and a 40-60% chance of exceeding the 85th percentile for the southern portion of this region. Warm temperatures are most likely to affect the northern extent of the highlighted region early in the period, before upper-level troughing moves south from Canada, pushing the ridge further south.

A slight risk for excessive heat (heat index values exceeding 105 degrees F) has also been issued for parts of the southern Plains in the early part of Week-2, Jun 2-3, during the peak of the warm temperatures. For the regions with the where heat index values have a 50% chance of exceeding the 90th percentile of climatological normal, a moderate risk for excessive heat has been issue.

The upper-level trough moving through the northern tier of the U.S. is likely to cause an unsettled pattern over the northern Plains, with the possibility of heavy rain and severe weather toward the middle of Week-2. Confidence in this forecast is low though, as model guidance is not showing a strong signal as of yet, so this hazard has been currently kept off the map.

Persistent upper-level ridging is expected for Alaska in Week-2. This will likely bring some warmer temperatures to interior Alaska, though none are currently forecast to exceed hazardous thresholds. The recently active storm track along the southern coast of Alaska is forecast to be quieter in Week-2.

The US Drought Monitor, valid on May 22, indicates that the coverage of severe to exceptional drought has again increased slightly this week, from 16.71 percent last week to 16.84 percent. Parts of the Southwest improved from D4 to D3 drought, while conditions in the Oklahoma panhandle and northern Texas continue to degrade.

Forecaster: Christina Finan


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.