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HOME> Expert Assessments>Hazards Outlook

U.S. Hazards Outlook - Made January 30, 2015

 Days 3-7Days 8-14Prob. Days 8-14
Precipitation No HazardsNot Available
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Categorical OutlooksDay 3-7Day 8-14
8-14 Day Probabilistic OutlooksTemperature HazardsPrecipitation Hazards

Valid Monday February 02, 2015 to Friday February 13, 2015

US Hazards Outlook
NWS Climate Prediction Center College Park MD
300 PM EST January 30 2015

Synopsis: On Monday, a low pressure system is forecast to exit the Northeast. A strong surface high is expected to build into the eastern U.S. on Tuesday, while another surface high shifts south from Canada into the north-central U.S. on Wednesday. An area of upper-level low pressure is forecast to track from northern Mexico to the Gulf of Mexico early in the period. An area of upper-level high pressure is forecast to remain centered over California during the next ten days, while the Pacific Northwest experiences onshore flow. A strong surface high is forecast to shift east from the Bering Strait and become centered over Alaska by mid-week.

Hazards Detailed Summary

For Monday February 02 - Friday February 06: As of January 30, 0Z/6Z high resolution models indicate a low pressure system tracking across the mid-Atlantic on Sunday night and then potentially intensifying as it moves offshore of the Northeast on Monday morning. Moderate to heavy snow is expected to the north of its track from Sunday night into Monday. Uncertainty continues on the strength/track of the surface low and associated precipitation amounts/types since the northern stream shortwave trough is currently entering western Canada. The risk of moderate to heavy snow (5 inches or more) on Sunday night into Monday is highest from central Pennsylvania northeast to New England. The 6Z GFS and 0Z ECMWF ensemble means on January 30 have around 0.50 inches (liquid equivalent) across these areas. Please refer to the latest statements this weekend from local NWS offices.

The upper-level trough that shifts south into Mexico during the weekend is forecast by the high resolution models to enter the northern Gulf of Mexico early in the period and possibly spawn a surface low along the Gulf Coast by Wednesday. Regardless of surface low development, heavy rain (1-2 inches, or more) is predicted for the Florida Panhandle, northern Florida peninsula, and southeast Georgia on February 3 and 4. Severe thunderstorms may also develop across the Florida peninsula, but model differences on the amplitude of the trough preclude designation of a severe weather hazard at this time. Future forecasts of this upper-level trough and the potential for surface low development along the Gulf Coast should be monitored closely as it has the potential to bring snow to the mid-Atlantic by Thursday.

On Tuesday morning, a surface high is forecast over the Northeast where minimum temperatures below zero are predicted. Another strong surface high is expected to shift south from Canada and build east across the Great Lakes and Northeast later in the week. Periods of much-below normal temperatures (12 degrees F or more) are likely across the northern Great Plains, upper Mississippi Valley, Great Lakes, and Northeast from February 2-6.

An increase in precipitation is forecast across the Pacific Northwest where locally heavy rain is possible across coastal Washington. Snow levels are expected to be relatively high for the Cascades. Rainfall and snowfall amounts are not expected to reach hazards criteria at this time.

A tight pressure gradient is expected to result in high winds for the interior mountains of the Alaska Panhandle and northeast Gulf Coast near Yakutat on Monday. The GEFS model indicates surface temperatures in the lowest 20th percentile across western and southwestern Alaska from Thursday to Saturday. Model outputs and trends will need to be monitored to see if certainty about the intensity of the cold increases beyond hazardous thresholds.

For Saturday February 07 - Friday February 13: Early in Week-2, an amplified trough supports a slight to moderate risk of much below-normal temperatures across the eastern U.S. The longwave pattern depicted by the GFS and ECMWF ensemble means favor above-median precipitation across the Pacific Northwest with relatively dry conditions persisting across southern California. Precipitation amounts across northern California are more uncertain as model solutions vary on how far south the onshore flow extends.

The most recent U.S. drought monitor, valid on January 27, 2015 indicates a very slight decrease in the areal coverage of severe to exceptional drought (D2 to D4) from 16.97 to 16.83 percent across the continental U.S. 40 percent of California remains designated in the exceptional drought category.

Forecaster: Brad Pugh


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.