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HOME> Expert Assessments>Hazards Outlook

U.S. Hazards Outlook - Made January 18, 2018

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

Valid Sunday January 21, 2018 to Thursday February 01, 2018

US Hazards Outlook
NWS Climate Prediction Center College Park MD
300 PM EST January 18 2018

Synopsis: Surface low pressure over the central Plains on Jan 21 is forecast to deepen and move to the Upper Mississippi Valley Jan 22, and then into eastern Canada late on Jan 23. A series of areas of low pressure at the surface and mid-levels is forecast to cross the northwest U.S. Jan 21-24. Areas of surface low pressure are anticipated over the Gulf of Alaska while surface high pressure builds over western portions of the state. During week-2, mid-level low pressure is anticipated over the central U.S. and mainland Alaska.

Hazards Detailed Summary

For Sunday January 21 - Thursday January 25: Low pressure over the central Plains on Jan 21 is expected to deepen and move towards the Upper Mississippi Valley before moving into eastern Canada late on Jan 23. This leads to high winds (speeds in excess of 30 knots) for portions of the Central and southern Plains, Central and southern Rockies, and the Southwest Jan 21, and heavy snow (amounts in excess of 6 inches in 24 hours) for parts of the Northern and Central Plains, the Upper and Middle Mississippi Valleys, and the Great Lakes Jan 21-22. Marginally elevated fire weather conditions, though not depicted on the map, are also forecast across portions of West-Central Texas on Jan 21 due to the potential for dry and breezy conditions. As the low deepens and moves northeastward, heavy precipitation (rainfall in excess of 1 inch in 24 hours, frozen precipitation on the northwest periphery) is anticipated for portions of the Northeast and the Great Lakes Jan 22-23, and high winds (speeds in excess of 30 knots) for coastal portions of the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast Jan 23-24. The rainfall in combination with snow melt leads to flooding concerns for parts of the northeast.

A series of low pressure systems are forecast to move across the northwest CONUS Jan 21-24. Periods of heavy precipitation (low elevation rain exceeding 2 inches in 24 hours, higher elevation snow exceeding 8 inches in 24 hours) are expected across portions of the Great Basin, the Northern Rockies, California, and the Pacific Northwest Jan 21-23. Periods of high winds (speeds in excess of 30 knots) are anticipated across coastal portions of the Pacific Northwest and Northern California Jan 21-23. High significant wave heights (heights in excess of 20 feet) are forecast for coastal portions of Northern California and the Pacific Northwest Jan 21. Heavy snow (amounts in excess of 6 inches in 24 hours) is expected for parts of the Cascades and Bitterroots Jan 24.

Areas of surface low pressure lead to periods of high winds (speeds in excess of 40 knots) across portions of the South Coast of Alaska, the Alaska Peninsula, and Kodiak Island Jan 21-25. High pressure building over the western part of the state is expected to cause much below normal temperatures (negative temperature anomalies exceeding 20 degrees F) across portions of mainland Alaska and the Alaska Peninsula Jan 21-25.

For Friday January 26 - Thursday February 01: Mid-level troughing over the central CONUS, and moist inflow from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic, lead to a slight risk of heavy precipitation for portions of the northeast, and a moderate risk of heavy precipitation for coastal portions of the northeast Jan 27-28. There is also a slight risk of heavy precipitation for portions of the lower Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys, southeast, southern Appalachians, and Mid-Atlantic Jan 26-30.

Upper-level low pressure and anomalous northeast surface flow are forecast over Alaska for much of the period. There is a slight risk of much below normal temperatures for portions of southern mainland Alaska, the Alaska Peninsula, and the eastern Aleutians, and a moderate risk of much below normal temperatures for parts of southwestern mainland Alaska and the Alaska Peninsula, Jan 26-29.

The U.S. Drought Monitor, valid on January 9, 2018 indicates an increase in the coverage of severe to exceptional drought (D2-D4) from 8.70% last week to 10.03% this week. Severe drought continued to expand across the southern Great Plains with nearly half of Oklahoma designated with severe drought.


Forecaster: Randy Schechter

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