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Climate Prediction Center

U.S. Hazards Outlook - Made Mar 24, 2017

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Day 3-7 Outlook Day 8-14 Outlook Day 8-14 Probabilistic Temperature Hazards

Valid Monday, March 27, 2017 to Friday, April 07, 2017

Summary of Forecasts and Hazards

US Hazards Outlook
NWS Climate Prediction Center College Park MD
300 PM EDT March 24 2017

Synopsis: During the first few days of the Outlook period, several waves of low pressure are predicted to track northeastward along a cold front that is initially forecast to extend from the southern Plains to the eastern Great Lakes region. The front is expected to stall as it reaches the deep South several days later. On March 30th, this front is anticipated to begin moving northward as a warm front, which extends westward to a developing low pressure center over the southern Plains. This developing Low is then forecast to track northeastward towards the Ohio Valley and eastern Great Lakes region. The anticipated passage of several frontal systems across the West during this Outlook period is expected to bring additional precipitation, especially to the Pacific Northwest. In Alaska, several areas of weak low pressure are projected to influence the southern portions of the state. A more significant storm system may affect the Aleutians and Alaska Peninsula about a week from now.

Hazards
  • Severe Weather for parts of the Lower Mississippi and Lower Tennessee Valleys, Mon, Mar 27.
  • Severe Weather for west-central Texas and nearby parts of extreme southern Oklahoma, Tue, Mar 28.
  • Severe Weather for eastern portions of the southern Plains, and the Lower Mississippi Valley, Wed, Mar 29.
  • Periods of locally heavy rain for central and southern portions of both the Great Plains and Mississippi Valley, extending eastward into Alabama, Mon-Thu, Mar 27-30.
  • Mixed precipitation (rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow) for much of New England, Mon, Mar 27.
  • Heavy precipitation (rain and mountain snow) for the Pacific Northwest, Mon-Tue, Mar 27-28.
  • Flooding is possible, likely or imminent/occurring over parts of the Pacific Northwest, northern and central Intermountain region, and the northern Rockies.
  • Heavy rain for eastern portions of both Oklahoma and Texas, and the Lower Mississippi Valley, Sat-Sun, Apr 1-2.
  • Slight chance of much above-normal temperatures from the Lower Mississippi Valley eastward to the southern Atlantic Coast, Sat, Apr 1.
  • Severe Drought across parts of Arizona, California, the central and southern Great Plains, Arkansas, Missouri, and the eastern U.S.
Detailed Summary

For Monday March 27 - Friday March 31: At the start of the period, a cold front is predicted to stretch southwestward from a low pressure center over the eastern Great Lakes region to the southern Great Plains. A warm front is forecast to extend eastward from the surface Low across the Northeast CONUS. Another low pressure center is initially predicted on the cold front in the vicinity of the Ozark Mountains. This complex frontal system is anticipated to bring several weather-related hazards, the most serious of which includes multiple severe thunderstorm outbreaks across the southern Plains, Lower Mississippi Valley, and Lower Tennessee Valley during a three-day period. Chronologically, the first highlighted area of severe weather is applicable for the Lower Mississippi and Lower Tennessee Valleys on Monday, March 27th. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Oklahoma expects an axis of instability near the southern portion of the Mississippi River, and deep-layer wind shear associated with a belt of stronger 500-hPa flow rounding the base of the upper trough. These conditions are thought to be sufficient for isolated areas of severe weather. On Tuesday, March 28th, low-level Gulf moisture is anticipated to stream northward across the southern Plains ahead of an eastward-advancing dryline. Isolated severe weather coverage is again anticipated during the afternoon, this time across west-central Texas and adjacent parts of Oklahoma. The spatial coverage of severe thunderstorms is expected to increase late in the day and evening as the 500-hPa Low and trough approach the area. Moderate instability and strong deep-layer shear are forecast to be in place. In addition, a well-developed low-level jet should maintain an organized severe weather threat late Tuesday night into Wednesday, March 29th. Predicted hazards include large hail, wind damage, and some tornadoes, as an expected squall line organizes and moves across the southern Plains from Tuesday evening into Wednesday afternoon. Periods of heavy rainfall are also predicted across central and southern portions of both the Great Plains and Mississippi Valley, extending eastward into Alabama, from March 27-30. Precipitation amounts during this 4-day period are expected to range from 2-6 inches.

Early in this period, on March 27th, there is an increased risk of mixed precipitation (rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow) for much of New England, north of a predicted warm front.

Pacific storm systems are forecast to move across the West Coast states during this period. A heavy precipitation (rain and mountain snow) hazard is posted for the Pacific Northwest for liquid equivalent precipitation amounts of about 2.0-3.5 inches.

Flooding is possible, likely, or occurring/imminent across parts of the Pacific Northwest, the northern and central Intermountain region, and the northern Rockies. This is due to unseasonably warm temperatures coupled with rainfall during mid-March.

A significant cyclonic system may approach the Aleutians and Alaska Peninsula from the southwest late in this period. However, substantial disagreements between the ECMWF and GFS models regarding the forecast path of this system preclude the specification of hazardous areas on the map at this time.

For Saturday April 01 - Friday April 07: An area of heavy rain is forecast over eastern portions of both Oklahoma and Texas, and over the Lower Mississippi Valley, from April 1-2. This is in response to a 500-hPa trough expected to approach this area from the west. There is also the potential for strong to severe thunderstorms to develop once again in this general area, but there is not enough confidence at this time to warrant the depiction of a severe weather region.

On April 1st, there is a slight chance (20-percent) of much above-normal temperatures from the Lower Mississippi Valley eastward to the southern Atlantic Coast. Within this area, temperatures are expected to reach the 85th percentile (or higher) of the historical distribution. For most areas, high temperatures are forecast to reach the mid-upper 80's, while a few locales may push 90 deg F.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor released on March 23rd (using data through 8am Eastern time, March 21st), changes compared to the previous week included one-class degradation across parts of the southern tier of states from New Mexico to South Carolina, parts of Oklahoma and Kansas, and Hawaii. One-class improvements in drought category were primarily focused on the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, Tennessee, northern Alabama, and eastern portions of Puerto Rico. No changes to the drought depiction were made in Alaska. Coverage of severe, or greater intensity, drought throughout the CONUS decreased slightly from 3.95 last week to 3.74 percent this week.

Forecaster: Anthony Artusa

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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.


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