There has been a lot of Kelvin Wave activity in the tropics over the last few weeks with rapid eastward propagation of tropical convection. There are now two main areas of enhanced convection, one over western Africa and the second currently located over the Maritime Continent. Dynamical model guidance indicates that the phase speed of the convective activity will slow over the coming week to a more canonical Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) pattern. The RMM-based index is currently residing in the unit circle, but forecasts suggest that over the coming week a robust MJO pattern will emerge with the index exiting the unit circle in phase 6 by the weekend, and remaining amplified over the coming two week period.
Over the last week there were two active tropical cyclones (TCs): TC Gina (May 16-21) formed about 600 km northeast of Vanuatu and brought some flooding to the island, and a tropical depression designated BOB 04 (May 20-21) which quickly came ashore and brought heavy rain to the Myanmar/Thailand border region. Looking ahead, dynamical models indicate a high probability of TC formation in the Eastern Pacific region near the southern coast of Mexico during the week-1 forecast period, and for week 2 there is a moderate chance of TC formation over a broad area straddling northern Central America to include the Gulf of Tehuantepec, the Bay of Campeche and portions of the northwest Caribbean Sea.
The precipitation outlook for the next two weeks is based on anticipated TC tracks and La Nina conditions, and consensus of GEFS, CFS, and ECMWF ensemble mean solutions. Suppressed precipitation remains favored over the western Pacific extending into the eastern Maritime Continent, consistent with La Nina conditions, as well as over portions of the North Indian Ocean. Southern Mexico and northern Central America are expected to receive copious rainfall over the coming two-week period due to potential TC activity which elevates the chances for flooding and landslides. Excessive heat is forecast to continue for India and the Arabian Peninsula, and above-normal temperatures are expected for the Southeast U.S.
For hazardous weather conditions in your area during the coming two-week period, please refer to your local NWS office, the Medium Range Hazards Forecast produced by the Weather Prediction Center, and the CPC Week-2 Hazards Outlook. Forecasts made over Africa are made in coordination with the International Desk at CPC.
Product Release Information
The full Global Tropics Hazards and Benefits Outlook (GTH) is released once per week every Tuesday at 1730 UTC (1830 UTC when on standard time) including U.S. federal holidays. At the time of product release, there is a live briefing (available via webinar) open to all interested parties in which the latest conditions in the Tropics and the just released outlook and associated impacts are discussed. There is an opportunity to ask questions after the briefing and the briefings are available at the Live Briefing Archive and soon will be recorded.
CPC also issues an operational update of this product every Friday at 2 PM local Eastern Time to further support the NWS regions. The update only spans the release period from June 1 through November 30 and a region from 120E to the Prime Meridian in longitude and from the equator to 40N in latitude. The update does not extend the time horizon of the product, but rather applies for the remaining 4 days of the previous Week-1 time period and Days 5-11 from the previous Week-2 period. This page will depict both the original and updated outlook maps as well short text outlining the forecast rationale for any changes.
The Global Tropics Hazards and Benefits Outlook is a forecast for areas with elevated odds for above- or below-median rainfall, above- or below-normal temperatures and regions where tropical cyclogenesis is favored for the upcoming Week-1 and Week-2 time periods. The rainfall outlook is for precipitation integrated over a week and targets broad-scale patterns, not local conditions as they will be highly variable. Above(below) median rainfall forecast areas are depicted in green and yellow respectively. Above(below) normal temperature forecast areas are depicted in orange and below respectively. Favored areas for tropical development are shown in red. Two measures of confidence are indicated, high (solid) and moderate (hatched) and are currently subjective in nature and not based on an objective system. Work towards a probabilistic format of the product and so an objective measure of confidence is ongoing. The weekly verification period ranges from 00 UTC Wednesday to 00 UTC the following Wednesday.
Along with the product graphic, a written text outlook discussion is also included at release time. The narrative provides a review of the past week across the global Tropics, a description of the current climate-weather situation, the factors and reasoning behind the depicted outlook and notes on any other issues the user should be aware of. The discussion discusses the impacts in the Tropics as well as potential impacts in the Extratropics when relevant.
Product Physical Basis
The product synthesizes information and expert analysis related to climate variability across multiple time scales and from various sources, including operational climate monitoring products. The physical basis for the outlooks include
El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) , the
Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), strength and variations of the monsoon systems, other coherent subseasonal tropical variability such as atmospheric Kelvin waves (KW), Equatorial Rossby waves (ERW), African easterly waves, as well as interactions with the extratropical circulation (i.e. high latitude blocking, low-latitude frontal activity, etc.).
Product Forecast Tools
The outlook maps are currently created subjectively based on a number of forecast tools, many of which are objective. The final depiction is an assessment of these forecast tools based on a number of factors to create the final product. Work is ongoing to create an objective consolidation of some of the available forecast tools to serve as a first guess for the forecaster. Forecast tools include MJO composites, empirical and dynamical based MJO, ERW and KW forecasts, and raw dynamical model guidance from a number of modeling systems. Tropical cyclone areas are based on MJO composites and statistical and dynamical tropical cyclone forecasts as well as raw model forecast guidance.
The product supports the NOAA mission in three primary ways:
- Assess and forecast important changes in the distribution of tropical convection (i.e., potential circulation changes across the Pacific and North America sectors) and communicate this information to NWS forecasters
- Provide advance notice of potential hazards related to climate, weather and hydrological events across the global tropics (including tropical cyclone risks for several NWS regions)
- Support various sectors of the U.S. economy (finance, energy, agriculture, water resource management) that have foreign interests.
The product is created through collaboration with other NOAA centers, [the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC)], the Department of Defense [The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) and the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS)], the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Taiwan Central Weather Bureau, the State University of New York at Albany (SUNY) and the Center for Climate and Satellites (CICS), among other collaborators.
Product Users and Applications
Known users include U.S. government agencies such as NOAA [National Weather Service (NWS), River Forecast Centers (RFCs), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the Department of the Interior (U.S. Forest Service), aid organizations (U.S. and international Red Cross, USAID), domestic and global private sector interests (financial, energy, water resource management and agricultural sectors), international weather services and various media meteorologists.
Some special applications of the product in the past include extended range predictions to support Haiti earthquake and Deepwater Horizon oil spill relief efforts as well as support for the Dynamics of the MJO (DYNAMO) scientific field campaign held from October 2011 through March 2012.