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Official 90-day Outlooks are issued once each month near mid-month at 8:30am Eastern Time. Please consult the schedule of 30 & 90-day outlooks for exact release dates.

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HOME> Outlook Maps>Seasonal Forecast Discussion
 
Prognostic Discussion for Monthly Outlook 
NWS Climate Prediction Center College Park MD
300 PM EST Fri Dec 31 2021


30-DAY OUTLOOK DISCUSSION FOR JANUARY 2022

The updated temperature and precipitation outlooks for January 2022 reflect
potential impacts associated with a predicted change in the PNA and lagged
impacts from an active phase 8 (Western Pacific) MJO. Those two are typically
associated with bouts of lower heights/cooler temperatures over much of the
contiguous 48 states. Additionally, the precipitation signal associated with a
positive PNA is counter to the seasonal signal from the on going La Nina. The
MJO signal would be transient, almost by definition, while the sign of the PNA
is likely to be less negative or even positive during Week-2. Many model
predictions then shift the PNA back to negative through the later half of Jan
2022, resulting in a highly variable pattern. The flips in those patterns
results in some increased uncertainty/lower probabilities.

The temperature outlook for Jan now indicates a broad area of below normal
temperatures favored from the Pacific Northwest to the Great Lakes, and a small
portion of New England. This represents a 2-class change, from the mid-December
release, for portions of New England and a much cooler outlook for the Ohio
Valley and mid-Atlantic, though uncertainty there is probably the highest in
the domain for the temperature outlook. Above normal temperatures remain most
likely from the Southwest to the Gulf Coast and Florida.  he odds for below
normal temperatures were increased across much of Alaska, with the highest odds
being across southeastern mainland Alaska and the Alaska Panhandle.  There will
be periods of variability there, but in balance, tools point toward colder than
normal with a mean ridge to the west for the second half of the month.

The precipitation outlook reflects some of the more certain information in the
first week. Some areas of the Lower Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys are
likely to receive precipitation totaling more than the lower limit for below
normal precipitation, so the region where above normal precipitation is favored
has expanded as far south as Arkansas. The early month precipitation, as well
as some predicted later uncertainty reduced the coverage of below normal
precipitation for the Southeast, in contrast to the seasonal signal typically
imparted by La Nina. Additionally, portions of the Pacific Northwest and
Northern Rockies are also forecast to receive continued high amounts, though
that is likely to flip during Week-2, but a negative PNA is predicted for the
second half of the month, ushering in a second potential wet period. The
northern Plains are an area of uncertainty with short-term dryness, then
potential wetness to end the month.  Ridging to the west of Alaska would steer
storms away from the Alaska Panhandle, so despite some potential Week-2
wetness, dry conditions are likely to prevail in the net for southern mainland
Alaska and the Alaska Panhandle. Small reductions to the probabilities for
below normal precipitation were made across the Southwest and Southern
California to account for the impacts of the potential negative PNA and lagged
MJO impacts later in the month, though those are highly uncertain as indicated
in the Week 3-4 outlooks EC.


------------------------ Previous Discussion Follows -------------------------

The January 2022 temperature and precipitation outlooks are based on the
predicted patterns for the Week 3-4 period from the multiple linear regression
tool, a subset of dynamical models for the Week 3-4 period, La Niña composites,
lagged MJO composites, and dynamical model guidance.  The outlook reflects the
ongoing La Niña, as below-average sea surface temperatures continue across the
central and eastern equatorial Pacific, while suppressed convection was
observed near and west of the Date Line this past month. The oceanic and
atmospheric observations reflect La Niña conditions which are likely to persist
through the winter. The MJO strengthened recently, and may be a major factor in
the January temperature and precipitation patterns over Alaska and the CONUS.

La Niña composites would generally favor colder than normal conditions across
the northern tier, and warmer conditions across the southern tier of the CONUS.
The dynamical model guidance from the NMME and C3S generally reflects that
pattern, though a bit warmer than expected over the eastern CONUS compared to
composites.  Lagged impacts from the MJO, currently in phase 7, would favor a
colder first half the month for much of the CONUS. That signal is also partly
reflected in the Week 3-4 MLR tool and many of the Week 3-4 dynamical models .
A continuation of a robust MJO signal through Phases 8,1, and 2 would result in
a pattern flip for the latter half of the month, and that increases uncertainty
for this outlook. The increased uncertainty is reflected in modest
probabilities and low coverage where signals are destructive and patterns are
most likely to flip mid-month.

The temperature outlook has a broad area of EC in the Plains, where the NMME
and C3S dynamical models strongly favor above normal temperatures, but MJO
composites and shorter-term guidance favor a colder start to the month, so the
official outlook is colder than the models across much of the central and
eastern CONUS. MJO impacts to temperature from the Rockies to the West Coast
are usually smaller (lower correlations in the lagged composites), so the warm
signal was retained for the Southern Rockies and the cool signal for the
Pacific Northwest. There are some tools that would indicate below normal
temperatures across the Northern Plains as well, but those signals are weak in
the monthly outlooks, and transient if related to MJO, so the cool signal from
the Pacific Northwest is not translated eastward. Lagged MJO composites and the
MLR tool favor some relative warmth to start the month for western Alaska, so
probabilities for below normal temperatures from the dynamical models and La
Niña composites are muted there. Signals for below normal temperatures are
retained for southern Mainland Alaska and parts of the Alaska Peninsula as
those areas have less destructive interference from the intraseasonal
variability to offset the whole-month guidance and reflection of seasonal scale
influences.

The precipitation outlook largely resembles La Niña composites and dynamical
model guidance, though a bit drier in the Ohio and Tennessee Valley due to the
potential early month cold/trough leading to a southward push of the mean storm
track early in Jan 2022. Odds for below normal precipitation across the
southern tier are more modest due to the early month potential for impacts from
the MJO to have some tropical connections for moisture and troughing near the
West Coast. Lagged MJO composites favor storminess shifted northward across the
Bering Sea early in the month, so above normal precipitation is favored for the
western Coast of Alaska, and below normal precipitation probabilities are
slightly elevated for the southern coast of Mainland Alaska. That forecast
pattern represents a small shift from the monthly dynamical model guidance.


FORECASTER: Matthew Rosencrans

The climatic normals are based on conditions between 1991 and 2020, following
the World Meteorological Organization convention of using the most recent 3
complete decades as the climate reference period.  The probability anomalies
for temperature and precipitation based on these new normals better represent
shorter term climatic anomalies than the forecasts based on older normals.

The next monthly outlook...for Feb ... will be issued on Thu Jan 20 2022

These outlooks are based on departures from the 1991-2020 base period.
$$

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