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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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    0.5mn AMJ 2023
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    0.5mn Apr 2023

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HOME> Outlook Maps>Seasonal Forecast Discussion
Prognostic Discussion for Monthly Outlook 
NWS Climate Prediction Center College Park MD
830 AM EDT Thu Mar 16 2023


The La Niña event has ended as of March, 2023. Sea surface temperature (SST)
anomalies have tended towards positive across most of the equatorial Pacific
Ocean in recent weeks, and the most recent Niño 3.4 region anomaly is
approaching zero degrees Celsius. The East Pacific is particularly warm with an
anomaly of +1.5 C in the Niño 1+2 region. Easterly equatorial wind anomalies
over the Pacific Ocean have weakened in the last month and are confined to a
small area of the central Pacific. Upper-level westerly wind anomalies
continued over the eastern equatorial Pacific. Positive subsurface temperature
anomalies observed in the western and central equatorial Pacific Ocean have
expanded eastward, while extending towards the surface in the eastern Pacific
Ocean. Negative subsurface temperature anomalies near the surface of the
central Pacific Ocean have weakened. Although ENSO-neutral conditions are
predicted in the official ENSO outlook to continue through the Northern
Hemisphere spring, a rapid warming of the Niño 3.4 region SST anomaly is
forecast by most statistical and dynamical models , with an increasing chance of
an El Niño from summer into autumn. Consolidated dynamical model forecasts from
the North America Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) predict positive SST anomalies in
the Niño 3.4 region, bordering on El Niño conditions near the 0.5 degree C
threshold, from summer through autumn. The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO)
strengthened significantly in the beginning of March with convective activity
currently over the Western Hemisphere. Dynamical model forecasts of the
Real-time Multivariate MJO (RMM) index indicate a weakening MJO signal
propagating eastward into the Indian Ocean towards the end of March.

The ECMWF dynamical model forecasts for the beginning of April indicate likely
below-normal temperatures for much of the western contiguous U.S. (CONUS) and
parts of the northern Great Plains. Anomalous snowpack and snow cover over
parts of the West play a role in the temperature outlook for April. In addition
to surface boundary conditions, near-coastal sea surface temperature anomalies
were considered. Linear regression forecasts based on the RMM index indicate a
potential for below-normal temperatures across much of the CONUS at the
beginning of April, followed by warming, particularly in the East. The
temperature and precipitation outlooks for April are based primarily on a
skill-weighted consolidation of dynamical model forecasts from the North
America Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME). Statistical tools, such as the Canonical
Correlation Analysis (CCA), Constructed Analog (CA), and a linear regression
model based on the CPC SST Consolidation forecast of the Nino 3.4 index and
decadal trends were considered, but played a lesser role given the uncertainty
of ENSO-related signals given the rapid transition in the ENSO state. In
addition, skill-based consolidations of statistical and dynamical tools for
temperature and precipitation were consulted.

The April Monthly Outlook favors below-normal temperatures for southwestern
Alaska, as indicated by the NMME consolidation tool, with negative SST
anomalies along the coast contributing to cooler temperatures. Above-normal
temperatures are favored for northeastern Alaska, supported by the NMME
consolidation tool, as well as the statistical forecast tool consolidation. The
probability of below-normal temperatures is enhanced in the Pacific Northwest,
Northern Rockies, and parts of the Great Basin, supported by recent CFSv2 and
ECMWF dynamical model forecasts for April, and consistent with areas of
anomalous snow cover and deep snowpack. Negative SST anomalies near the Pacific
coast contribute to an increased likelihood of below-normal temperatures for
the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington. Above-normal temperatures are
favored from parts of the Southwest eastward across the Southern Plains, and
from the Gulf Coast region northward across the eastern CONUS, as indicated by
the NMME model forecasts. Strong positive SST anomalies along the Gulf Coast
increase the likelihood of above-normal temperatures. Conflicting signals in
the temperature forecast tools lead to equal chances of below, near and
above-normal temperatures in the April outlook over a large area of the
north-central CONUS.

Above-normal precipitation is favored for parts of the west coast of Alaska, as
indicated in the precipitation consolidation of dynamical and statistical tools
and the CFSv2 model forecasts. Below-normal precipitation is slightly favored
for parts of the south coast of Alaska, as predicted by the NMME precipitation
anomaly forecast. Below-normal precipitation is favored for a large area of the
western CONUS from California and southern Oregon to the Central and Southern
Rockies, as predicted by most dynamical and statistical model forecasts and
consistent with decadal precipitation trends for April. Above-normal
precipitation is favored from the western Gulf Coast region northward into
parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas, as predicted by the dynamical and statistical
model forecast consolidation. Above-normal precipitation is also favored for
parts of the Midwest and Great Lakes region, supported by recent dynamical
model forecasts such as the CFSv2 and ECMWF, and consistent with decadal
precipitation trends for April.


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.

An updated monthly outlook... for Apr will be issued on Fri March 31 2023

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

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