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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 MAM 2019
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    6.5mn SON 2019
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    0.5mn Mar 2019


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HOME> Outlook Maps>Seasonal Forecast Discussion
 
PROGNOSTIC DISCUSSION FOR LONG-LEAD SEASONAL OUTLOOKS 
NWS CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER COLLEGE PARK MD
830 AM EST THU FEB 21 2019

SUMMARY OF THE OUTLOOK FOR NON-TECHNICAL USERS

THE MARCH-APRIL-MAY (MAM) 2019 TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK FAVORS ABOVE NORMAL
TEMPERATURES FROM THE ROCKIES WESTWARD, FOR THE EASTERN THIRD OF THE CONTIGUOUS
48 STATES, AND FOR ALASKA. PROBABILITIES EXCEED 60% OVER THE NORTHERN PORTIONS
OF ALASKA, WHILE PROBABILITIES ELSEWHERE ARE LOWER. PROBABILITIES ACROSS THE
EAST ARE RATHER MODEST. EQUAL CHANCES ARE FORECAST FOR THE GREAT PLAINS, UPPER
GREAT LAKES, AND THE MIDDLE TO UPPER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY. THIS TEMPERATURE
OUTLOOK IS BASED LARGELY ON RECENT DYNAMICAL AND STATISTICAL MODEL OUTPUT,
TEMPERATURE TRENDS, TO A SMALL EXTENT EFFECTS RELATED TO AN EL NINO, AND KNOWN
CORRELATIONS BETWEEN ANTECEDENT SOIL MOISTURE AND TEMPERATURE IN THE FOLLOWING
MONTHS.

THE MAM 2019 PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK INDICATES ENHANCED ODDS OF ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS FROM THE SOUTHERN ALASKA COAST NORTHWARD TO THE NORTHWEST
ALASKA COASTLINE. ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION IS ALSO FAVORED FROM THE CENTRAL
ROCKIES TO THE SOUTHERN PLAINS, ACROSS TO THE SOUTHEAST, AND NORTHWARD ALONG
THE EAST COAST INTO THE MID-ATLANTIC. THIS PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK IS BASED
LARGELY ON RECENT DYNAMICAL AND STATISTICAL MODEL OUTPUT, HISTORICAL
PRECIPITATION TRENDS, AND TO A SMALL EXTENT, EFFECTS RELATED TO AN EL NINO.

EQUAL CHANCES (EC) OF BELOW, NEAR, AND ABOVE NORMAL SEASONAL MEAN TEMPERATURES
OR SEASONAL ACCUMULATED PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS ARE EXPECTED WHERE ODDS ARE
SIMILAR TO CLIMATOLOGICAL PROBABILITIES.

BASIS AND SUMMARY OF THE CURRENT LONG-LEAD OUTLOOKS
NOTE: FOR GRAPHICAL DISPLAYS OF THE FORECAST TOOLS DISCUSSED BELOW SEE:
HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV/PRODUCTS/PREDICTIONS/90DAY/TOOLS/BRIEFING

CURRENT ATMOSPHERIC AND OCEANIC CONDITIONS

RECENT OBSERVATIONS SHOW SEA-SURFACE TEMPERATURES (SST) AND SUBSURFACE
TEMPERATURES ACROSS MOST OF THE EQUATORIAL PACIFIC CONTINUE TO BE ABOVE
AVERAGE. DURING THE PAST MONTH, SST ANOMALIES RANGED FROM +0.5C TO +2.0C OVER
MOST OF THIS REGION, AND SUBSURFACE ANOMALIES RANGED FROM +0.5C TO +5.0C FROM
NEAR THE SURFACE TO A DEPTH OF 175 METERS. THE UPPER-OCEAN (TOP 300 METERS)
HEAT CONTENT ACROSS THE NEAR-EQUATORIAL CENTRAL AND EASTERN PACIFIC PEAKED IN
MID-OCTOBER 2018, DECLINED THROUGH DECEMBER, BUT CLIMBED DURING JANUARY AND
EARLY FEBRUARY. THE LATEST WEEKLY SST DEPARTURE FOR THE NINO 3.4 REGION DROPPED
THIS PAST WEEK TO +0.6C. COMPARED TO LAST MONTH, THE REGION OF ENHANCED
EQUATORIAL CONVECTION EXPANDED NEAR THE DATE LINE, WHILE ANOMALIES REMAINED
WEAK OVER INDONESIA.  LOW-LEVEL (850-HPA) WIND ANOMALIES BECAME WESTERLY ACROSS
THE WESTERN PACIFIC OCEAN, WHILE UPPER-LEVEL (200-HPA) WIND ANOMALIES WERE
MOSTLY WESTERLY OVER THE EASTERN PACIFIC. THE EQUATORIAL SOUTHERN OSCILLATION
INDEX WAS NEGATIVE (-0.6 STANDARD DEVIATIONS). OVERALL, THESE FEATURES ARE
CONSISTENT WITH BORDERLINE, WEAK EL NINO CONDITIONS, AND AN EL NINO ADVISORY
WAS ISSUED ON 14 FEBRUARY.

SUBSEASONAL TROPICAL VARIABILITY AS MANIFEST IN THE MADDEN-JULIAN OSCILLATION
(MJO) HAD LIMITED THE ATMOSPHERIC RESPONSE TO THE OCEANIC EL NINO CONDITIONS,
BUT THE ATMOSPHERE HAS NOW ALIGNED MORE WITH THE OCEAN.  THE MJO IS FORECAST TO
REMAIN ACTIVE, THROUGH AT LEAST THE BEGINNING OF MARCH.  CONNECTIONS FROM THE
MJO TO THE MID-LATITUDES TEND TO BECOME WEAKER DURING SPRING, SO VARIABILITY
DRIVEN BY THE MJO PLAYS LESS OF A ROLE IN THE SEASONAL OUTLOOK.

SEA ICE IS BELOW NORMAL NEAR ALASKA AND OVER THE ARCTIC. THIS CONTINUES A
DOWNWARD TREND OF SEA ICE COVERAGE ON A MULTI-YEAR TIMESCALE. JANUARY 2019 WAS
THE SIXTH LOWEST JANUARY ICE COVER EXTENT IN THE 1979 TO 2019 SATELLITE RECORD.


PROGNOSTIC DISCUSSION OF SST FORECASTS

THE CPC SST CONSOLIDATION TOOL FOR NINO 3.4 DEPICTS A MARGINAL EL NINO DURING
MAM AND AMJ 2019, BECOMING ENSO-NEUTRAL THROUGH THE AUTUMN OF 2019. THE CFS
MODEL PRODUCES THE WARMEST SOLUTION AMONG THE TOOLS THAT GO INTO THE
CONSOLIDATION, WITH A PREDICTED NINO 3.4 SST ANOMALY JUST ABOVE +1.0C IN MAM,
SLOWLY DROPPING TO ABOUT +0.4C BY ASO. SOME MORE RECENT MODELS, INCLUDING SOME
DYNAMICAL MODELS, BRING BACK A RETURN OF EL NINO CONDITIONS DURING WINTER OF
2019-2020. AMONG THE CONSTITUENT MEMBERS OF THE NMME, INDIVIDUAL ENSEMBLE
MEMBERS FORECAST A LARGE SPREAD IN SOLUTIONS, FROM NEAR +2.5C DOWN TO -1.0C.
THE NMME AND IMME SST PLUMES FORECAST AN SST ANOMALY AT OR SOMEWHAT ABOVE +0.5C
THROUGH JUNE 2019, WITH A COOLING SIGNAL THROUGH THE AUTUMN.

PROGNOSTIC TOOLS USED FOR U.S. TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION OUTLOOKS

THE TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION OUTLOOKS WERE BASED ON DYNAMICAL MODEL
GUIDANCE WHICH INCLUDED THE CFS ALONG WITH THE NMME AND ITS CALIBRATED
PROBABILITIES THROUGH JJA 2019. STATISTICAL FORECAST MODELS SUCH AS THE
COMBINED ENSO-OCN TOOL, THE EXPERIMENTAL CBAM, SMLR, CCA, AND OCN WERE
CONSIDERED. LONG-TERM TRENDS WERE WEIGHED MORE HEAVILY IN THE LATER OUTLOOKS,
FROM ASO 2019 THROUGH FMA 2020. IMPACTS FROM SOIL MOISTURE ON TEMPERATURE AND
PRECIPITATION IN CONTEMPORANEOUS AND LAGGED FASHION WERE ALSO CONSIDERED.

THE MJO IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO ANOMALOUS TROPICAL
CONVECTION, THOUGH THE IMPACT TO THE MID-LATITUDE CIRCULATION TYPICALLY LESSENS
DURING THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE SPRING. UNCERTAINTY REMAINS ON HOW MUCH BLOCKING
AT THE HIGH LATITUDES WILL PERSIST THROUGH APRIL AND MAY. CLIMATE EFFECTS
TYPICALLY ASSOCIATED WITH EL NINO DURING THE SPRING WERE CONSIDERED, BUT
DOWNPLAYED SIGNIFICANTLY.

THE IMME WAS NOT AVAILABLE TO THE FORECASTERS THIS MONTH.

PROGNOSTIC DISCUSSION OF OUTLOOKS - MAM 2019 TO MAM 2020

TEMPERATURE

THE MAM 2019 OUTLOOK IS BASED LARGELY ON DYNAMICAL MODEL GUIDANCE AND THE GRAND
CONSOLIDATION OF STATISTICAL AND DYNAMICAL TOOLS. AREAS WHERE ABOVE NORMAL
TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED IN THE MODELS OVER THE MIDWEST WERE NOT INCLUDED AS
HIGH SOIL MOISTURE AND ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION FAVOR COOLER CONDITIONS IN
APRIL AND MAY THERE, THOUGH IN MARCH, THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE.  THE SEASONAL
OUTLOOK HAS AN APPARENT CONFLICT WITH THE MARCH MONTHLY OUTLOOK OVER MONTANA,
BUT THE COLD SIGNAL IN THE MONTHLY OUTLOOK OVER MONTANA IS LARGELY FROM SIGNALS
EARLY IN MARCH, WHICH ARE NOT LIKELY TO PERSIST FOR AN ENTIRE SEASON. ALONG THE
NORTHWESTERN COAST OF ALASKA, TRENDS IN ICE COVER AND CURRENT YEAR ANALYSES
SHOW BELOW MEDIAN ICE COVERAGE.  AN EARLY MELT OUT WOULD STRONGLY SUPPORT ABOVE
NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR NORTHERN AND WESTERN ALASKA.

THROUGH THE SUMMER OF 2019, THE OUTLOOK BEGINS TO MORE REFLECT TRENDS AND THE
CPC CONSOLIDATION (OLD AND NEW VERSIONS), AS WELL AS THE NMME OUTLOOKS. ABOVE
NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED FROM THE WEST COAST TO THE ROCKIES, SOUTHWARD
TO THE GULF COAST, THEN NORTHWARD ALONG THE EAST COAST. EQUAL CHANCES ARE
INDICATED FROM THE NORTHERN PLAINS TO THE MIDWEST, WHERE TRENDS ARE WEAKEST AND
THE PRECIPITATION OUTLOOKS FAVOR ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION, WHICH HAS A
NEGATIVE CORRELATION WITH TEMPERATURE IN SUMMER MONTHS.

THE OUTLOOKS FOR AUTUMN 2019 REFLECT MAINLY TRENDS AND CONSOLIDATION OF THE
STATISTICAL TOOLS. DURING WINTER 2019-2020, SOME MODIFICATIONS TO THE OUTLOOK
FACTOR IN A POTENTIAL SECOND EL NINO EVENT, CONSISTENT WITH THE CPC SST
CONSOLIDATION. THE CHANGES WERE TO INCREASE ODDS FOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES
OVER THE GREAT LAKES.

PRECIPITATION

THE MAM PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK REFLECTS THE LATEST DYNAMICAL AND STATISTICAL
MODEL GUIDANCE. THE TOOLS HAVE SHIFTED NOTABLY TOWARD FAVORING ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION FOR LARGE PORTIONS OF THE CONUS AND ALASKA. AN ACTIVE SOUTHERN
STORM TRACK IS LIKELY IN MARCH, WHICH WOULD FAVOR ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION IN
THE SOUTHEAST AND UP PORTIONS OF THE EAST COAST. TRENDS FAVOR ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION IN ALASKA. THERE WAS SOME UNCERTAINTY ABOUT PREDICTED
PRECIPITATION OVER THE ALASKA PANHANDLE, WITH SOME STATISTICAL TOOLS FAVORING
BELOW NORMAL TOTALS, WHILE MANY DYNAMICAL MODELS FAVORED THE OPPOSITE CATEGORY.
CONFLICTING SIGNALS PRECLUDED THE DEPICTION OF ANY SIGNAL IN THAT REGION.

THROUGH THE SPRING MONTHS, THE OUTLOOKS COME TO REFLECT DYNAMICAL MODELS AND
THE NEW CPC CONSOLIDATION.  ANTECEDENT SOIL MOISTURE BEGINS TO HAVE AN IMPACT
DURING THE LATER SPRING AND SUMMER MONTHS, WITH HIGH SOIL MOISTURE FAVORING
WETTER CONDITIONS.  THE STATISTICAL TOOLS ALSO SHOW A WET SIGNAL OVER THE
PLAINS, SO THE SPRING AND SUMMER OUTLOOKS FAVOR ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION
WHERE ANTECEDENT SOIL MOISTURE IS POSITIVELY CORRELATED WITH LAGGED
PRECIPITATION.

DURING THE WINTER 2019-2020, SIGNALS IN PRECIPITATION FROM THE TOOLS ARE WEAK,
AND AN EL NINO SIGNAL WOULD CONFLICT WITH THE TRENDS IN MANY PLACES, SO EQUAL
CHANCES IS DEPICTED FOR THE CONUS. TRENDS STRONGLY FAVOR ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION FOR INTERIOR ALASKA BUT WEAKLY FAVOR BELOW NORMAL FOR THE ALASKA
PANHANDLE AS THE CORE OF THAT SIGNAL IS OVER BRITISH COLUMBIA.

FORECASTER: MATTHEW ROSENCRANS

THE CLIMATIC NORMALS ARE BASED ON CONDITIONS BETWEEN 1981 AND 2010, FOLLOWING
THE WORLD METEROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION CONVENTION OF USING THE MOST RECENT 3
COMPLETE DECADES AS THE CLIMATIC 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.

FOR A DESCRIPTION OF OF THE STANDARD FORECAST TOOLS - THEIR SKILL- AND THE
FORECAST FORMAT PLEASE SEE OUR WEB PAGE AT
HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV/PRODUCTS/PREDICTIONS/LONG_RANGE/TOOLS.HTML
(USE LOWER CASE LETTERS)
INFORMATION ON THE FORMATION OF SKILL OF THE CAS FORECASTS MAY BE FOUND AT:
HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV/PRODUCTS/SOILMST_MONITORING/US/OUTLOOK/OUTLOOK.SHTM
L
(USE LOWERCASE LETTERS)
NOTES - THESE CLIMATE OUTLOOKS ARE INTENDED FOR USE PRIOR TO THE START OF THEIR
VALID PERIOD.  WITHIN ANY GIVEN VALID PERIOD OBSERVATIONS AND SHORT AND MEDIUM
RANGE FORECASTS SHOULD BE CONSULTED.

THIS SET OF OUTLOOKS WILL BE SUPERSEDED BY THE ISSUANCE OF THE NEW SET NEXT
MONTH ON MAR 21 2019


1981-2010 BASE PERIOD MEANS WERE IMPLEMENTED EFFECTIVE WITH THE MAY 19, 2011
FORECAST RELEASE.
$$

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