Skip Navigation Links 
NOAA logo - Click to go to the NOAA home page National Weather Service   NWS logo - Click to go to the NWS home page
Climate Prediction Center

CPC Search
About Us
   Our Mission
   Who We Are

Contact Us
   CPC Information
   CPC Web Team

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.

Text Discussions
   90day Prognostic
   30day Prognostic

More Outlooks
    0.5mn JFM 2022
    1.5mn FMA 2022
    2.5mn MAM 2022
    3.5mn AMJ 2022
    4.5mn MJJ 2022
    5.5mn JJA 2022
    6.5mn JAS 2022
    7.5mn ASO 2022
    8.5mn SON 2022
    9.5mn OND 2022
   10.5mn NDJ 2022
   11.5mn DJF 2022
   12.5mn JFM 2023
    0.5mn Jan 2022

Tools Used (see Discussion for explanation)
HOME> Outlook Maps>Seasonal Forecast Discussion
Prognostic Discussion for Long-Lead Seasonal Outlooks 
NWS Climate Prediction Center College Park MD
830 AM EST Thu Dec 16 2021


The January-February-March (JFM) 2022 temperature outlook favors above-normal
seasonal mean temperatures for the south-central and eastern U.S. The largest
probabilities (above 50 percent) for above-normal temperatures are forecast
across much of the Gulf Coast States and parts of New England. Probabilities of
below-normal temperatures are elevated for parts of the northern High Plains,
northern Rockies, Pacific Northwest, northern California, and most of Alaska.
The JFM 2022 precipitation outlook favors below-normal seasonal precipitation
amounts from southern California and the Southwest east to the southern Great
Plains along with parts of the Southeast. Below-normal precipitation is
slightly favored for coastal southern Alaska. Above-normal seasonal
precipitation amounts are most likely across the Great Lakes, Ohio and
Tennessee Valleys, northern Rockies, Pacific Northwest, and western Mainland
Alaska. Equal chances (EC) are forecast among areas where seasonal mean
temperatures and seasonal accumulated precipitation amounts are expected to be
similar to climatological probabilities.

La Niña conditions are present across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, as
represented in current oceanic and atmospheric observations. The official CPC
ENSO forecast indicates that La Niña conditions are likely to persist through
the winter and early spring. The influence of La Niña continued to play a major
role in the temperature and precipitation outlooks during
January-February-March and February-March-April 2022.

Note: For Graphical Displays of the Forecast Tools Discussed Below See:


Oceanic and atmospheric observations reflect La Niña conditions During the
past four weeks (Nov 14 – Dec 11), sea surface temperatures were below (above)-
average across the equatorial eastern and central (western) Pacific. The latest
Nino-3.4 index is -1.1 degrees C. Negative subsurface temperature anomalies
continue to persist at a depth of 150 meters near and to the east of the Date
Line. Integrated upper-ocean heat anomalies from 180 to 100W declined rapidly
during September and early October and then weakened in magnitude from late
October to early November. Suppressed convection remains anchored across the
central equatorial Pacific where enhanced trade winds continue along with
anomalous upper-level westerlies. The coupled ocean-atmospheric system is
consistent with La Nina conditions.

The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) strengthened during late November and its
enhanced phase propagated eastward to the West Pacific by early December. As
the MJO destructively interfered with the ongoing La Niña, the MJO became less
coherent during mid-December. Although the MJO could influence the mid-latitude
circulation pattern over North America heading into January, large uncertainty
exists as the well-established La Niña may disrupt the typical forcing
associated with an eastward propagating MJO over the Pacific.


The CPC SST consolidation for the Niño-3.4 region depicts negative SST
anomalies remaining at or below -0.5 degrees C through FMA and then near
average from the late spring through the summer. The North American Multi Model
Ensemble (NMME) ensemble mean forecast for the Niño-3.4 SST anomaly depicts a
slightly slower transition to near average during the next six months. Based on
the observational and model forecast indicators as of early December 2021, the
official CPC/IRI ENSO outlook favors La Niña conditions persisting through FMA
2022 with a transition to ENSO-neutral becoming more likely by AMJ 2022.


La Niña temperature and precipitation composites were a major tool relied upon
through FMA 2022. Dynamical model guidance such as the North American
Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) and the Calibration, Bridging, and Merging (CBaM)
version of the NMME were used. The consolidation tool, which includes NMME
input and various statistical tools, was also used especially after the
predicted transition to ENSO-neutral conditions by late spring. Given the
expectation of drought across the southern Great Plains heading into the
spring, low soil moisture conditions were considered for this region, beginning
in MAM when lower soil moisture can have a warming influence on surface
temperatures. At later leads, decadal trends in temperature and precipitation
were the primary tool used in creating the seasonal outlooks.



Only minor adjustments were made to the previous temperature outlooks, released
on November 18, as La Niña continues to be the major contributor to the
predicted climate state during JFM and FMA 2022. Given the ongoing MJO and its
potential influence on the mid-latitude circulation pattern over North America
not only heading into January but also continuing through March, probabilities
are tempered. Decadal trends , nearby positive SST anomalies, and an expected
mean seasonal storm track to the west enhance probabilities for above-normal
temperatures across parts of New England. Probabilities, exceeding 50 percent,
for above-normal temperatures are also forecast across much of the Gulf Coast
States and parts of the Southeast, based on La Niña composites along with good
model agreement and continuity. Compared to last month, the coverage of EC was
expanded over the north-central CONUS during JFM and FMA due to the likelihood
of a highly variable temperature pattern through the early spring. Also,
decadal trends are neutral or lean slightly cold for this region during these
three-month periods. Below-normal temperatures are most likely across the
northern High Plains, northern Rockies, Pacific Northwest, and much of Alaska
through FMA due to good agreement among dynamical and statistical tools. Since
La Niña may continue to favor below-normal temperatures through at least the
early spring, probabilities of below-normal temperatures are slightly elevated
for the Pacific Northwest along with southern Mainland Alaska and the Alaska
Panhandle during MAM. Compared to the previous release on Nov 18, probabilities
for above-normal temperatures were slightly increased across the southern Great
Plains during the spring and early summer, based on increasing forecast
confidence for drought and low soil moisture conditions. The temperature
outlooks from JJA 2022 through JFM 2023 were based on decadal trends and the
CPC consolidation tool.


The precipitation outlooks for JFM and FMA 2022 are consistent with La Niña
composites which favor below-normal precipitation across the southern tier of
the CONUS with above-normal precipitation more likely from the Great Lakes
south to the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys along with the Pacific Northwest and
northern Rockies. The wet signal across the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys, related
to La Niña, becomes strongest during the late winter and early spring. During
JFM and FMA, the latest dynamical model guidance backed off on favored dryness
across much of California. The more recent model output and consideration of
the likely wet pattern during mid to late December prompted a decrease in
coverage and probabilities of below normal precipitation for California from
JFM to FMA. These three month time periods are one of the wettest in the
seasonal precipitation cycle. Another modification from the previous outlook on
Nov 18 was a slight increase of probabilities for below normal precipitation
across the Florida Peninsula during JFM and FMA, based on good model agreement
along with a strong dry signal in La Niña composites. Dynamical models are in
good agreement for elevated probabilities of below (above)-normal precipitation
across parts of southern coastal Alaska (western and northern Mainland Alaska)
during JFM, FMA, and MAM. The NMME and the CPC consolidation tool were
primarily used for the precipitation outlooks during AMJ and MJJ. Beyond this
time period, decadal trends in precipitation became the primary tool.


The Climatic normals are based on conditions between 1991 and 2020, 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
(Use Lower Cas e Letters)
Information on the formation of skill of the CAS forecasts may be found at:
(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 Jan 20 2022

1991-2020 base period means were implemented effective with the May 20, 2021
forecast release.

NOAA/ National Weather Service
National Centers for Environmental Prediction
Climate Prediction Center
5200 Auth Road
Camp Springs, Maryland 20746
Climate Prediction Center Web Team
Page last modified: January 17, 2006
Information Quality
Privacy Policy
Freedom of Information Act
About Us
Career Opportunities