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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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More Outlooks
    0.5mn FMA 2020
    1.5mn MAM 2020
    2.5mn AMJ 2020
    3.5mn MJJ 2020
    4.5mn JJA 2020
    5.5mn JAS 2020
    6.5mn ASO 2020
    7.5mn SON 2020
    8.5mn OND 2020
    9.5mn NDJ 2020
   10.5mn DJF 2020
   11.5mn JFM 2021
   12.5mn FMA 2021
    0.5mn Feb 2020

Tools Used (see Discussion for explanation)
HOME> Outlook Maps>Seasonal Forecast Discussion
Prognostic Discussion for Monthly Outlook 
NWS Climate Prediction Center College Park MD
830 AM EST Thu Jan 16 2020


The temperature and precipitation outlooks for February largely reflect
dynamical model guidance, statistical relationships with modes of variability
in the tropics, and some consideration for local sea surface temperatures. The
Madden-Julian Oscillation is strong and likely to play a significant role in
the upcoming month, which potentially means increased variability and a pattern
flip in the middle of the month. The potential for escalated variability
decreases the overall confidence in the outlooks.

The temperature outlook for Alaska reflects model guidance in that above normal
temperatures are favored for western Alaska in all but 2 of the NMME models,
though the probabilities are just slightly higher than the NMME models. The
slight increase in probabilities is supported by more recent runs of the CFS
and lagged composites of a currently strong MJO event pointing toward a warming
in the middle of the month. A cooler signal is evident for eastern Alaska,
which contradicts some trends , so equal chances are specified there. A strong
phase 5/6 of the MJO can also indicate a colder period for the eastern CONUS,
approximately 15-30 days later. The colder period would not be expected to
extend beyond about 15-20 days in length, as an active MJO would reverse the
signal as it traversed the tropics. Given that potential MJO signal and
consistent model support, below normal temperatures are favored from eastern
Montana to the Northeast and southward to the Tennessee Valley. Probabilities
are highest where statistical measures and model forecasts agree. Trends are
positive and signals for below normal temperatures moderate for the Southeast,
so equal chances are indicated, except over Florida, where above normal
temperatures are favored. The area where above normal temperatures are favored
extends westward from Florida across the immediate Gulf Coast, into Texas and
the Central and Southern Rockies, terminating at the West Coast. Across the
Great Basin, above normal temperatures are favored by trends and some models,
though signals are weaker in the older model runs and much stronger in more
recent runs.

The MJO would support the development of a trough near Baja California, which
could limit the southern extent of a broad dry area in many of the NMME models.
The pattern that would support the cold air would also support multiple frontal
passages over the eastern CONUS with northerly flow in the wake of each
passage, resulting in overall dry conditions in the from the Midwest to the
Central Plains and potentially leaving dissipating fronts across the Gulf
Coast, enhancing odds for precipitation over the Southeast. The precipitation
outlook for Alaska is highly uncertain, though predicted above normal
sea-surface temperatures in the Gulf of Alaska are likely associated with
ridging there and a storm track pushed into mainland Alaska, so above normal
precipitation is slightly favored for central Alaska. Storms that are pushed
northward into Alaska, would have less of an impact on California and Oregon,
so below normal precipitation probabilities are elevated for central
California, western Nevada, and southern Oregon. That same storm track could
support more activity for the Northern Rockies, and MJO composites indicate
conditions supportive of more upslope potential, so above normal precipitation
is indicated from eastern Montana to Northern Colorado.

FORECASTER: Matthew Rosencrans

The climatic normals are based on conditions between 1981 and 2010, 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 Feb will be issued on Fri January 31 2020

These outlooks are based on departures from the 1981-2010 base period.

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