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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 THU JAN 31 2019


30-DAY OUTLOOK DISCUSSION FOR FEBRUARY 2019

THE UPDATED FEBRUARY 2019 TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK DEPICTS SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES FROM
THE MID-MONTH OUTLOOK RELEASED TWO WEEKS AGO. CONSIDERABLE VARIABILITY
ANTICIPATED DURING AT LEAST THE FIRST HALF OF THE MONTH MAKES FOR A CHALLENGING
OUTLOOK. RIGHT AT THE START OF THE MONTH, THE HIGHLY AMPLIFIED, POTENT TROUGH
RESPONSIBLE FOR MUCH BELOW-NORMAL AND RECORD COLD TEMPERATURES FOR MUCH OF THE
CENTRAL AND EASTERN CONUS LIFTS OUT AND IS REPLACED WITH A VERY IMPRESSIVE,
RAPID WARMUP, FIRST ACROSS THE WESTERN AND CENTRAL CONUS, THEN ACROSS THE
EASTERN CONUS FROM THE SOUTHEAST TO MAINE.

ALTHOUGH THERE IS STILL CONSIDERABLE DIFFERENCES IN THE NEXT STRONG TROUGH TO
AMPLIFY AND EXTEND ACROSS THE CONUS, IT IS MOST LIKELY THAT A STRONG TROUGH MAY
ORIENT ITSELF FROM CENTRAL CANADA SOUTHWESTWARD TO THE SOUTHWEST CONUS
POSITIONING HIGH ODDS FOR BELOW-NORMAL TEMPERATURES FARTHER WEST ACROSS FROM
THE NORTHERN PLAINS TO PARTS OF THE SOUTHWEST. THIS AREA THEN SLOWLY EXTENDS
AND SHIFTS TO THE EAST AND SLIGHTLY TO THE NORTH WITH TIME AND THE UNCERTAINTY
INCREASES DURING THE FINAL TWO WEEKS, AS IS TYPICAL, BUT IT APPEARS THAT
TROUGHING, IN THE MEAN, MAY PERSIST ACROSS THE NORTH CENTRAL CONUS, WITH
TYPICAL VARIABILITY IN SHORT WAVE TROUGHS ABOUT THIS MEAN POSITION, INTO THE
EASTERN CONUS AT TIMES.

THE OFFICIAL TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK FAVORS BELOW-NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR MUCH OF
THE WESTERN AND CENTRAL CONUS HIGHLIGHTING THAT EARLY MONTH WARMTH IS MOST
LIKELY TO BE OVERCOME IN THESE AREAS BY THE AFOREMENTIONED STRONG TROUGH
DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE WEST CENTRAL CONUS ENTERING WEEK-2. THE GREATEST
PROBABILITIES ARE LOCATED ACROSS THE NORTHERN PLAINS AND NORTHERN ROCKIES AS
THESE AREAS ARE MOST LIKELY TO BE IN FAVORED AREAS OF BELOW-NORMAL TEMPERATURES
FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE MONTH. ALTHOUGH CONSIDERABLY ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES
ARE FAVORED FOR THE SOUTHEAST AND EASTERN SEABOARD DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF
FEBRUARY, THE UNCERTAINTY AND VARIABILITY IN TROUGHING AND THE PHASE OF THE AO
INDEX (CONTINUED IMPACT FROM THE SSW EVENT AT THE TURN OF THE YEAR) ACROSS THE
EASTERN CONUS, RESULTS IN A DEPICTION OF "EC" FOR THE NORTHEAST AND NEARBY
AREAS AND ONLY MODEST PROBABILITIES FOR ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR THE
SOUTHEAST AND LOWER MID-ATLANTIC - WHERE THERE IS A GREATER LIKELIHOOD THAT
EARLY MONTH WARMTH MAY HANG ON FOR THE EVENTUAL OBSERVED MONTHLY MEAN
TEMPERATURES. THE FAVORED PATTERN TO AFFECT ALASKA SUPPORTS ANOMALOUS RIDGING
AND ANOMALOUS SOUTHWESTERLY FLOW AND SO ELEVATED ODDS OF ABOVE-NORMAL
TEMPERATURES ARE FORECAST FOR MOST OF THE STATE FOR FEBRUARY.

SIMILAR TO THE TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK, THE PRECIPITATION FORECAST IS SIGNIFICANTLY
CHANGED FROM THE MID MONTH RELEASE. THE ANTICIPATED WEST-CENTRAL MEAN TROUGH
AND INDICATIONS OF A CONTINUED ENERGIZED SOUTHERN STREAM DURING PERIODS OF THE
FIRST HALF OF FEBRUARY, AND EVEN INTO THE WEEK 3-4 PERIOD, FAVORS AN ACTIVE
PATTERN WITH ABOVE-NORMAL MONTHLY TOTAL PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS FOR MUCH OF THE
CONUS. THE ODDS ARE GREATEST FOR CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AND PARTS OF
THE SOUTHWEST WHERE A FEW STRONG STORMS ARE LIKELY TO IMPACT THESE AREAS EARLY
IN THE MONTH AND POTENTIALLY ONCE AGAIN NEAR THE MIDDLE OF THE MONTH. AN ACTIVE
STORM TRACK ASSOCIATED WITH THE WEST-CENTRAL NORTH AMERICA TROUGH AND ITS
VARIABILITY ALSO SUPPORTS HIGHER ODDS FOR ABOVE-NORMAL PRECIPITATION FOR PARTS
OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY, OHIO VALLEY AND GREAT LAKES. AS MENTIONED
EARLIER, THE ANTICIPATED LARGE SCALE PATTERN FOR MUCH OF THE MONTH NEAR ALASKA
ALSO FAVORS HIGHER ODDS OF ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION FOR WESTERN ALASKA AS
WELL.

FOR SOME AREAS IN THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN CONUS PROBABILITIES ARE MORE MODEST
AS THERE IS LIKELY TO BE CONSIDERABLE VARIABILITY IN THE STORM TRACK OVER THE
COURSE OF MUCH OF FEBRUARY. RIDGING NEAR AND TO THE WEST OF WESTERN NORTH
AMERICA FAVORS BELOW-NORMAL PRECIPITATION FOR AN AREA IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
AND ALASKA PANHANDLE FOR FEBRUARY.

*******************************************************************************
************* PREVIOUS MID-MONTH DISCUSSION (ROSENCRANS) **********************
*******************************************************************************

THE TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION OUTLOOKS FOR FEBRUARY 2019 ARE BASED ON THE
BACKGROUND ENSO STATE, POTENTIAL MJO ACTIVITY, AS WELL AS DYNAMICAL MODEL
GUIDANCE.  DYNAMICAL MODEL GUIDANCE AND STATISTICAL TOOLS THAT TYPICALLY
SUPPORT THE WEEK 3-4 PERIOD, WHICH COVERS THE FIRST HALF THE MONTH, WERE ALSO
USED.

THE OBSERVED TEMPERATURE ANOMALY PATTERN DURING EARLY DECEMBER OVER THE CONUS
EXHIBITED A DIPOLE STRUCTURE WITH COLDER THAN NORMAL EAST AND WARMER THAN
NORMAL WEST. THE PATTERN THEN FLIPPED DURING LATER DECEMBER. JANUARY STARTED
WITH A WARM EAST, BUT IS LIKELY TO FINISH WITH A COOLER THAN AVERAGE EAST AND
WARMER THAN AVERAGE WESTERN CONUS.  THE MJO LIKELY PLAYED A ROLE IN THESE NOTED
SWITCHES, AND THE MJO IS PREDICTED TO REMAIN ACTIVE INTO FEBRUARY, THOUGH THE
AMOUNT OF INFLUENCE CAN VARY MONTH TO MONTH DUE TO SEVERAL FACTORS. THE COLDER
EASTERN CONUS ANTICIPATED IN LATER JANUARY IS CONSISTENT WITH A SUDDEN
STRATOSPHERIC WARMING EVENT THAT TOOK PLACE IN EARLY JANUARY.  ATTRIBUTION OF
THE PATTERN IS STILL ONGOING.

THE COLDER THAN NORMAL CONDITIONS ACROSS THE EASTERN CONUS ARE LIKELY TO
CONTINUE FOR THE FIRST HALF OF FEBRUARY, WITH TEMPERATURES DURING THE LATTER
HALF OF THE MONTH BEING LESS CERTAIN. DYNAMICAL MODELS DEPICTING THE FULL MONTH
OUTLOOK INDICATE NEAR TO BELOW NORMAL CONDITIONS FOR MUCH OF THE EASTERN CONUS,
WITH THE STRONGEST SIGNALS FOR COLD FROM THE GREAT LAKES TO TENNESSEE VALLEY
AND TO THE SOUTHEAST. THE MULTIPLE LINEAR REGRESSION (MLR) TOOL THAT EXPLICITLY
ACCOUNTS FOR THE MJO INFLUENCE INDICATES WARMER SIGNALS OVER THE EASTERN CONUS,
SO THE PROBABILITIES IN THE OFFICIAL OUTLOOK ARE TEMPERED FROM THAT IN MANY OF
THE DYNAMICAL MODELS, ESPECIALLY THOSE TOOLS GEARED TOWARD THE FIRST HALF THE
MONTH.  ACROSS THE WESTERN CONUS, A FORECAST FOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES IS
SUPPORTED BY DYNAMICAL MODEL PREDICTIONS AND TRENDS. THE MLR TOOL HAS A MUCH
WEAKER SIGNAL ACROSS THE WESTERN CONUS, SO PLAYS LESS OF A ROLE.  ACROSS
ALASKA, TRENDS AND DYNAMICAL MODEL GUIDANCE FAVOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES,
THOUGH THE EXACT PLACEMENT OF THE AREAS WITH THE HIGHEST ODDS HAVE VARIED WITH
RECENT MODEL RUNS. THE OFFICIAL OUTLOOK PLACES THE HIGHEST ODDS ACROSS SOUTHERN
ALASKA AND THE ALASKA PANHANDLE AS THOSE LOCATIONS ARE LIKELY TO EXPERIENCE
SOUTHERLY MEAN FLOW AT THE SURFACE. THERE IS SOME POTENTIAL FOR PERIODS OF COLD
AIR TO SPILL INTO THE ALASKA PANHANDLE IF RIDGING OVER WESTERN CANADA SLIPS
WESTWARD.

THE PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK LARGELY REFLECTS DYNAMICAL MODEL GUIDANCE AND TRENDS,
AS EXPRESSED IN BOTH THE SEASONAL OCN AND THE MLR TOOL.  A MEAN STORM TRACK
INTO SOUTHERN ALASKA FAVORS ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION FOR SOUTHERN ALASKA AND
THE ALASKA PANHANDLE, WITH THE MEAN STORM TRACK THEN DIPPING DOWN OVER THE
NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS. ANOMALOUS RIDGING IS LIKELY TO PREVAIL ALONG THE WEST
COAST DURING THE EARLY PORTIONS OF FEBRUARY, LIMITING THE POTENTIAL FOR LONG
PERIODS OF WET WEATHER DURING A CLIMATOLOGICALLY WET PERIOD, SO BELOW NORMAL
PRECIPITATION IS FAVORED FOR MUCH OF OREGON, CALIFORNIA, PORTIONS OF THE GREAT
BASIN, AND PARTS OF THE SOUTHWEST. MEAN NORTHERLY FLOW, SUPPORTING THE COLDER
THAN NORMAL TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK, ALSO FAVORS BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION FROM
THE GREAT LAKES TO THE TENNESSEE VALLEY. ALONG THE GULF COAST AND EAST COAST,
THE PLACEMENT OF THE MEAN FRONTAL ZONE COULD RESULT IN ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION, BUT UNCERTAINTY IS TOO HIGH TO DEPICT A SIGNAL.

FORECASTER: JON GOTTSCHALCK

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.

THE NEXT MONTHLY OUTLOOK...FOR MAR ... WILL BE ISSUED ON THU FEB 21 2019

THESE OUTLOOKS ARE BASED ON DEPARTURES FROM THE 1981-2010 BASE PERIOD.
$$

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