The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) remained active, but nearly stalled in Phase 7, over the past week. The suppressed phase of the MJO is over the Indian Ocean, coinciding with associated large scale subsidence. The enhanced phase of the MJO is over the central Pacific and its associated region of active convection is destructively interfering with the background state of low-frequency suppressed convection centered just north of the equator. Dynamical model guidance is in good agreement that the MJO amplitude will weaken over the next week as it moves slowly into Phase 8.
Tropical Depression Sanba formed just east of the Philippines last week and is forecast to move west during Week-1, leading to high confidence of anomalously high rainfall over that region. Further south, model guidance from the GEFS and ECMWF suggest that an area of low pressure just off the Kimberley Coast will develop into a tropical cyclone during the middle to end of the Week-1 period. This area of low pressure is also forecast to bring anomalous rainfall to the region. Meanwhile, Tropical Cyclone Gita, currently located just west of Tonga, is forecast to follow an arc southwest during Week-1. Dynamical guidance does not suggest any regions of tropical cyclone development during Week-2, which is in-line with historical precedent during February.
The precipitation outlook favors dynamical guidance over historical MJO patterns for both Week-1 and Week-2 given the MJO's expected weakening. Anomalous subsidence over the southern Indian Ocean during both forecast periods, associated with the inactive phase of the MJO envelope, is further enhanced by the phasing of an upper-level high that is part of an extratropical wavetrain that spans more than half the globe. High pressure over eastern Australia should lead to anomalous dryness during the Week-1 period and very warm temperatures over much of Queensland. A cut-off low centered northwest of Hawaii is expected to bring excess rainfall to that region during Week-1.
Dynamical guidance is in good agreement for anomalous dryness over central and eastern Brazil during Week-1, and anomalous wetness over the same area during Week-2. There is also moderate confidence that temperatures greater than 95 degrees F will linger across parts of northern Africa during Week-1 and that western central Africa will be anomalously wet and eastern central Africa will be anomalously dry. During Week-2, there is moderate confidence of anomalous wetness in parts of southern Africa and Madagascar.
Forecasts over Africa are made in consultation with the CPC international desk, and can represent local-scale conditions in addition to global-scale variability.
Product Release Information
The full Global Tropics Hazards and Benefits Outlook (GTH) is released once per week every Tuesday at 1730 UTC (1830 UTC when on standard time) including U.S. federal holidays. At the time of product release, there is a live briefing (available via webinar) open to all interested parties in which the latest conditions in the Tropics and the just released outlook and associated impacts are discussed. There is an opportunity to ask questions after the briefing and the briefings are available at the Live Briefing Archive and soon will be recorded.
CPC also issues an operational update of this product every Friday by 1730 UTC to further support the NWS regions. The update only spans the release period from June 1 through November 30 and a region from 120E to the Prime Meridian in longitude and from the equator to 40N in latitude. The update does not extend the time horizon of the product, but rather applies for the remaining 4 days of the previous Week-1 time period and Days 5-11 from the previous Week-2 period. This page will depict both the original and updated outlook maps as well short text outlining the forecast rationale for any changes.
The Global Tropics Hazards and Benefits Outlook is a forecast for areas with elevated odds for above- or below-median rainfall, above- or below-normal temperatures and regions where tropical cyclogenesis is favored for the upcoming Week-1 and Week-2 time periods. The rainfall outlook is for precipitation integrated over a week and targets broad-scale patterns, not local conditions as they will be highly variable. Above(below) median rainfall forecast areas are depicted in green and yellow respectively. Above(below) normal temperature forecast areas are depicted in orange and below respectively. Favored areas for tropical development are shown in red. Two measures of confidence are indicated, high (solid) and moderate (hatched) and are currently subjective in nature and not based on an objective system. Work towards a probabilistic format of the product and so an objective measure of confidence is ongoing. The weekly verification period ranges from 00 UTC Wednesday to 00 UTC the following Wednesday.
Along with the product graphic, a written text outlook discussion is also included at release time. The narrative provides a review of the past week across the global Tropics, a description of the current climate-weather situation, the factors and reasoning behind the depicted outlook and notes on any other issues the user should be aware of. The discussion discusses the impacts in the Tropics as well as potential impacts in the Extratropics when relevant.
Product Physical Basis
The product synthesizes information and expert analysis related to climate variability across multiple time scales and from various sources, including operational climate monitoring products. The physical basis for the outlooks include
El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) , the
Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), strength and variations of the monsoon systems, other coherent subseasonal tropical variability such as atmospheric Kelvin waves (KW), Equatorial Rossby waves (ERW), African easterly waves, as well as interactions with the extratropical circulation (i.e. high latitude blocking, low-latitude frontal activity, etc.).
Product Forecast Tools
The outlook maps are currently created subjectively based on a number of forecast tools, many of which are objective. The final depiction is an assessment of these forecast tools based on a number of factors to create the final product. Work is ongoing to create an objective consolidation of some of the available forecast tools to serve as a first guess for the forecaster. Forecast tools include MJO composites, empirical and dynamical based MJO, ERW and KW forecasts, and raw dynamical model guidance from a number of modeling systems. Tropical cyclone areas are based on MJO composites and statistical and dynamical tropical cyclone forecasts as well as raw model forecast guidance.
The product supports the NOAA mission in three primary ways:
- Assess and forecast important changes in the distribution of tropical convection (i.e., potential circulation changes across the Pacific and North America sectors) and communicate this information to NWS forecasters
- Provide advance notice of potential hazards related to climate, weather and hydrological events across the global tropics (including tropical cyclone risks for several NWS regions)
- Support various sectors of the U.S. economy (finance, energy, agriculture, water resource management) that have foreign interests.
The product is created through collaboration with other NOAA centers, [the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC)], the Department of Defense [The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) and the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS)], the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Taiwan Central Weather Bureau, the State University of New York at Albany (SUNY) and the Center for Climate and Satellites (CICS), among other collaborators.
Product Users and Applications
Known users include U.S. government agencies such as NOAA [National Weather Service (NWS), River Forecast Centers (RFCs), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the Department of the Interior (U.S. Forest Service), aid organizations (U.S. and international Red Cross, USAID), domestic and global private sector interests (financial, energy, water resource management and agricultural sectors), international weather services and various media meteorologists.
Some special applications of the product in the past include extended range predictions to support Haiti earthquake and Deepwater Horizon oil spill relief efforts as well as support for the Dynamics of the MJO (DYNAMO) scientific field campaign held from October 2011 through March 2012.