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HOME> Expert Assessments>Hazards Outlook

U.S. Hazards Outlook - Made September 12, 2014

 Days 3-7Days 8-14Prob. Days 8-14
Precipitation No HazardsNot Available
TemperatureNo HazardsNo Hazards
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Categorical OutlooksDay 3-7Day 8-14
8-14 Day Probabilistic OutlooksTemperature HazardsPrecipitation Hazards

Valid Monday September 15, 2014 to Friday September 26, 2014

US Hazards Outlook
NWS Climate Prediction Center College Park MD
300 PM EDT September 12 2014

Synopsis: Upper-level high pressure is forecast to dominate the western U.S. for much of the period, while surface high pressure brings relatively tranquil weather to most of the U.S. A stationary front is expected to focus precipitation across the Southeast and Gulf Coasts, while surface low pressure brings active weather to parts of southeastern Alaska throughout the period. The Pacific Northwest is expected to see more active weather later in the period.

Hazards Detailed Summary

For Monday September 15 - Friday September 19: Below-normal temperatures are expected across most of the eastern part of the CONUS for this period, due to persistent Canadian high pressure. However, forecast temperatures are not hazardously low at this time.

By this weekend, the cold front that ushered in the below-normal temperatures across much of the CONUS before the start of the period is expected to stall across the far southeastern CONUS, increasing chances for heavy rain over the Southeast and Gulf Coasts. Rainfall totals exceeding 3-5 inches of rain are possible over a three day period, especially along the immediate coast. Locally heavy precipitation is also possible across other parts of the Gulf Coast, especially due to uncertainty with respect to a tropical system that could develop early next week in the Gulf of Mexico. While a strong tropical storm is unlikely, locally heavy rainfall is likely in some areas. This tropical feature will serve to enhance rainfall along the stationary front, in any case.

Upper-level ridging is forecast to build rapidly across western North America, downstream of a strong trough over Alaska. This will likely lead to much above-normal temperatures for parts of the interior Pacific Northwest early next week, where temperatures could exceed 90 degrees in some locations. After that, some shortwave energy is likely going to attempt to break down the ridge, leading to moderating temperatures over the Pacific Northwest, while 500-hPa heights rise farther east. Wetter conditions are likely for the Pacific Northwest late next week, though nothing hazardous is expected at this time.

Tropical Storm Odile is forecast to strengthen to hurricane status while moving northwestward off the coast of Baja. There is still some chance that deep tropical moisture from this system could impact parts of the Southwest. While a repeat of the event observed in that region earlier in the week is unlikely based on the forecast midlatitude circulation, an abundance of caution leads to the depiction of a flooding shape on today's map, due to the increased risk of flash flooding in that area late next week.

Active weather is expected for Southeast Alaska, with large negative height anomalies forecast over the Northeast Pacific/Gulf of Alaska. Given the increasingly stormy climatology for that region, especially hazardous conditions are not currently favored.

For Saturday September 20 - Friday September 26: The latest model guidance for Week-2 is in good agreement, forecasting a deep trough continuing over Alaska and extending southeastward into the Gulf of Alaska. Above-average 500-hPa heights are forecast for much of central North America, with below-average heights forecast over the immediate East Coast and Southeast. Such a pattern favors above-normal temperatures over much of the CONUS, though there is little confidence in hazardously high temperatures, especially given the rapidly falling climatology this time of year.

Active weather is forecast to continue for southeastern Alaska, though there is not enough confidence pertaining to an individual event to warrant a hazard depiction at this time. Heavy rainfall could also impact parts of the far northwestern CONUS, though model uncertainty precludes a hazard depiction at this time. Likewise, the mean frontal position through the Gulf of Mexico is expected to continue into Week-2, and could serve to focus locally heavy precipitation.

The most recent U.S. Drought Monitor, released today, indicates the percentage of the CONUS in severe to exceptional drought decreasing from the previous week's (September 4) 20.93 percent to 20.31 percent. This is also down substantially from both 2013 and 2012 at this time of year (32.40 and 42.48 percent, respectively).

Forecaster: Stephen Baxter


Click here to see a display of the GFS Ensemble Forecasts

Please consult local NWS Forecast Offices for short range forecasts and region-specific information.