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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 LONG-LEAD SEASONAL OUTLOOKS 
NWS CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER COLLEGE PARK MD
830 AM EDT THU SEP 15 2016

SUMMARY OF THE OUTLOOK FOR NON-TECHNICAL USERS

THE CURRENT OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC STATE REFLECT ENSO-NEUTRAL CONDITIONS. THE
LATEST CPC/IRI CONSENSUS ENSO FORECAST DEPICTS A PROBABILITY OF 55-60 PERCENT
FOR ENSO NEUTRAL CONDITIONS THROUGH THE UPCOMING NORTHERN HEMISPHERE FALL AND
WINTER. THE CHANGE TO FAVORING ENSO-NEUTRAL CONDITIONS RESULTS IN SOME
ADJUSTMENTS TO THE OUTLOOKS.

THE OND 2016 TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK INDICATES INCREASED PROBABILITIES OF
ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS MOST OF THE CONTIGUOUS U.S. AND ALASKA, WITH
THE EXCEPTION OF THE SOUTHEAST, WHERE THERE IS MORE UNCERTAINTY IN THE OUTLOOK
RELATIVE TO THE REST OF THE CONTIGUOUS 48 STATES. DYNAMICAL MODEL SUPPORT
AND/OR HISTORICAL TRENDS FAVOR PROBABILITIES IN EXCESS OF 50 PERCENT ACROSS THE
SOUTHWESTERN STATES AND THE NORTHERN AND WESTERN PORTIONS OF ALASKA. THE
GREATEST PROBABILITIES OF ABOVE-NORMAL MEAN TEMPERATURES ARE IN EXCESS OF 60
PERCENT ACROSS THE NORTH SLOPE OF ALASKA. THIS IS LARGELY DUE TO WARMING TRENDS
OVER THE PAST FEW DECADES AND THE ASSOCIATED DELAYED ONSET OF SEA ICE FORMATION
(AND REDUCED COVERAGE OF MULTI-YEAR ICE) ACROSS THE NEARBY ARCTIC OCEAN.

THE OND 2016 PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK INDICATES INCREASED PROBABILITIES OF
ABOVE-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION FOR THE NORTHERN ROCKIES AND NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS,
AS WELL AS MUCH OF ALASKA. THE OND 2016 PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK IS BASED ON
AVAILABLE CLIMATE MODEL GUIDANCE AND THE CPC CONSOLIDATION. BELOW-MEDIAN
PRECIPITATION IS FAVORED FOR THE SOUTHEAST QUADRANT OF THE COUNTRY, WHERE
SIGNALS IN THE DYNAMICAL MODELS WERE STRONGEST, AND WHERE THOSE SIGNALS ALIGNED
WITH TRENDS AND ANY POTENTIAL IMPACTS DUE TO TELECONNECTIONS FROM THE TROPICAL
PACIFIC OCEAN.

EQUAL CHANCES (EC) ARE FORECAST IN AREAS WHERE THE LIKELIHOOD OF SEASONAL MEAN
TEMPERATURES OR SEASONAL ACCUMULATED PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS ARE EXPECTED TO BE
SIMILAR TO CLIMATOLOGICAL PROBABILITIES.

BASIS AND SUMMARY OF THE CURRENT LONG-LEAD OUTLOOKS
NOTE: FOR GRAPHICAL DISPLAYS OF THE FORECAST TOOLS DISCUSSED BELOW SEE:
HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV/PRODUCTS/PREDICTIONS/90DAY/TOOLS/BRIEFING

CURRENT ATMOSPHERIC AND OCEANIC CONDITIONS

SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES (SSTS) ALONG THE EQUATOR WERE GENERALLY BELOW AVERAGE
FROM 170W TO 110W, WHILE SSTS WERE ABOVE AVERAGE TO THE WEST OF THE DATE LINE.
CORRESPONDINGLY, THE MOST RECENT THREE-MONTH AVERAGE NINO3.4 SST ANOMALY IS
-0.29 DEGREES C FOR JJA. A RESERVOIR OF ANOMALOUSLY COOL SUBSURFACE WATERS
EXTENDS TO MORE THAN 150 METERS BELOW THE SURFACE, WITH THE LARGEST NEGATIVE
ANOMALIES 2-4 DEGREES C BELOW AVERAGE AT A DEPTH OF ABOUT 125 METERS, BETWEEN
140W-170W. POSITIVE OLR ANOMALIES (SUPPRESSED CONVECTION) WERE PRESENT OVER THE
EQUATORIAL PACIFIC, WHILE NEGATIVE OLR ANOMALIES (ENHANCED CONVECTION) WERE
PRESENT OVER INDONESIA AND OVER THE WESTERN NORTH PACIFIC, WELL OFF THE
EQUATOR. LOW-LEVEL, EASTERLY TRADE WINDS AT THE 850-HPA LEVEL HAVE BEEN NEAR
AVERAGE DURING THE PAST MONTH, WHILE THE UPPER-LEVEL, 200-HPA WINDS ARE
ANOMALOUSLY WESTERLY OVER THE EQUATORIAL PACIFIC FROM THE DATE LINE EASTWARD TO
150W. THE EXTRATROPICAL PACIFIC OCEAN REMAINS CONSISTENT WITH THE POSITIVE
PHASE OF THE PACIFIC DECADAL OSCILLATION (PDO) WITH ABOVE AVERAGE SSTS IN THE
NORTH PACIFIC AND ALONG THE COAST OF ALASKA. POSITIVE SST ANOMALIES PERSIST IN
THE WESTERN ATLANTIC NEAR THE U.S. EAST COAST, AND THE GULF OF MEXICO.

PROGNOSTIC DISCUSSION OF SST FORECASTS

THE CPC SST CONSOLIDATION PREDICTS A WEAK LA NINA DURING OND 2016 AND
CONTINUING THROUGH FEBRUARY OF 2017. THE MAGNITUDE OF THE ANOMALIES ARE SMALLER
THAN LAST MONTH, PEAKING AT -0.6 C DURING DJF 2016-17. THE PROBABILITIES OF
NINO3.4 BEING -0.5 C OR GREATER BELOW AVERAGE ARE ALSO LESS THAN LAST MONTH.
MOREOVER, MOST DYNAMICAL MODELS HAVE SLIGHTLY WARMER SOLUTIONS FOR THE NINO3.4
REGION, AND THE OFFICIAL CPC/IRI OUTLOOK REFLECTS THE WARMER SOLUTIONS BY
INDICATING AN PREFERENCE (55-60 PERCENT CHANCES) FOR ENSO-NEUTRAL CONDITIONS
THROUGH THE WINTER MONTHS.

PROGNOSTIC TOOLS USED FOR U.S. TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION OUTLOOKS

CALIBRATED PROBABILISTIC FORECASTS FROM THE NMME (MEAN AND INDIVIDUAL MODELS)
AND THE CPC CONSOLIDATION (CPC CON) PROVIDE THE PRIMARY GUIDANCE FOR THE
SEASONAL OUTLOOK FOR OND 2016. STATISTICAL TOOLS, SUCH AS REGRESSIONS BASED ON
THE CPC CONSOLIDATED SST FORECAST AND THE CONSTRUCTED ANALOG BASED ON GLOBAL
SST ANOMALY PATTERNS WERE ALSO CONSIDERED, ESPECIALLY AT LEADS BEYOND THE RANGE
OF THE NMME SUITE OF MODELS. THE FORECAST SST ANOMALY PATTERN OVER THE TROPICAL
PACIFIC ALSO PLAYED A ROLE, THOUGH THE IMPACTS ARE LIKELY TO BE MUTED COMPARED
TO EVENTS WITH LARGER ANOMALIES.

PROGNOSTIC DISCUSSION OF OUTLOOKS - OND 2016 TO OND 2017

TEMPERATURE

THE TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK FOR OND 2016 REFLECTS DYNAMICAL MODEL GUIDANCE FROM THE
NMME SUITE AND STATISTICAL TOOLS SUCH AS SST CA AND REGRESSIONS USING THE SST
CON. MODEL OUTPUT AND REGRESSION BASED TOOLS INDICATE MIXED SIGNALS OR NO
SIGNAL OVER THE SOUTHEAST, SO EC IS INDICATED THERE. ACROSS ALASKA, ABOVE
NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED DUE TO TRENDS IN AIR TEMPERATURE, SSTS, AND ICE
COVERAGE. GOING THROUGH WINTER 2016-17, THE OUTLOOKS REFLECT TREND, THE CPC
CON, NMME MODEL OUTPUTS, AND TO A LESSER DEGREE THAN LAST MONTH, THE IMPACT OF
TELECONNECTIONS IN TROPICAL SST ANOMALIES IN THE EQUATORIAL PACIFIC. THE
OUTLOOKS FAVOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE SOUTHERN TIER OF THE
CONTIGUOUS 48 STATES, WITH BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES FAVORED OVER PORTIONS OF
THE NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS AND GREAT LAKES.  THE OUTLOOKS REFLECT THE LOWERED
PROBABILITIES OF LA NINA IN THAT SIGNALS TRADITIONALLY ASSOCIATED WITH LA NINA
WERE REDUCED IN COVERAGE AND INTENSITY. BY NEXT SPRING, ONLY A SMALL REFLECTION
OF ANY POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF TROPICAL PACIFIC VARIABILITY ARE INCLUDED IN THE
OUTLOOKS.

THE OUTLOOKS FROM AMJ 2017 AND BEYOND REFLECT THE CPC CON AND TREND, WHICH
GENERALLY FAVOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR MUCH OF THE CONUS AND ALASKA.
DURING NEXT SUMMER, THE CPC CON DOES INDICATE LESS CERTAINTY OVER THE NORTHERN
GREAT PLAINS AND GREAT BASIN. BY NEXT AUTUMN, THAT LOWERED CERTAINTY EXTENDS TO
THE MID-ATLANTIC/SOUTHEAST COAST. BY LEAD 13, MUCH THE COUNTRY HAS A WEAK
SIGNAL FOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES.

PRECIPITATION

THE PRECIPITATION OUTLOOKS ARE PRIMARILY BASED ON CLIMATE MODEL GUIDANCE AND
HISTORICAL PRECIPITATION TRENDS, WITH TRENDS BEING ESPECIALLY FAVORED DURING
THE LATTER LEADS. IN OND, ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IS FAVORED OVER THE
NORTHERN ROCKIES AND NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS, WHILE BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IS
FAVORED OVER THE SOUTHEAST, BOTH AREAS CONSISTENT WITH TRENDS AND THE PROJECTED
PATTERNS OF TROPICAL PACIFIC SST ANOMALIES. MODEL GUIDANCE AND ABOVE NORMAL
SSTS FAVOR ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION FOR WESTERN AND NORTHERN ALASKA WITH AN
ENHANCED MEAN STORM TRACK AND THE POTENTIAL FOR MORE MOISTURE LADEN SYSTEMS
OVER OPEN WATERS RATHER THAN SYSTEMS THAT MOVE OVER ICE COVERED OCEAN. THROUGH
WINTER 2016-17, THE FORECAST PATTERN CONTINUES TO FAVOR BELOW MEDIAN
PRECIPITATION FOR THE SOUTHERN TIER, WITH THE MOST CERTAINTY OVER THE SOUTHEAST
WHERE THE MODELS AND TRENDS ALIGN. MODEL GUIDANCE SUGGESTS AN ACTIVE NORTHERN
STREAM, WHICH IS CONSISTENT WITH TELECONNECTIONS FROM THE FORECAST PATTERN IN
TROPICAL PACIFIC SST ANOMALIES.  BY SPRING OF 2017, THE CPC CON IS THE PRIMARY
DRIVER OF THE OUTLOOKS. ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION FROM THE GREAT LAKES TO THE
NORTHEAST AND BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION OVER PORTIONS OF THE NORTHWEST ARE
FAVORED DURING NEXT SUMMER. BY NEXT AUTUMN, THE ONLY REMAINING SIGNAL IS FOR
ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION OVER THE NORTHEAST.

FORECASTER: MATTHEW ROSENCRANS

THE CLIMATIC NORMALS ARE BASED ON CONDITIONS BETWEEN 1981 AND 2010, 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
HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV/PRODUCTS/PREDICTIONS/LONG_RANGE/TOOLS.HTML
(USE LOWER CASE LETTERS)
INFORMATION ON THE FORMATION OF SKILL OF THE CAS FORECASTS MAY BE FOUND AT:
HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV/PRODUCTS/SOILMST_MONITORING/US/OUTLOOK/OUTLOOK.SHTM
L
(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 OCT 20 2016


1981-2010 BASE PERIOD MEANS WERE IMPLEMENTED EFFECTIVE WITH THE MAY 19, 2011
FORECAST RELEASE.
$$

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Page last modified: January 17, 2006
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