March Outlook Issued from the Climate Prediction Center Feb 17, 2017

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) at the National Weather Service issued its 30 day outlook for March yesterday. It calls for above average temperatures in most of the southern part of the country, with cooler than normal conditions in the High Plains.

The precipitation forecast calls for wetter than average conditions in the Southeast and High Plains. Areas near the Four Corners are expected to see drier than normal weather for March.

The CPC says that “Oceanic and most atmospheric indicators associated with La Nina conditions have faded and CPC issued its final La Nina Advisory earlier this month. La Nina was not considered in the March 2017 temperatures and precipitation outlook.”

The CPC noted that the forecast is being largely based on trends from several of the model forecasts. The influence and location of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) was also taken into consideration. The MJO is a large area of tropical thunderstorms that commonly occurs where sea surface temperatures are above average. The MJO area tends to move around the Earth near the equator from west to east every 1 to 2 months. With the MJO currently located in the region between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, this would favor an increase in moisture for the High Plains with drying in the Four Corners region.

The lack of snow cover in many areas of the nation, coupled with warmer than average coastal water temperatures were also factored into the March outlook.

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Mace Michaels

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