Changes to the February Weather Outlook
The Climate Prediction Center of the National Weather Service has issued its updated 30 day outlook for February. Much of the nation is expected to see warmer than normal weather, especially in the Southwest and South Central U.S., where drier than average conditions are expected as well. Above average precipitation is in the forecast across the Northwest.
— NWSCPC (@NWSCPC) January 31, 2017
The temperature forecast is a significant change from the previous February forecast issued only 2 weeks ago. In that outlook, only the southern tier of the nation was expected to see warmer than normal weather, with colder than average temperatures in the Upper Midwest. The precipitation outlook also has some tweaks, with the removal of below average precipitation and the above mentioned wetter than normal conditions for the Northwest.
— NWSCPC (@NWSCPC) January 19, 2017
The Climate Prediction Center says the updated 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 Northwest with drying in the Southwest.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Mace Michaels