The new outlooks for March, Spring, and Summer from the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center are out. You can click on any map to see the larger version.
Overview: The NWS says that La Nina conditions continued through January and into early February across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, as indicated by oceanic and atmospheric observations. The CPC/IRI consensus ENSO forecast indicates that La Nina conditions are expected to decay rapidly and transition to ENSO-neutral conditions during Spring. ENSO-neutral conditions are favored to persist through at least the summer.
Parts of Illinois shaded in blue have an increased chance of colder than normal conditions. This is part of a larger area of expected colder conditions that extend from the Midwest westward and is a classic La Nina signal for this region. Current climate conditions do not favor colder or warmer than normal conditions in the rest of Illinois. Current climate conditions do not favor wetter or drier than normal conditions in Illinois in March.
Nearly all of Illinois has an increased chance of below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation during the spring. This follows the pattern of conditions typically seen during La Nina events in the spring.
All of Illinois and most of the US have an increased chance of above-normal temperatures this summer. If the past is any indication, we will likely see this play out as warmer night-time temperatures rather than hotter daytime temperatures, especially if we come off another wet spring. For precipitation, Illinois has equal chances (EC) of above, below, or near-normal precipitation. Of particular note, is the high likelihood of drought problems in the central and northern Plains this spring and summer that spill over into Missouri and Iowa.