November Trending Warmer, Wetter

Based on historical data for Illinois, the weather in November is trending towards warmer and wetter conditions over time. Based on the latest NWS forecasts, this November is likely to continue that pattern.

Historical Trends

Temperature

The statewide average temperature for November shows a wide variation from year to year – typical of all months in Illinois. However, there is an underlying warming trend of about 2 degrees over the last century.

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Temperature

Precipitation

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Latest Seasonal Forecasts for Illinois – A Mild Winter?

The NWS Climate Prediction Center released their latest seasonal forecasts today. Here are the results for Illinois. The biggest news is that Illinois has an increased chance of above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation for the winter months of December, January, and February. This forecast is based largely on the developing El Niño in the Pacific Ocean.

While the forecast of a milder winter may sound appealing, I would not leave the winter coat in the closet and throw away the snow shovel just yet. Two things to consider are: 1) this is not a 100% guarantee, other factors come into play in determining our winter weather, and 2) even a mild winter can contain short periods of intense cold and abundant snowfall.

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More on the seasonal forecast

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El Nino and the Latest NWS Outlook for Summer, Fall, and Winter

Summary: According to the NWS Climate Prediction Center, El Niño has arrived and has a 90% chance of staying this summer and an 80% chance of remaining through the end of 2015. In terms of strength, this El Niño is expected to be weak to moderate. Illinois is expected to have an increased chance of cooler-than-average conditions in the late summer and on into fall.

The El Niño event has finally arrived and heavily influenced the NWS climate outlooks released this morning. For June (first figure, top row), the Southern Plains are expected to have an increased chance of cooler-than-average temperatures. A large part of the US is expected to have an increased chance of wetter-than-average precipitation, including the southern two-thirds of Illinois.

For the period June-August (first figure, second row), the increased chance for cooler-than-average conditions stretches northward and eastward and includes far western Illinois. The  increased chance for wetter-than-average conditions does not cover Illinois. This should not be a concern since no part of Illinois is in drought now.

Later forecasts for July-September, August-October, and September-November show in increased chance of cooler-than-average across Illinois (see second figure for the July-September temperatures). Continue reading “El Nino and the Latest NWS Outlook for Summer, Fall, and Winter”

NWS Outlook for the Growing Season in Illinois

The NOAA Climate Prediction Center has released their monthly and seasonal outlooks for the growing season.

In the near-future, the 6-10 and 8-14 day forecast indicate that colder-than-average conditions will prevail for the next two weeks. For precipitation, there is an increased chance of drier-than-average conditions in parts of northern Illinois for the next two weeks.

There is not a lot to report for Illinois at the medium range. We are in equal chances (EC) for above-, below-, and near-average temperature and precipitation for both May and the 3-month period of May-July.

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New NWS Outlooks for April and Beyond

The NOAA Climate Prediction Center released their latest outlooks for April and beyond today. Areas without shading are labeled EC for equal chances of above, below, and near-average conditions.

April

Here are the outlooks for April for temperature (left) and precipitation (right). Nothing much to report temperatures but the northern third of Illinois has an increased chance of below-average precipitation. This area has been dry all winter. Click to enlarge.

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Outlook for March – Cold in Illinois

The NWS Climate Prediction Center released today their outlook for March and beyond. There is still a 50-60 percent chance of El Niño showing up in the next few months but likely to be both weak and short-lived. I do not think it will be a major player in 2015.

MARCH:

First of all for March, Illinois and the Great Lakes region have an increased chance of below-average temperatures. That is no real surprise given the cold weather of recent weeks and expected below-average temperatures in the 14 day outlooks. We have equal chances (EC) of above, below, and near-average precipitation. Click to enlarge maps.

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After an expected colder than average March, we see a reverse pattern in Illinois and the Great Lakes region with an increased chance of above-average temperatures.

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JULY-AUGUST-SEPTEMBER

There is not much to report for the heart of this summer in Illinois. We have EC for both temperature and precipitation.

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Seasonal Outlooks for Illinois

Last week, the Climate Prediction Center released their outlooks for February and beyond. There is nothing exciting to report for Illinois. Both the outlook for February and the 3-month outlook for February-April have us in “EC” or equal chances of above, below, and near-average temperature and precipitation. See map below (click to enlarge). That’s not bad news – it means there are no increased risks of a colder than average winter.  Continue reading “Seasonal Outlooks for Illinois”

NWS Outlook for November and Winter

Today the NWS Climate Prediction Center has released their latest outlook for November and this winter. Below are the maps for November temperature, November precipitation, December-February temperature, and December-February precipitation.

For Illinois, November temperatures have equal chances (EC) of being above, below, or near-average. November precipitation is rated as EC except for the northeast quarter of the state, which has an increased chance of below-average precipitation. This is part of a larger area with increased chances of below-average precipitation across the Great Lakes region.

The category of EC is a little hard to interpret. Basically, it means that there are no consistent indications that conditions could be too warm/cold/wet/dry. Sometimes I call it a neutral forecast.

For December-February, the traditional winter months, Illinois has equal chances (EC) of above, below, and near-average temperatures. However, Illinois has an increased chance of below-average precipitation.

Continue reading “NWS Outlook for November and Winter”

NWS Outlook – Wet October, Warmer Fall for Illinois

There is an increased chance of above-average precipitation for the northern half of Illinois in October and an increased chance of above-average temperatures in October-November-December for all of Illinois, according to the latest outlooks from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

October Precipitation

The first map shows the precipitation outlook for October. Wetter-than-average conditions are expected in much of the northern Corn Belt as well. The rest of Illinois is in equal chances (EC) of above, below, and near-average precipitation. All of Illinois has equal chances of above, below, and near-average temperatures. Another way to think of “EC” is that the odds are evenly divided among the three categories.

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Click to enlarge.

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Weather Outlook for Fall and Winter in Illinois

The NOAA Climate Prediction Center released their monthly outlook for September and 3-month outlooks for September and beyond. At this time, they are not expecting a repeat of last winter for Illinois.

According to them, the chance of El Niño has decreased to about 65% during the Northern Hemisphere fall and early winter. If it does show up, it is expected to a moderate to weak event. As a result, the impacts on the US and the Midwest will likely be modest at best.

September and FALL

For both September and this fall, there is an equal chance (EC) of above, below, near-average temperature and precipitation (4-panel figure below) for Illinois. The north-central US is not expected to have below-average temperatures, like it has experienced this summer. This may give crops in those areas a better chance of reaching maturity this fall.

It does look like temperatures are expected to stay above-average on the West and East Coast, as well as Alaska. Wetter-than-average conditions are expected to prevail in the southwest US, and expand into the Plains and parts of Iowa and Missouri later in the fall.

 

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WINTER (December-February)

For Illinois, the current forecast is for equal chances of above, below, and near-average temperatures. Or to put it another way, they see no sign of a repeat of last winter. And they are expecting below-average precipitation in Illinois and across the Great Lakes region. It is still early in the year to lock in on this forecast so I would not cancel orders for snow blowers or salt deliveries just yet.

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