New NWS Outlooks for June and June-August

Today, the NWS Climate Prediction Center released their temperature and precipitation outlooks for June and June-August and beyond. You can see their full suite of outlooks here.

There isn’t much to report for Illinois (below). We are in the EC zone which means we have equal chances of above, below, and near-average temperatures and precipitation for the next three months. The only exception is that far southern Illinois has a slightly higher chance of above-average temperatures for June-August.

NWS Climate Prediction Center outlooks released May 16, 2013.
NWS Climate Prediction Center outlooks released May 16, 2013. Click to enlarge.

New Climate Prediction Center Outlooks

On February 20, the NWS Climate Prediction Center released their new outlooks for March and beyond. Below are the maps for March, spring (March to May), and summer (June to August).
The overall theme for Illinois is an increased chance of above-average temperatures through August. We have an increased chance of above-average precipitation in the March-May period, followed by equal chances in the June-August period. If it pans out, above-average precipitation for this spring should help with low water levels on both the Great Lakes and Mississippi River as well as alleviate drought concerns in northern Illinois.
If you are wondering when was the last time we had a spring that was both warmer and wetter than average, you do not have to look very far. The springs of 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2011 all qualified as having both above average on precipitation and temperature. In fact, our spring temperatures in Illinois have been at or above average in all but 2 years since 1998 (last figure).

The Climate Prediction Center outlook for March and March-May. NOAA.
The Climate Prediction Center outlook for March and March-May. NOAA.

Climate Prediction Center outlook for summer (June-August).
Climate Prediction Center temperature outlook for summer (June-August).

Climate Prediction Center precipitation outlook for summer (June-August).
Climate Prediction Center precipitation outlook for summer (June-August).

Spring Temperatures in Illinois since 1895. Source: http://www.southernclimate.org/products/trends.php
Spring Temperatures in Illinois since 1895. The green dots are the spring temperatures each year. The shaded curve represents a 5-year running average with extended periods of cool temperatures shaded in blue and extended periods of warm temperatures shaded in red. Source: http://www.southernclimate.org/products/trends.php

Latest Monthly and Seasonal Outlook Released

Yesterday NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released their outlooks for February and beyond (see maps below). For February they call for an increased chance of below-average temperatures for the upper Midwest, including the northern two-thirds of Illinois. Precipitation in Illinois is expected to have equal chances (E.C.) of being above, below, or near average.
For February through April, temperatures have an equal chance of being above, below, or near average. It’s what I call a neutral forecast. On the other hand, there is an increased chance of above-average precipitation across the Great Lakes region, including the northern three-fourths of Illinois. That would be great news for the further recovery of drought conditions in Illinois, if it pans out.
The outlook for May through July indicates that a large part of the US is expected to have an increased chance of above-average temperatures (last map). The precipitation outlook for this period is neutral.
The outlook for August through October (not shown) is not very interesting for Illinois with equal chances of above, below, and near average temperature and precipitation. In other words, it is a very neutral outlook.
As of January 18, this month has been warm and wet. Temperatures have been almost 5 degrees above the long-term average. Precipitation, mostly in the form of rain, has ranged from less than an inch in northwest Illinois to over 5 inches in far southern Illinois. Current measurements of soil temperatures in Illinois show that the soils under grass at 4 inches remain unfrozen. So much of that rain and melted snow should have soaked in.

page2
One and three month outlooks from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

off04_temp
Temperature outlook for May – July from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

New January and Winter Forecast for Illinois

The Climate Prediction Center of the NWS has released their latest forecast for January and for the series of 3-month periods starting with January-March. The forecast for January (first map, top panels) in Illinois is non-committal with “equal chances” of above, below, and near-normal temperature and precipitation across the state. We are sandwiched between wetter than normal areas to the north and south of us.
The forecast is a little more interesting for the 3-month period starting in January (first map, bottom panels) with much of the southern two-thirds of Illinois in an increased chance of above normal precipitation. Far southern Illinois has an increased chance of above normal temperatures.
The seasonal temperature forecast for April-June (second map) shows an increased chance of above-normal temperatures across Illinois and much of the US. Their seasonal precipitation forecast for April-June (not shown) calls for equal chances of above, below, and near-normal precipitation. The seasonal temperature and precipitation forecast for July-September are non-committal with equal chances of above, below, and near-normal conditions during that period.
The seasonal forecast for drought shows expected improvement in drought in northern Illinois (third map). They expect drought to continue in western Illinois with only limited improvement in the next three months. They expect drought to continue to the west of Illinois with limited improvements in parts of Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota.
You can see all the Climate Prediction Center forecasts on their website: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/

Climate Prediction Center forecast for January and January-March. Click to enlarge.
Climate Prediction Center forecast for January and January-March. Click to enlarge.

Temperature forecast for April-May from the Climate Prediction Center. Click to enlarge.
Temperature forecast for April-May from the Climate Prediction Center. Click to enlarge.

U.S. seasonal drought outlook from the Climate Prediction Center. Click to enlarge.
U.S. seasonal drought outlook from the Climate Prediction Center. Click to enlarge.