Thursday, June 21, 2012

Long-lead temperature forecasts indicate a hot Mid-South summer is likely

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center released their updated temperature probability outlooks today.  Below are the outlooks for July 2012 and the July-August-September period.  The tan colors indicate temperatures above normal are more likely than temperatures below normal. Light blue colors indicate temperatures below normal are more likely than temperatures above normal.

To decipher, consider first that in a "normal" regime, there is a 33% chance of above, near, or below normal temperatures. Inside the 33% outlook area (light tan) there is a better than 33% chance of above normal temperatures and a subsequent reduction in the chance that temperatures will be below normal (the chance of "normal" temps remains fixed at 33%). In the case of a 50% above normal area (dark orange), there is a 50% chance of above normal temps, a 33% chance of normal temps, and a 17% chance of below normal temps.

The primary drivers of these forecasts for above normal conditions are the return of ENSO neutral conditions (neither El Nino or La Nina) this summer, dry soil moisture conditions (which promotes heating), recent trends, and long-range climate models favoring above normal conditions. 

The Memphis metro is in the 33% area for July and 50% area for the July-September average.  In other words, if this long-range forecast verifies, we can expect a long hot summer!  

For more information and the remainder of the outlook maps, including precipitation outlooks and outlooks for further into the future, visit the CPC website.

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Beau Dodson said...

Hey guys check out the situation a bit to your north - here in southern IL and western KY. Very bad deal. This is worse than 1988 here.

Meteorologist Erik Proseus said...

Great graphics used to explain your situation. Might have to "borrow" a few of those since they cover our area well too. Thanks for sharing!


Beau Dodson said...

Yes - absolutely