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posted on 24 December 2017

NOAA Seasonal Outlook Update December 2017 and Comparison with JAMSTEC

Written by Sig Silber

The main focus of this report is the NOAA January, Three-Month and 15 Month Forecasts, the JAMSTEC Three-Season Forecast, and a comparison of JAMSTEC with the NOAA forecast. There is agreement for the first two seasons and then divergence for summer - especially in regards to precipitation. Because it is close to Christmas and many are traveling, for the next few days we show and update the six-hour snow forecast.

La Nina Winter then what?

This map shows the snow forecast for the next six hours.

6hr Snow forecast.


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Special Note: As discussed in the NOAA discussion there are uncertainties about the January forecast due to changes in the Pacific and the forecast for the MJO. We may provide a slight update to this report mid-week with hints of that in our Monday Report which covers basically the following twenty-five days.


This report is organized into a summary that has two graphics that show the temperature and precipitation forecasts and then a lengthy discussion which is organized into three parts:

A. A full discussion of the recent NOAA Seasonal Outlook

B. An analysis of the forecasts for ENSO by NOAA and JAMSTEC and others including the Australian Bureau of Meteorology

C. A comparison between the NOAA and JAMSTEC Forecasts.

But for those who want a quick synopsis of the two forecasts, below is a summary of the temperature and precipitation forecasts for three time-periods and from left to right the NOAA forecast for Alaska and CONUS (the contiguous mid-latitude U.S), then JAMSTEC for North America (which includes Canada and Northern Mexico), and then JAMSTEC for Europe and surrounding areas. Larger graphics are provided later in the report. It is kind of a tease to keep you reading but you can see the evolution of the weather pattern through Winter, Spring and into Summer. For some readers, these two sets of summary graphics may be all the information they wish to look at and that is fine.

Temperature

  NOAA Alaska Plus CONUS JAMSTEC North America JAMSTEC Europe

DJF

Winter

2017-2018

Temp

JFM 2018 US Temperature Issued on December 21, 2017, NOAA Forecast DJF 2017 -2018 NA Temperature Based on Dec 1, 2017 JAMSTEC Forecast DJF 2017 - 2018 Europe Temperature JAMSTEC Dec 1, 2017 Forecast

MAM

Spring

2018

Temp

MAM 2018 US Temperature Issued by NOAA on December 21, 2017 MAM 2018 NA Temperature based on JAMSTEC Dec 1, 2017 Forecast MAM - 2018 Europe Temperature based on JAMSTEC Dec 1 2017 Forecast

JJA 2018

Summer

Temp

JJA 2018 Temperature Issued by NOAA on December 21, 2017 JJA 2018 NA Temperature based on Dec 1 JAMSTEC Forecast JJA 2018 Europe Temperature Based on Dec 1, 2017 Jamstec Forecast

 

There are not a lot of changes by season in the NOAA or JAMSTEC forecasts for CONUS and Alaska but there is quite a bit by JAMSTEC for Europe with respect to Scandinavia and the British Isles with Spring being different from Winter and Summer.

Precipitation

  NOAA Alaska Plus CONUS JAMSTEC North America JAMSTEC Europe

DJF

Winter

2017/2018

Precip

JFM 2018 US Precipitation Issued by NOAA on december 21, 2017 DJF 2017-2018 NA Precipitation Based on Dec 1, 2017 JAMSTEC Forecast DJF 2017-2018 Europe JAMSTEC Precipitation Dec 1, 2017 Forecast

MAM

Spring

2018

Precip

NOAA MAM Precipitation Issued on December 21, 2017 MAM 2018 NA Precipitation based on JAMSTEC Dec 1, 2017 Forecast MAM- 2018 Europe Precipitation based on JAMSTEC Dec 1, 2017 Forecast

JJA

Summer

2018

Precip

JJA 2018 Precipitation issued by NOAA on December 21, 2017 JJA 2018 US Precipitation based on Dec 1, JAMSTEC Forecast JJA 2018 Europe Precipitation Based on Dec 1, 2017 Jamstec Forecast

 

For NOAA, there is a big change from Spring to Summer. JAMSTEC and NOAA  differ quite a bit with respect to next Summer. JAMSTEC tends to keep Southern Europe dry for Winter and Spring.

A. Focus on the NOAA Update

A note about terminology; the deviations from climatology/normal are color coded but also labeled "A" for more than (above) normal and "B" for less than (below) normal. The area designated EC means Equal Chances of being more or less than normal. JAMSTEC relies on their color coding. In my comments I have used EC to cover all the situations where a clear anomaly is not shown. So the words "warm", "cool", "wet", "dry" should be generally interpreted as being relative to climatology/normal for that location and time of year.

First we will take a look at the NOAA Early Outlook for January 2017. It is called the Early Outlook because it will be updated at the end of December. Only the January Outlook will be updated at that time.

Temperature

January 201 Early Temperature Report Issued on December 21, 2017

Precipitation

Jnuary 2018 Early Precipitation Outlook Issued on December 21, 2017

We have nothing to compare these maps with as NOAA does not in their Update provide a forecast for each of the subsequent two months separate from their three-month forecast. Thus I do not have previously forecasted maps for January from the previous NOAA Report to compare against. And the current month is not over so we can not really compare the forecast for next month against the actual for this month. It is probably best to just try to understand what NOAA is trying to convey about January which can be summarized as for temperature we have a typical La Nina pattern with a warm extended Southwest and also the southern tip of Florida and a cool anomaly for Central Northern Tier most intense for the Great Lakes. Re precipitation, Alaska is dry, most of the Southwest is dry and the Ohio River Valley is wet.

Now we consider the three-month Outlook.

Notice that the three-month periods are abbreviated e.g. January/February/February is shown as JFM. You will see such abbreviations often in this report.

Prior Temperature Outlook for JFM 2018

JFM 2018 Temperature Outlook Issued November 16, 2017

New Temperature Outlook for JFM 2018

JFM 2018 Temperature Outlook Issued on December 21, 2017

The date of issue has been changed on the new map but that is pretty much the extent of the change. This is the second month in a row that the forecast for the next three-months has not changed compared to the forecast made the month before.

Prior Precipitation Outlook for DJF 2017 - 2018

JFM 2018 Precipitation Outlook Issued on November 16, 2017

New Precipitation Outlook for DJF 2017 - 2918

JFM 2018 Precipitation Outlook issued December 21, 2017

There is very little change from the forecast made a month ago.  New England is wetter.

Now let us focus on the long-term situation and compare the new set of maps with the maps issued on November 16, 2017.

Prior 14 Month Temperature Outlook: JFM 2018 - DJF 2018/2019

14 Month Temperature Issued on November 16, 2017

New 14 Month Temperature Outlook: FMA 2018 - JFM 2019

14 month Temperature Issued December 21, 2017

To compare maps from one release to another, one needs to remember that the new release drops one three-month period and adds a later one. So to make the comparisons one has to shift the new maps to the right one position and that makes the map on the right drop down to become the left-most map in the next level. I do not have a computer software tool for doing that for you so you have to do it mentally. When I do the comparison, I print the two sets of maps and put them side by side and number the same three-month maps 1, 2, 3,.....,11 in both sets of maps to make it easier for me to easily compare the same three-month period in the new with the previous forecast. One uses the same procedure to compare the precipitation maps. Based on this procedure, I conclude that:

the changes are minimal. The cool anomaly previously shown for MAM 2018 is no longer shown.

Now Precipitation

Prior 14 Month Precipitation Outlook: JFM 2018 - DJF 2018/2019

14 month  precipitation Issued on November 16, 2017

New 14 Month Precipitation Outlook: FMA 2018 - JFM 2019

14 month Precipitation Issued on December 21

The changes are minimal. For MJJ 2018 the small Northwest dry anomaly now extends SSE and with a second center of higher probabilities centered on the Northeast Corner of New Mexico..

If you want larger versions of each map (temperature and precipitation) you can find them here. And then each of those maps can be clicked on to further enlarge them.

Sometimes it is useful to compare the three-month outlook to the forecast for the first of the three months. It shows how much the pattern changes over the three-month period.  

January Plus JFM 2018 Issued on December 21, 2017

One can mentally subtract the First-Month Outlook from the Three-month Outlook and create the Outlook for the last two months in the three-month period.

For both temperature and precipitation if you assume the colors in the maps are assigned correctly, it is a simple algebra equation to solve the month two/three forecast probability for a given location = (3XThree-Month Probability - Month One Probability)/2*. So you can derive the month two/three forecast this way. You can do that calculation easily for where you live or for the entire map.

*The concept is that the probabilities of a deviation from climatology in the First Month and the combined Month Two and Three forecast that one derives must average out to the probabilities shown in the three-month maps.

NOAA Discussion

Below are excerpts (significantly reorganized and with a lot of the redundancy and discussion of methodology removed) from the Discussion released by NOAA on December 21, 2017. Headings that are "Initial Cap" only rather than all caps were added by the Author of this Update Report for clarity. Also we have organized the sequence of the sections of NOAA Discussion to first present the Atmospheric and Oceanic Conditions and then the Initial Month, the Three or Four-month period, and finally the remainder of the 15 Month Forecast. We think that sequence with the three- to four-month period broken out separately, makes the discussion more useful for more readers.

CURRENT ATMOSPHERIC AND OCEANIC CONDITIONS

OCEANIC OBSERVATIONS INDICATE THAT LA NINA CONDITIONS STRENGTHENED DURING THE PAST TWO MONTHS AS EQUATORIAL SSTS ANOMALIES BECAME INCREASINGLY NEGATIVE FROM THE DATE LINE TO THE SOUTH AMERICAN COAST. ABOVE-NORMAL SSTS ARE CURRENTLY OBSERVED OVER THE WEST PACIFIC. ALTHOUGH SUB-SURFACE TEMPERATURE ANOMALIES WEAKENED SLIGHTLY SINCE OCTOBER, THE EQUATORIAL UPPER-OCEAN ANOMALIES REMAINED LARGELY NEGATIVE FROM 180-100W. THE MOST RECENT ONI VALUE (SEPTEMBER - NOVEMBER  2017), BASED ON SST DEPARTURES FROM AVERAGE IN THE NINO 3.4 REGION, IS -0.7 DEGREES C.

THE RECENT ATMOSPHERIC OBSERVATIONS REMAIN CONSISTENT WITH LA NINA WITH ENHANCED (SUPPRESSED) CONVECTION CENTERED OVER THE MARITIME CONTINENT (DATE LINE). SINCE OCTOBER 2017, THE MADDEN-JULIAN OSCILLATION (MJO) WAS QUITE ACTIVE BUT THE LOW-FREQUENCY STATE REMAINS THE MAJOR INFLUENCE ON ANOMALOUS TROPICAL CONVECTION. ANOMALOUS EASTERLY WINDS AT 850-HPA WERE OBSERVED ACROSS THE CENTRAL EQUATORIAL PACIFIC DURING THE PAST MONTH. THE ENHANCED PHASE OF THE MJO IS FORECAST TO PROPAGATE EAST ACROSS THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE DURING THE NEXT TWO WEEKS AND MAY REEMERGE OVER THE INDIAN OCEAN DURING EARLY JANUARY 2018. THIS EVOLUTION OF THE MJO MAY PLAY A ROLE IN THE CIRCULATION PATTERN AND TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE MID-LATITUDES OF NORTH AMERICA LATER IN JANUARY 2018.

PROGNOSTIC DISCUSSION OF SST FORECASTS

THE CPC SST CONSOLIDATION FORECAST, WHICH INCLUDES THREE STATISTICAL FORECASTS ALONG WITH THE CFS, PREDICTS A TRANSITION FROM LA NINA TO ENSO-NEUTRAL CONDITIONS DURING SPRING 2018 WITH ENSO-NEUTRAL CONDITIONS FAVORED THEREAFTER. THE NORTH AMERICAN MULTI MODEL ENSEMBLE (NMME) ENSEMBLE MEAN FORECAST FOR THE NINO-3.4 SST ANOMALY IS SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS MONTH, WITH A GRADUAL TRANSITION TO ENSO-NEUTRAL CONDITIONS AFTER THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE WINTER. BASED ON THE LATEST OBSERVATIONS AND MODEL FORECASTS, THE OFFICIAL CPC/IRI ENSO OUTLOOK FAVORS ENSO-NEUTRAL CONDITIONS BY AMJ 2018. ENSO-NEUTRAL CONDITIONS ARE FAVORED TO PERSIST THROUGH AT LEAST THE BOREAL SUMMER.

PROGNOSTIC TOOLS USED FOR U.S. TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION OUTLOOKS

THE TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION OUTLOOKS FOR JFM 2018 WERE BASED ON DYNAMICAL MODEL GUIDANCE AND STATISTICAL TOOLS THAT INCLUDE A CONSTRUCTED ANALOG BASED ON GLOBAL SST ANOMALY PATTERNS AND CANONICAL CORRELATION ANALYSIS THAT USES THE EVOLUTION OF SST AND SEA-LEVEL PRESSURE AS PREDICTORS. CLIMATE EFFECTS TYPICALLY ASSOCIATED WITH LA NINA DURING THE WINTER WERE ALSO USED IN CREATING THE OUTLOOKS FOR JFM 2018. DURING THE NEXT FOUR LEADS (FMA THROUGH MJJ 2018), THE PRIMARY FACTORS IN CREATING THE SUBSEQUENT OUTLOOKS WERE THE CALIBRATED PROBABILISTIC FORECASTS FROM THE NMME. THE LATER OUTLOOKS THROUGH NEXT WINTER 2018-19 WERE BASED ON TRENDS AND THE CPC CONSOLIDATION FORECAST.  

30-DAY OUTLOOK DISCUSSION FOR JANUARY 2018  

THE JANUARY 2018 TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION OUTLOOKS ARE BASED ON MODEL GUIDANCE, TYPICAL INFLUENCES OF LA NINA, LONG-TERM TRENDS, MID-LATITUDE VARIABILITY, AND THE POTENTIAL FOR SHORTER-TERM TROPICAL VARIABILITY (MJO), TO INFLUENCE THE PATTERN. LA NINA CONDITIONS CONTINUED DURING NOVEMBER 2017 AND ARE PREDICTED TO CONTINUE THROUGH THE OUTLOOK PERIOD. LONG-TERM TRENDS CENTERED ON JANUARY (DJF) SUPPORT ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR PORTIONS OF THE SOUTHERN PLAINS, SOUTHWEST, CALIFORNIA, AND THE GREAT BASIN. WEAKLY NEGATIVE TRENDS FOR THE LAST 15 YEARS ARE EVIDENT OVER THE NORTHERN PLAINS, GREAT LAKES AND OHIO VALLEY. THE CURRENT STATE OF LA NINA AND SEASONAL TRENDS PROVIDE A BACKDROP FOR THE MONTHLY OUTLOOK.

THE MJO WAS RELATIVELY INACTIVE IN NOVEMBER BEFORE BECOMING MORE ACTIVE DURING DECEMBER OVER THE WESTERN PACIFIC. MJO FORECASTS INDICATE A SIGNAL MOVING ACROSS THE AMERICAS AND EMERGING OVER THE INDIAN OCEAN BY EARLY JANUARY 2018. LAGGED COMPOSITES BASED ON AN MJO OVER THE INDIAN OCEAN WOULD FAVOR RIDGING AND WARMTH OVER THE EASTERN CONUS WITH TROUGHING AND COLDER TEMPERATURES OVER THE WESTERN CONUS, AT ODDS WITH TRENDS AND MOST MODEL OUTLOOKS FOR JANUARY, SO THE MJO IS A POTENTIAL SOURCE OF UNCERTAINTY DURING THE OUTLOOK PERIOD.  

THE ARCTIC OSCILLATION (AO) IS FORECAST TO BE NEGATIVE AT THE BEGINNING OF JANUARY. THAT WOULD IMPLY A COLDER SOLUTION FROM THE NORTHERN PLAINS TO THE GREAT LAKES AND SOUTHEAST. THE STATUS OF THE AO BEYOND 15 DAYS IS UNCERTAIN, SO THE AO WILL LIKELY BE MORE OF A FACTOR IN THE END-OF-MONTH UPDATE TO THIS OUTLOOK.

THE TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK FOR JANUARY REFLECTS TRENDS, MODEL OUTLOOKS, AND LIKELY IMPACTS FROM THE ONGOING LA NINA FROM CALIFORNIA TO THE CENTRAL ROCKIES, SOUTHWEST, AND SOUTHERN PLAINS, WHERE ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED. LA NINA AND A PREDICTED COLD START TO THE MONTH FAVOR BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES FROM THE NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS TO THE GREAT LAKES AND PORTIONS OF THE OHIO VALLEY AND MIDWEST. UNCERTAINTY IS HIGHER OVER THE EASTERN CONUS DUE TO POTENTIAL MJO ACTIVITY BRINGING WARMER CONDITIONS LATER IN THE MONTH. ACROSS EASTERN ALASKA AND THE PANHANDLE, LA NINA, MODEL OUTLOOKS, AND SEASONALLY BASED STATISTICAL TOOLS FAVOR BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES. THE SAME TOOLS FAVOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES OVER WESTERN ALASKA, ALTHOUGH THAT SIGNAL HAS RETREATED WESTWARD THROUGHOUT THE MONTH IN DAILY CFS RUNS.

LA NINA AND TRENDS GENERALLY FAVOR A MORE ACTIVE PATTERN ACROSS THE NORTHERN TIER OF THE CONUS WITH BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE SOUTHERN TIER. MODEL OUTPUTS GENERALLY AGREE WITH THAT PATTERN, AND THEREFORE THE OFFICIAL OUTLOOK REFLECTS THOSE INPUTS. UNCERTAINTY IS INCREASED OVER THE EASTERN CONUS DUE TO POTENTIAL MJO ACTIVITY, SO COVERAGE IN THE OUTLOOK IS REDUCED EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER. ACROSS WESTERN ALASKA, THE PREDICTED RIDGING, WHICH WOULD SUPPORT ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES, IS ALSO LIKELY TO SUPPORT BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION.

Three-Month Jan, Feb, March 2017 Outlook

Temperature

ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE ALSO FAVORED FOR NORTHERN MAINLAND ALASKA AND THE ALEUTIANS.  BELOW-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE  FAVORED FOR SOUTHEAST MAINLAND ALASKA AND THE ALASKA PANHANDLE.

ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES DURING JFM 2018 ARE MOST LIKELY (ABOVE 50 PERCENT) TO BE OBSERVED ACROSS THE SOUTHWESTERN CONUS, WHICH IS CONSISTENT WITH LA NINA TEMPERATURE COMPOSITES, VARIOUS STATISTICAL TOOLS, DYNAMICAL MODEL FORECASTS, AND TRENDS. ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES, ALBEIT WITH LOWER PROBABILITIES, ARE ALSO FAVORED FOR THE GULF COAST STATES AND ALONG THE EAST COAST, BASED ON GOOD AGREEMENT AMONG THE DYNAMICAL MODELS. LA NINA TEMPERATURE COMPOSITES DURING JFM SUPPORT BELOW-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, NORTHERN ROCKIES, NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS, AND UPPER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY. STATISTICAL METHODS CONTINUE TO OFFER A COLDER SOLUTION ACROSS THESE AREAS COMPARED TO THE DYNAMICAL MODELS. BELOW-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE SLIGHTLY FAVORED FROM THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST TO THE GREAT LAKES REGION, GIVEN THE WELL-ESTABLISHED LA NINA CONDITIONS AND ASSOCIATED TELECONNECTIONS.

BELOW-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED ACROSS THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN U.S., NORTH OF THE 40TH PARALLEL, TO BEGIN JANUARY 2018. THE MADDEN-JULIAN OSCILLATION (MJO) MAY PLAY A ROLE IN THE OBSERVED TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE MID-LATITUDES OF THE CONUS LATER IN JANUARY. AS OF DECEMBER 19, DYNAMICAL MODEL FORECASTS INDICATE THAT THE ENHANCED PHASE OF THE MJO IS LIKELY TO PROPAGATE EAST TO THE INDIAN OCEAN AT THE BEGINNING OF JANUARY. IF THE MJO EVOLVES IN THIS MANNER, THEN A PATTERN CHANGE FAVORING ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES MAY OCCUR ACROSS THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN U.S. DURING THE LATTER HALF OF JANUARY. THIS MJO EVOLUTION DURING THE NEXT FEW WEEKS AND THE POTENTIAL FOR CONTINUED SUBSEASONAL VARIABILITY THROUGH THE WINTER ARE A LIMIT FORECAST CONFIDENCE AND PROBABILITIES IN THE TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK FOR JFM 2018.

Precipitation

THE JFM 2018 PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK INDICATES ENHANCED PROBABILITIES OF ABOVE-NORMAL PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS FOR PARTS OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST ALONG WITH NORTHERN AREAS OF THE GREAT BASIN, ROCKIES, AND GREAT PLAINS. INCREASED CHANCES OF ABOVE-NORMAL PRECIPITATION ARE ALSO FAVORED FROM THE GREAT LAKES SOUTH TO THE OHIO AND TENNESSEE VALLEYS ALONG WITH NORTHERN AND WESTERN MAINLAND ALASKA.

THE JFM 2018 PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK IS BASED ON LA NINA COMPOSITES AND INPUT FROM THE VARIOUS DYNAMICAL MODELS. PRECIPITATION TOOLS FAVOR A TIGHT GRADIENT BETWEEN AREAS FAVORED TO RECEIVE BELOW- AND ABOVE-NORMAL PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE SOUTHERN TO NORTHERN TIER OF THE CONUS, RESPECTIVELY. BASED ON GOOD AGREEMENT AMONG MOST OF THE DYNAMICAL MODEL FORECASTS INCLUDING THE NMME AND IMME, A SLIGHT TILT IN THE ODDS FOR BELOW-NORMAL PRECIPITATION WAS EXPANDED TO INCLUDE NEARLY ALL OF CALIFORNIA THROUGH THEIR WET SEASON. THIS FAVORED AREA FOR BELOW-NORMAL PRECIPITATION IS ALSO CONSISTENT WITH PRECIPITATION COMPOSITES FROM BACK-TO-BACK LA NINA WINTERS. THE HIGHEST PROBABILITIES (EXCEEDING 50 PERCENT FOR BELOW) IN THE PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK FOR JFM ARE FORECAST ACROSS SOUTHERN GEORGIA AND FLORIDA. BASED ON THE LATEST NMME CALIBRATED PROBABILITY FORECAST, BELOW-NORMAL PRECIPITATION IS FAVORED ACROSS THE SOUTHERN HIGH PLAINS

DISCUSSION OF OUTLOOKS - JFM 2018 TO JFM 2019 (With a focus on the period after JFM 2018)

TEMPERATURE

THE TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK FOR FMA 2018 IS SIMILAR TO JFM WITH LITTLE CHANGE AMONG THE DYNAMICAL AND STATISTICAL TOOLS. AS A SHIFT TO ENSO-NEUTRAL CONDITIONS IS LIKELY TO OCCUR DURING THE SPRING, THE TEMPERATURE OUTLOOKS FROM MAM THROUGH MJJ 2018 ARE BASED LARGELY ON THE CALIBRATED PROBABILITY FORECASTS FROM THE NMME ALONG WITH TRENDS. PROBABILITIES FOR ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES WERE INCREASED SLIGHTLY ACROSS THE SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS FROM AMJ THROUGH JJA 2018, COMPARED TO THE PREVIOUS OUTLOOK, DUE TO AN INCREASING CHANCE OF DROUGHT AND LOW SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS AT THOSE TIME LEADS. DURING THE FALL AND WINTER 2018-19, THE TEMPERATURE OUTLOOKS WERE BASED PRIMARILY ON TRENDS.

PRECIPITATION

COVERAGE OF FAVORED AREAS FOR ANOMALOUS PRECIPITATION DECREASE DURING THE SUMMER AS FORECAST CONFIDENCE DIMINISHES WITH A WEAKENING SIGNAL AMONG TOOLS AND CONVECTIVE PRECIPITATION BECOME MORE DOMINANT. DURING JJA AND JAS 2017, BELOW (ABOVE)-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION FAVORED FOR THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST (NORTHEAST) IS RELATED TO HISTORICAL TRENDS.

B. An analysis of the forecasts for ENSO by NOAA and JAMSTEC and others including the Australian Bureau of Meteorology

El Nino Probabilities used by NOAA in Their Forecast (The forecast for the value of the Nino 3.4 Index receives the most attention).

Below is the latest NOAA forecast of Nino 3.4 temperature anomalies.  You can see the "blue" newer model runs and the "red" older model runs. The Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) which is the three-month rolling average of the Nino 3.4 values is NOAA's primary indicator for monitoring El Niño and La Niña. The secondary indicator is the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) which is based on the extent that the air pressure anomaly in Tahiti exceeds the air pressure anomaly in Darwin Australia.  It is a complicated formula and is intended to assess the response of the atmosphere to the changes in the pattern of warm and cool sea surface temperatures.

Here is the NOAA forecast for the Nino 3.4 Index.

CFSv2 Forecast as of December 21, 2017

I have added a blue line at -0.5C which is the level that defines La Nina Sea Surface Temperature in the Nino 3.4 Measurement Area. This level needs to be maintained or exceeded on the downside for five consecutive overlapping three-month periods to constitute a La Nina not just a period of La Nina Conditions. In the above graphic, the required duration looks like it will be met for SON 2017 which has already been recorded as a La Nina value through possibly MAM 2018 but very likely through FMA 2108 which would be six which is at least five which is all that is required.

I am using the below NOAA image in addition to the image that updates daily because it also shows the sea surface temperature forecast for the entire Equatorial Pacific. Red is a warm anomaly. For an El Nino forecast the model would be showing red along the Equator in the Eastern Pacific and the model is not projecting that but instead we see what is called a cold tongue in blue extending from Ecuador. Those images are a bit small I agree. But the Equator is marked and so is the Coast of South America. It is a little tricky but you can find larger images here. Track across the top row labeled SST Normalized with Skill Mask and click on the E3 which is the latest forecast. Each of the images can also be clicked on to enlarge.

 CFS.V2 SST Forecast December 21, 2017

It is now showing a La Nina for Winter and probably also Spring. You can see the cold tongue extending from Ecuador in the maps on the right. Summer in this model would appear to be ENSO Neutral with a cool bias.

The CFS.v2 is not the only forecast tool used by NOAA. The CPC/IRI Analysis which is produced out of The International Research Institute (IRI) for Climate and Society at Columbia University is also very important to NOAA.. First we take a look at the November Reports. 

November 20, 2017 CPC/IRI ENSO 3.4 forecast.

And here are the two December Reports with a slightly different format. .

Mid December 2017 ENSO Forecast

Looks like the new December forecasts shows La Nina lasting a month longer than in the November forecasts. MAM seems to be when the probabilities of Neutral and La Nina are close to equal. This agrees with the CFSv2 model and the JAMSTEC model. The center month of that three-month period is April or late March. The peaking of La Nina soon and the declining trend of a declining Nino 3.4 Index may have impacts prior to the Nino 3.4 Index on a three-month average basis having reached 0.5C and continuing to be less negative. Thus our weather may not fully reflect La Nina Conditions once the decline in the Nino 3.4 Index begins. Queensland Australia has noticed this with the SOI Index that the rate of change is as important as the absolute value. I am not sure if anyone has studied this re the Nino 3.4 Index but it is highly correlated with the SOI Index so it could easily be the case that the first derivative of the Nino 3.4 Index is as important as the absolute value of the Index. Not sure that any of this type of thinking enters into the NOAA forecast.

This is the discussion

IRI Technical ENSO Update

Published: December 19, 2017

Note: The SST anomalies cited below refer to the OISSTv2 SST data set, and not ERSSTv4. OISSTv2 is often used for real-time analysis and model initialization, while ERSSTv4 is used for retrospective official ENSO diagnosis because it is more homogeneous over time, allowing for more accurate comparisons among ENSO events that are years apart. During ENSO events, OISSTv2 often shows stronger anomalies than ERSSTv4, and during very strong events the two datasets may differ by as much as 0.5 C. Additionally, the ERSSTv4 may tend to be cooler than OISSTv2, because ERSSTv4 is expressed relative to a base period that is updated every 5 years, while the base period of OISSTv2 is updated every 10 years and so, half of the time, is based on a slightly older period and does not account as much for the slow warming trend in the tropical Pacific SST.

Recent and Current Conditions

In mid-December 2017, the NINO3.4 SST anomaly was in the weak La Niña range. For November the SST anomaly was -0.86 C, indicating weak La Niña, and for September-November it was -0.58 C, also in that range. The IRI’s definition of El Niño, like NOAA/Climate Prediction Center’s, requires that the SST anomaly in the Nino3.4 region (5S-5N; 170W-120W) exceed 0.5 C. Similarly, for La Niña, the anomaly must be -0.5 C or less. The climatological probabilities for La Niña, neutral, and El Niño conditions vary seasonally, and are shown in a table at the bottom of this page for each 3-month season. The most recent weekly anomaly in the Nino3.4 region was -0.8, showing weak La Niña. The pertinent atmospheric variables, including the upper and lower level zonal wind anomalies, the Southern Oscillation Index and the anomalies of outgoing longwave radiation (convection), have been showing patterns suggestive of La Niña, and subsurface temperature anomalies across the eastern equatorial Pacific also clearly suggest La Niña. Given the current and recent SST anomalies, the subsurface profile and the La Niña patterns in most key atmospheric variables, it is fair to say we are in the middle of an ongoing weak La Niña.

Expected Conditions

What is the outlook for the ENSO status going forward? The most recent official diagnosis and outlook was issued approximately one week ago in the NOAA/Climate Prediction Center ENSO Diagnostic Discussion, produced jointly by CPC and IRI; it stated that La Niña is strongly favored for winter and into spring, with markedly lower chances for ENSO-neutral. A La Niña Advisory was issued with that Discussion, for the second consecutive month. The latest set of model ENSO predictions, from mid-December, now available in the IRI/CPC ENSO prediction plume, is discussed below. Those predictions suggest that the SST has the greatest chance for staying in the weak La Niña range for December-February through February-April 2018, with a lower but non-negligible probability for ENSO-neutral during that period, particularly for February-April.

As of mid-December, 85-90% of the dynamical or statistical models predicts La Niña conditions for the initial Dec-Feb 2017-18 season, dropping to 76% for Jan-Mar and 60% for Feb-Apr. During this period, no model predicts El Niño conditions, so that the remaining probability is only for neutral conditions. At lead times of 3 or more months into the future, statistical and dynamical models that incorporate information about the ocean’s observed subsurface thermal structure generally exhibit higher predictive skill than those that do not. For the Mar-May 2018 season, among models that do use subsurface temperature information, 67% of models predicts neutral conditions and 33% predicts La Niña conditions. For all models, at longer lead times beginning with Mar-May 2018, predictions for ENSO-neutral conditions dominate, with probabilities of 75% or more for Apr-Jun to Jun-Aug. At the end of the forecast range, Jul-Sep and Aug-Oct, the probability for El Niño rises to near 35% and La Niña probabilities decrease to near zero, leaving about 65% for neutral.

Note  – Only models that produce a new ENSO prediction every month are included in the above statement.

Caution is advised in interpreting the distribution of model predictions as the actual probabilities. At longer leads, the skill of the models degrades, and skill uncertainty must be convolved with the uncertainties from initial conditions and differing model physics, leading to more climatological probabilities in the long-lead ENSO Outlook than might be suggested by the suite of models. Furthermore, the expected skill of one model versus another has not been established using uniform validation procedures, which may cause a difference in the true probability distribution from that taken verbatim from the raw model predictions.

An alternative way to assess the probabilities of the three possible ENSO conditions is more quantitatively precise and less vulnerable to sampling errors than the categorical tallying method used above. This alternative method uses the mean of the predictions of all models on the plume, equally weighted, and constructs a standard error function centered on that mean. The standard error is Gaussian in shape, and has its width determined by an estimate of overall expected model skill for the season of the year and the lead time. Higher skill results in a relatively narrower error distribution, while low skill results in an error distribution with width approaching that of the historical observed distribution. This method shows probabilities for La Niña at 83% for Dec-Feb, 72% for Jan-Mar, 56% for Feb-Apr, decreasing thereafter to 36% for Mar-May and to 15-20% from May-Jul through Aug-Oct. Probabilities for neutral conditions begin at 17% for Dec-Feb, first exceed 50% in Mar-May, and peak at 75% in Apr-June, after which they drop to less than 50% for Jul-Sep and Aug-Oct as El Niño probabilities rise, reaching 41% by Aug-Oct.  A plot of the probabilities generated from this most recent IRI/CPC ENSO prediction plume using the multi-model mean and the Gaussian standard error method summarizes the model consensus out to about 10 months into the future. The same cautions mentioned above for the distributional count of model predictions apply to this Gaussian standard error method of inferring probabilities, due to differing model biases and skills. In particular, this approach considers only the mean of the predictions, and not the total range across the models, nor the ensemble range within individual models.

In summary, the probabilities derived from the models on the IRI/CPC plume describe, on average, a preference for weak La Niña conditions through Feb-Apr 2018, with neutral regaining highest probability status from Mar-May through the end of the forecast period in early autumn 2018. Chances for El Niño are very small through Apr-Jun 2018, rising to 28% for Jun-Aug and 41% for Aug-Oct. A caution regarding this latest set of model-based ENSO plume predictions, is that factors such as known specific model biases and recent changes that the models may have missed will be taken into account in the next official outlook to be generated and issued early next month by CPC and IRI, which will include some human judgment in combination with the model guidance.

Now for a more detailed look. Below is the pair of graphics that I regularly provide in my Monday night Weather and Climate Report. The date shown is the midpoint of a five-day period with that date as the center of the five-day period. The bottom graphic shows the absolute values, the upper graphic shows anomalies compared to what one might expect at this time of the year in the various areas both 130E to 90W Longitude and from the surface down to 450 meters. At different times I have discussed the difference between the actual values and the deviation of the actual values from what is defined as current climatology (which adjusts every ten years except along the Equator where it is adjusted every five years) and how both measures are useful for other purposes.

There is cold water from the Dateline to Land. The western end of the cool pool is no longer quite 200 meters deep. We now have warm water developing west of the Dateline and crossing the Dateline and undercutting the cool anomaly. Soon it will be intruding into the Eastern Pacific Nino 3.4 Measurement Area. La Nina's days are numbered. But that process takes a few to several months to play out.
Subsurface temperature Anomalies
The 28C Isotherm is at 170E, the 27C Isotherm is west of the Dateline, the 25C Isotherm is at 150W. Notice how steep the isotherm lines are. The Eastern Pacific is cold.

 

A flattening of the Isotherm Pattern is an indication of ENSO Neutral just as a steepening of the pattern indicates La Nina or El Nino depending on where the slope shows the warm or cool pool to be. That flattening occurred to some extent after last year's La Nina and now we have returned to a steeper pattern consistent with a weak La Nina thermocline.

Tracking the change.

Sepember 15, 2017 Subsurface Water Temperatures Equatorial Ocean Subsurface as of December 19, 2017

 

I have "frozen" these two charts. The one on the left shows the situation as reported for September 15, 2017. The one on the right shows the situation now.  The situation is not much different east of the Dateline from the situation as reported for September 15, 2017. But west of the Dateline is looks a lot different. We will use the graphic on the left as a reference and see how the current situation changes over time.
 The below graphic essentially integrates the information shown above for the area between the Dateline and 100W, So it converts a graphic showing warm and cool anomalies at different depths into an average for the top 300 meters.

Upper Ocean heat Content December 18, 2017

This pretty much integrates the temperature of the water in the area of measurement across the various pods of warmer and cooler water...we are talking about anomalies not absolute temperatures. It may be that the overall negative temperature anomaly has peaked and is starting to moderate. That is a natural process and suggests that the life of this cool event is limited. I did not attempt to estimate the rate of decline of the U-O HA and see when it would intersect the -0.5 mark but I may try that next month. That approach would assume the decline is linear which may not be correct.

It could well be that the every ten year adjustment mechanism NOAA uses for the base climatology of the Tropical Pacific for real time analysis (OISSTv2 data set) is not able to keep up with Ocean Warming which may slightly overstate warm anomalies. Even the five year adjustment they use to review the data for historical analysis (ERSSTv4) really does not help very much when there is a trend that is either a secular trend due to Global Warming or part of a sixty-year low-frequency cycle such as the PDO. Current values tend to be higher than the average.

Here is the current December 1, 2017 JAMSTEC forecast for the Nino 3.4 Index.

December1, 2017 JAMSTEC Forecast

Through April, the NOAA and JAMSTEC models are providing very similar foreasts of the Nino 3.4 values. Beyond April, JAMSTEC appears to be cooler than NOAA. This explains the divergence in the forecast maps for the third season namely Summer of 2018.

Here is the discussion from JAMSTEC

Dec. 22, 2017 Prediction from 1st Dec., 2017

ENSO forecast:

The La Niña-like condition will persist until late winter of next year. Then the tropical Pacific will return to a normal state by summer.

Indian Ocean forecast:

A normal state in the tropical Indian Ocean will persist until spring of next year.

Regional forecast:

On a seasonal scale, most part of the globe will experience a warmer-than-normal condition, while some parts of northern/eastern U.S., northern Brazil, central Africa, and India will experience a colder-than-normal condition in boreal winter. As regards to the seasonally averaged rainfall, a wetter-than-normal condition is predicted for some parts of Philippine, East Australia, and northern Brazil during boreal winter, whereas most parts of Indonesia, West Australia, southern Europe, western U.S, and eastern China will experience a drier condition during boreal winter. Those are partly due to the La Niña-like condition.

In winter, most parts of Japan might experience somewhat warmer- and drier-than-normal conditions.

Forecasts from Other Meteorological Agencies.

Here is the Nino 3.4 report from the Australian BOM (it updates every two weeks)

Australia POAMA ENSO model run December 17, 2017

And here is their discussion:

La Niña conditions continue in the tropical Pacific. However, the event is expected to be short-lived, and is likely to end in the southern autumn of 2018.

Latest sea surface temperature observations in the central and eastern tropical Pacific persist at La Niña levels (0.8 °C below average). Waters are also cool beneath the surface. While the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has eased in the last few days, the SOI has been consistent with La Niña for several weeks. Cloudiness patterns across the Pacific region also show a clear La Niña signal.

In order for 2017-18 to be classed as a La Niña year, thresholds need to be exceeded for at least three months. [Editor’s Note:  The NOAA Criteria is more stringent in duration requiring five consecutive overlapping three month periods but less stringent with respect to the threshold value namely plus or minus 0.5C rather than plus or minus 0.8C in Australia.,  Also keep in mind that Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere so the seasons are reversed and when they talk about summer it is Northern Hemisphere (Boreal) Winter]. Most climate models surveyed by the Bureau suggest this event is likely to last through the southern summer, and decay in the early southern autumn of 2018. International climate models surveyed by the Bureau indicate that some further cooling of the equatorial Pacific sea surface temperatures is expected over summer. Six of the eight models remain within La Niña thresholds during March 2018.

The Bureau's model POAMA suggests that sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific will remain within La Niña thresholds throughout summer and autumn. However, only three out of eight international climate models remain at La Niña levels by the end of autumn (May). In order for 2017-18 to be considered an event, La Niña conditions need to persist for at least three months.

La Niña typically brings above average rainfall to eastern Australia during summer, particularly in northern New South Wales and Queensland. However, with a weak event expected, this typically means less influence upon Australian rainfall. La Niña events can also increase the likelihood of prolonged warm spells for southeast Australia.

Thus all three Meteorological agencies agree that we are in La Nina Conditions and that the duration will be long enough for this to be decared to have been a La Nina. But beyond about April 2018, their Nino 3.4 forecasts begin to diverge a bit.

Indian Ocean IOD (It updates every two weeks)

The IOD Forecast is indirectly related to ENSO but in a complex way.

IOD POAMA Model Run December 17, 2017

Discussion Issued December 19, 2017

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is neutral. The weekly index value to 17 December was −0.5 °C. All six of the climate models surveyed by the Bureau indicate that the IOD will remain neutral into autumn 2018.

The influence of the IOD on Australian climate is weak during December to April. This is because the monsoon trough shifts south over the tropical Indian Ocean changing wind patterns, which prevents the IOD pattern from being able to form.

Does the Atmosphere as measured by the SOI Index confirm that we have La Nina Conditions?

SOI values as of December 22, 2017

Normally La Nina Conditions are confirmed by SOI 30 day values that are greater than or equal to +7.0.  El Nino Conditions are confirmed by SOI 30 day values that are less than or equal to -7.0. So right now the 30 Day value is not a LA Nina value. What is up with that?

Some believe the rate of change of the SOI Index is as important as the absolute value so notice the change from July through September and month to date in October.

The SOI Index is quite volatile. So even + or - 7.0 is not that significant. +  or - 20 means something.

SOI Index History November 17, 2017

The below graphic shows the NOAA and JAMSTEC Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomaly forecasts. This is important because weather is determined by patterns of sea surface temperature (SST) variances from normal.

 

NOAA SST JFM 2018
Projected JAMSTEC SST DJF 2017/2018

 

They are almost identical. The key is the so-called cold tongue (shown in blue) extending west from Ecuador. Do not be fooled by the differences in how the two agencies use color to show the Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies. So we would expect that the two Agencies would be viewing SSTA in a very similar way and in general they are. It is necessary to note that the NOAA image is for JFM 2018 and the JAMSTEC image is for DJF 2017/2018.   At this point that probably makes liffle difference.

C. Now we begin our comparison of the NOAA and JAMSTEC Forecasts (Focus on next nine months i.e. three seasons)

In this Update, we compare the JAMSTEC temperature and precipitation forecast maps, which are for the World, with the NOAA temperature and precipitation forecast maps that cover only CONUS and Alaska. We do this primarily for educational purposes.

JAMSTEC works in three-month intervals which correspond to seasons and does not change the selection of months each time they update but does so every three months. At that time they drop one season and add another season further in the future. So for JAMSTEC we have Winter (DJF 2017-2018) Spring (MAM 2018) and Summer (JJA) to work with and we have the corresponding maps from NOAA (except that for NOAA we have JFM 2018 maps rather than the DJF 2017/2018 maps provided by JAMSTEC but we do not consider that to be a major issue). I show the NOAA Maps first followed by the JAMSTEC maps. I extract North America from the Worldwide JAMSTEC map and use that to compare with the NOAA Maps. I also extract Europe including parts of North Africa and Western Asia from the Worldwide JAMSTEC maps and include it in the summary table at the beginning of this article.

DJF 2017/2018 (Winter)

Temperature

NOAA (we use their JFM 2018 map as they do not update a DJF 2017/2018 map as does JAMSTEC and JFM is more relevant)

JFM 2018 Temperature Issued by NOAA on December 21, 2017

And here is the DJF 2017/2018  temperature forecast for North America that I extracted from the JAMSTEC World Forecast

DJF 2017 -2018 NA Temperature Based on Dec 1, 2017 JAMSTEC Forecast

They are quite similar

And now the JAMSTEC WORLD FORECAST (for this graphic my comments are mostly related to areas other than Alaska and CONUS as those comments appear with the graphics above)

DJF 2017/2018 World Temperature Forecast from JAMSTEC Dec 1, 2017 forecast.

For the World, JAMSTEC shows very few cool areas other than North America. The most notable is India.

Precipitation

NOAA (again for NOAA we are using their JFM 2018 map)

NOAA JFM 2018 Precipitation Issued December 21, 2017

And here is the DJF 2017/2018 Precipitation Forecast for North America that I extracted from the JAMSTEC World Forecast.

DJF 2017-2018 NA Precipitation Based on Dec 1, 2017 JAMSTEC Forecast

These are fairly similar but with JAMSTEC not having nearly as dry a Southern Tier.

JAMSTEC WORLD FORECAST

DJF 2017/2018 Jamstec Precipitation Forecast From Dec 1, 2017

Of interest is the wet British Isles and Northern South America

Here is the precipitation forecast from Queensland Australia. It does not cover the same months but rather NDJ 2017-2018:

Consistently Positive SOI forecast for December 2017 to February 2018.

It is kind of amazing that you can make a worldwide forecast based on just one parameter the SOI and changes in the SOI. In this graphic, CONUS looks like a north south divide with the southern tier dry which pretty much agrees with both NOAA and JAMSTEC. Southern Africa is wet. Eastern Australia is wet, Europe is dry. This forecast will be updated on December 1 when the monthly average of the SOI for November becomes available. .

MAM  (Spring)

Temperature

NOAA

MAM 2018 Temperature NOAA Issued on December 21, 2017

And here is the MAM  2018 Temperature Forecast for North America that I extracted from the JAMSTEC World Forecast

MAM 2018 NA Temperature based on JAMSTEC Dec 1, 2017 Forecast

There is agreement on a warm Southern Tier but JAMSTEC has a cool Northern Tier while NOAA is EC.

JAMSTEC WORLD FORECAST

MAM 2018 JAMSTEC Temp from Dec 1, 2017

For JAMSTEC we again see a cool British Isles and to a lesser extent India. For those visiting Greenland, dress for the cooler temperatures. .

Precipitation

NOAA

NOAA AM 2018 Precipitation Issued on December 21, 2017

And here is the MAM 2018 Precipitation Forecast for North America that I extracted from the JAMSTEC World Forecast

MAM 2018 NA Precipitation based on JAMSTEC Dec 1, 2017 Forecast

Fairly similar. The wet anomaly is located a bit differently for NOAA and JAMSTEC.

JAMSTEC WORLD FORECAST

MAM 2018 JAMSTEC Precipitation Forecast from Dec 1, 2017

Not too much to comment on here. Scandinavia is dry.

JJA 2018 (Summer)

Temperature

NOAA

NOAA JJA 2018 Temperature Issued December 21, 2017

And here is the JJA 2018 Temperature Forecast for North America that I extracted from the JAMSTEC World Forecast

JJA 2018 NA Temperature based on Dec 1 JAMSTEC Forecast

The pattern is similar except NOAA shows a Great Lakes centered EC area and JAMSTEC does not. .

JAMSTEC WORLD FORECAST

JJA 2018 JAMSTEC Temperature from Dec 1, 2017

The cool areas are Scandinavia, Northern Australia, Northern Canada, India, Eastern Siberia

Precipitation

NOAA

JJA 2018 Precipitation Issued December 21, 2017

And here is the JJA 2018 Precipitation Forecast for North America that I extracted from the JAMSTEC World Forecast

JJA 2018 US Precipitation based on Dec 1, JAMSTEC Forecast

Pretty much total disagreement here.  JAMSTEC is drier in general but wetter for the Southeast.

JAMSTEC WORLD FORECAST

JAMSTEC JJA 2018. Precipitation from 1 Dec 2017

Australia is dry, India wet .Southern Europe and much of South America are dry.

Conclusion

For the first two seasons the maps are almost identical. There is some divergence in the thirds season namely JJA 2018. Both forecasts are based on ENSO being primarily negative until Summer when JAMSTEC has LA Nina Neutral with a cool bias and NOAA has La Nina Neutral with a warm bias. The JAMSTEC maps also provides a worldview that NOAA does not.       

One value of doing this sort of analysis is that as the projected value of Nino 3.4 changes, we have the basis for extrapolating between these two sets of forecast maps if the Nino 3.4 forecasts come closer together. If they become farther apart, it may still be possible to make some reasonable guesses as to how this will impact weather. This approach may not be as useful this month since both NOAA and JAMSTEC  have similar forecasts for Nino 3.4

Some Housekeeping Issues.

The next Regular Weekly Weather and Climate Report will be published on December 25, 2017. If you are reading this Update Report and wish to transfer to the Current Weather and Climate Report, Click Here for the list of Weather Posts. That link takes you to the archive of all weather articles written by Sig Silber so you can if the new Weekly Weather Report has been published go there or back to an earlier report but please keep in mind that the graphics in earlier reports in some cases auto-update and the text may no longer apply to the graphics shown. Remember, if you leave this page to visit links provided in this article, you can return by hitting your "Back Arrow", usually top left corner of your screen just to the left of the URL box.

Click here for a list of Sig Silber's Weather Posts

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