NOAA (and CIC) Climate Outlooks Review

South America Drought Concern Continues to Evolve
12/16/2021, 10:00 am EST
Northeast Argentina/Southeast Brazil Drought Concerns
12/22/2021, 9:02 am EST
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A review of the NOAA/CPC long-lead climate outlooks issued late last week compared to Climate Impact Company (for January).

NOAA (and CIC) Climate Outlooks Review

Fig. 1: The NOAA/CPC seasonal drought forecast.

Discussion: The Northwest U.S. to the northern half of California observe drought erosion through quarter 1 of 2022 (Fig. 1). Parts of the coastal Northwest and far northern portion of the Northwest completely dissipate drought according to NOAA/CPC. Otherwise, the remainder of the West U.S. drought persists and expands eastward across Texas. The far west/southwest Great Plains are in drought which could also shift eastward slightly. Typical of La Nina, a new drought will emerge in the Southeast States and Florida and expand in the Mid-Atlantic through the eastern half of Virginia.

The all-important mid-winter outlook is dry and warm across the far southern tier of the U.S. according to NOAA/CPC (Fig. 2-3). The East is also likely warmer-than-normal. The remainder of the U.S. is at equal chance of below, above or normal temperature according to the probability outlook while the precipitation forecast emphasizes a Northwest and Midwest U.S. storm track. By comparison, the Climate Impact Company Outlook for January is colder (than NOAA) across the North and a little more widespread with warm risk across the southern half of the U.S. (Fig. 4). The CIC precipitation forecast is similar except wetter (with snow) in the Northeast (Fig. 5).

Fig. 2-3: NOAA/CPC temperature and precipitation probability forecasts for January 2022.

Fig. 4-5: Climate Impact Company temperature/precipitation anomaly forecast for January 2022.

NOAA/CPC maintains a cool outlook for California and the Northwest for Quarter 1 of 2022 while emphasizing warmth South and East (Fig. 6). The South stays dry while Northwest and Midwest are the storm track zones (Fig. 7). The March outlook is tilted cool Northwest and warm South and East due to the cool SSTA pattern off the immediate West Coast of North America and broad warm SSTA in the western North Atlantic basin (Fig. 8).

Fig. 6-7: NOAA/CPC temperature and precipitation probability forecasts for JAN/FEB/MAR 2022.

Fig. 8: ECMWF global SSTA forecast for February 2022.