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Published May 22, 2013
Temperature Outlook(June–November 2013)
Data Source(s): NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC)
The seasonal temperature outlooks issued by the NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC) in May call for increased chances that temperatures will be similar to the warmest 10 years in the 1981–2010 period for the three-month seasons spanning June through November (Figures 10a–d). The seasonal forecasts presented here are based primarily on dynamical models and are largely consistent with decadal warming trends. Confidence in the forecast is highest for portions of the southern Rocky Mountains and southern Great Plains, where dry initial soil moisture conditions favor above-average temperatures. Dry conditions and warm temperatures in the Great Plains can help jump-start the monsoon by facilitating the northern migration of the monsoon ridge earlier than when wet conditions are present. Experts have less confidence, however, in precipitation forecasts during the monsoon because the monsoon dynamics are less well known and are affected by many processes. The amount and frequency of rain, in turn, feeds back on temperature conditions. For example, evaporation and cloud cover, which help lower temperature, are greater when precipitation is consistent.
These outlooks predict the likelihood (chance) of above-average, average, and below-average temperature, but not the magnitude of such variation. The numbers on the maps do not refer to degrees of temperature.
The NOAA-CPC outlooks are a three-category forecast. As a starting point, the 1981–2010 climate record is divided into 3 categories, each with a 33.3 percent chance of occurring (i.e., equal chances, EC). The forecast indicates the likelihood of one of the extremes—above-average (A) or below-average (B)—with a corresponding adjustment to the other extreme category; the “average” category is preserved at 33.3 likelihood, unless the forecast is very strong.
Thus, using the NOAA-CPC temperature outlook, areas with light brown shading display a 33.3–39.9 percent chance of above-average, a 33.3 percent chance of average, and a 26.7–33.3 percent chance of below-average temperature. A shade darker brown indicates a 40.0–50.0 percent chance of above-average, a 33.3 percent chance of average, and a 16.7–26.6 percent chance of below-average temperature, and so on.
Equal Chances (EC) indicates areas where no forecast skill has been demonstrated or there is no clear climate signal; areas labeled EC suggest an equal likelihood of above-average, average, and below-average conditions, as a “default option” when forecast skill is poor.
For more information on CPC forecasts, visit:
For seasonal temperature forecast downscaled to the local scale, visit:
For IRI forecasts, visit:
Southwest Climate Outlook Staff
- Michael Crimmins, UA Extension Specialist
- Stephanie Doster, Institute of the Environment Editor
- Gregg Garfin, Founding Editor, Institute of the Environment
- Zack Guido, Managing Editor, CLIMAS Associate Staff Scientist
- Nancy J. Selover, Arizona State Climatologist
- Jessica Dollin, CLIMAS Publications Assistant
- Dave Dubious, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
The CLIMAS Web site contains official and non-official forecasts, as well as other information. While we make every effort to verify this information, please understand that we do not warrant the accuracy of any of these materials.... Read full disclaimer