Thursday, March 2, 2017

Spring 2017 outlook thoughts.

For about half of you, the winter of 2016-2017 didn't go quite as I outlined last fall. There are several reasons for this which I will outline in a blog post very soon. Winter 2016-2017 will be remembered as a winter with decent precipitation, but with sharp temperature contrast.

Anyway, some are asking for my thoughts on Spring and Summer 2017. So your wish is my command :)

Spring 2017:

We had a short lived La Nina, it is now neutral. But even if La Nina has ended it still going to exert an influence on the rest of March into the 1st week of April.
CFSv2 2 meter temperature outlook.


Past years that looked similar to the current pattern, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013. The year that looks the closest to what I'm seeing was 2008 with 2013 a close second.  

March is going to see this battle between warmth and cold continue. But I do see a chance for a major arctic shot of cold air for the end of the 2nd week of March into the third week of March.  So March will see a slow build up to Spring like weather. Could there be a snowstorm during that time? Maybe, but it will depend on timing.  The last week of March into April should see this winters hold break on the Northeast, as the jet stream lifts the cold air north and west back into Canada.

April and May look to be very warm over the entire Northeast and especially so for Maryland Delaware, southern New Jersey, and points south.

The precipitation outlook is looking to be average to above average across the Northeast and Mid Atlantic. Those Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) are way above average. As the coming El Nino strengthens, as we head into Summer, there could be plenty of moisture. Those SST's along the East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico will play a big role in this year's severe season. 
East Coast SST:
Gulf SST:

Severe outlook:

This year's severe weather season, got an early and deadly start. But years that had a similar setups responded similarly.  April and May could be quite active, with both severe thunderstorms and tornado threats. The Ozarks into the South and Southeast CONUS could see quite a few outbreaks.

Remember, reliable tornado records only go back to 1950. So there isn't a lot of data to look at.

Because the Mid Atlantic, Southeast and the southern states saw a very light winter; There was nothing to cool down the coastal waters. All of this warmth and moisture will be available fuel for severe weather. 2017 will most likely be the most active severe season we've seen in 6 years.

2008 and 2011 were very active. For the Northeast this could be a year more akin to 1998 and 1973, as that southern moisture and warmth move north and clash with the cooler dry air just to our north in Canada.
Summer 2017? 

A quick few thoughts about summer 2017. I think the pattern will allow for a warm and fairly wet Summer across the Northeast. As for hurricanes, it could be similar to last summer with most of the hurricane threats coming into or close to the United States, those dratted warm SST again.  As far as numbers of tropical systems maybe a little less than last year. I will come out with an official summer outlook and an Atlantic hurricane outlook sometime in April.

Images come from WeatherBELL Analytics and NOAA/NCDC. 

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