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NWS: Drought will Persist Across Southern Plains and West Through Summer

By: Julianne Johnston

May  15,  2014

VIP Trial 210x125The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) looks for drought to persist across the southern half of Kansas southward through August, with drought also to persist across the western states. It notes that since late January, the area affected by extreme or exceptional drought by the National Drought Monitor has expanded, with most of that deterioration coming in the southern half of the Plains.

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But the CPC looks for drought removal across eastern Nebraska and Iowa. It states that drought improvement or removal is forecast from central Kansas northward into the Northern Plains, "where forecasts from late May onward generally favor above-normal precipitation."

In its outlook for June, the CPC looks for below-normal temps across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest southeastward across much of the eastern Corn Belt, while above-normal temps are expected across the heart of the HRW Wheat Belt as well as the West Coast. But the forecast calls for a broad area of above-normal precip stretching from eastern Idaho southeastward to the Southeast. This area includes the western Corn Belt, much of the eastern Corn Belt and Kansas.

CPC Outlooks for June:

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In its outlook for June through August, the CPC calls for below-normal temps across the Dakotas, Minnesota, much of Iowa and northern Illinois, while above-normal temps are expected along the West and East Coasts as well as the southern tier of states. The area of above-normal precip compared to the 30-day outlook is reduced substantially, as it stops at the Nebraska-Iowa border. Below-normal precip is expected along the Gulf areas of Texas and Louisiana.

In its long-lead text summary, the CPC details, "Current atmospheric and oceanic observations suggest a transition from ENSO-neutral to El Nino conditions is underway. Statistical and dynamical prediction models have been forecasting a transition to El Nino conditions by the summer of 2014 for the past several months. The most recent sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are more than 0.5 degrees Celsius above-normal along the equator throughout most of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. Above-normal SSTs have recently emerged near the equator along the South American coast. Atmospheric indicators of developing El Nino conditions are also increasingly evident in the observations, such as unusually active convection near the equator over the central Pacific, and the weakening of the trade winds. El Nino conditions are expected to be in place by late summer or early fall, however, there is still considerable disagreement among predictions of the strength and duration of the event."

CPC Outlooks for June-August:

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