Above-Normal Temps Expected Across the U.S. Through Year End

Posted on 09/21/2017 8:21 AM

The National Weather Service's (NWS) forecast for October through December calls for above-normal temps across the contiguous U.S., with the greatest chance of warmth across the Four-Corners region. This could result in some areas of the country needing spring-time rains for planting season, especially given the recent spread of drought across the Midwest, Kansas and continued drought conditions across the Northern Plains.

Meanwhile, it calls for above-normal precip across the Pacific Northwest and below-normal precip along the Gulf Coast into Missouri. Below-normal precip is also expected across eastern Kansas and Oklahoma. Meanwhile, the rest of the country has equal chances of normal, below- or above-normal precip.

Forecasters note the current neutral phase of ENSO is expected to persist through the fall, with increasing chances for a transition to La Nina later in the fall and winter. "As the ENSO outlook becomes more certain during the next couple of months, corresponding adjustments will be made to the seasonal outlooks," it states.

NWS outlooks for October through December:

90 temps
90 precip

In its outlook for October, the NWS calls for above-normal temps across the West, Northern Plains, western portions of the Central and Southern Plains, Iowa and northern Corn Belt into the Northeast. The forecast for below-normal precip across the Corn Belt raises hope for a speedy start to the harvest season.

NWS outlooks for October:

30 temps


30 p[recip


Below, we compare the Seasonal Drought Outlook to the current Drought Monitor:

drought monitor




The latest National Drought Monitor reflects the ongoing spread of drought across the Midwest, with 41.5% covered by some form of drought compared to 37.3% last week. Additionally, 10.8% is covered by moderate (D1) drought, compared to 8.7% last week. Drought also spread across Kansas, with 61.8% covered by some form of drought compared to 53.9% last week, with 20.5% in D1, compared to 17.2% last week.

In its seasonal drought discussion, forecasters say they expect long-term drought to continue through year's end across the Northern Plains, as the region is now in its climatological dry season. "Other areas where drought is forecast to persist and/or intensify include eastern portions of the Middle Mississippi Valley, Lower Michigan, far southern Texas, western Nebraska, parts of Utah and Colorado, southern California and southern Arizona," it notes. "This is due to a combination of factors, a few of which include sufficient distance from anticipated storm tracks, various dynamical and statistical model output, official precipitation forecasts at all timescales out to 90-days in the future and the winding down of the summer Monsoon season in the Southwest."

Forecasters say two areas of potential drought development include the Middle and Lower Mississippi Valley and nearby areas -- regions where 30-day precip deficits are already substantial.

Meanwhile, drought improvement and/or removal is expected from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies "based on good overall model agreement, and is consistent with what would be expected given the increasing odds of a upcoming cold season La Nina." Drought improvement and/or removal is also indicated across scattered parts of the central contiguous U.S., generally from the Middle Rio Grande Valley through Kansas to the Upper Great Lakes region, based in part on the expectation of heavy precipitation in the shorter-term (next two weeks), it adds.


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