Western US Could See Decrease in Drought Conditions by Spring - Cowsmo

Western US Could See Decrease in Drought Conditions by Spring

The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) says based on recent drought improvement across the Central and Southern Plains, combined with the ongoing strong El Niño event and extended weather outlook, the Central and Southern Plains will be drought free this spring. Additionally, it predicts the removal of drought across California by March 2016. Although it notes that drought impacts such as low reservoir levels may continue beyond the outlook period in California after the multi-year drought.

According to the map below, lingering drought conditions will be seen in central Indiana and southern Michigan due to the extended weather outlook that calls for below-normal precip.

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


The CPC’s forecast for January through March calls for above-normal temps across the northern half of the country, while below-normal temps are expected from Texas eastward. Below-normal precip is favored across the Pacific Northwest, North Dakota and eastern the Corn Belt, while above-normal precip is favored across California, southern states — expanding northward from Texas into Nebraska — and along the East Coast.

CPC Outlooks for January-March:


The outlook for January is very similar to the 90-day outlook. In its accompanying long-lead text highlights, the CPC says the strong El Niño event is a major factor in its extended forecast. “The ongoing El Niño is likely at its peak, with a transition to ENSO-neutral expected during the late spring or early summer 2016. Odds of La Niña developing by next winter are elevated compared to last month,” it states, adding there is a 79% chance of La Niña developing by next winter.

CPC Outlooks for January:



By: Julianne Johnston
Source: ProFarmer.com

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