Climate Outlook for the rest of winter and early Spring 2014

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has updated the outlooks for February 2014, as well as the February - April 2014 season. As ENSO-neutral conditions are expected to continue into the Northern Hemisphere summer 2014, natural climate variability is anticipated to continue. Typically during the late winter and early spring, the overall weather patterns change slowly, but can "flip" dramatically in a few days. This was the case in early January 2014; after a very cold December 2013 - early January 2014 temperatures have moderated quickly to more seasonal normals, yet with significant storminess and variability. 

Lowest Mean Average Temperature December 1
to January 8th for Fargo Area, ND**
Missing Days
1 -3.4 1887 5
2 0.5 1894 0
3 1.3 1973 0
4 1.4 2014 0
5 1.5 1883 0
6 1.9 1884 0
7 2.3 1928 0
8 3.0 2001 0
9 3.4 1888 0
10 3.9 1918 0
Period of record: 1881-01-01 to 2014-01-15

Lowest Mean Average Temperature December 1 
to January 8th for UND/NWS Climate Station**
Ending Date
Missing Days
1 -1.9 2014 0
2 0.5 1894 2
3 1.0 2009 0
4 1.1 1917 2
5 2.0 1920 0
6 2.3 1973 0
7 2.6 2001 0
8 2.7 1910 2
9 3.1 1979 0
10 3.2 1965 0
Period of record: 1893-01-01 to 2014-01-15
** Data provisional based on information collected by the Grand Forks NWS. Subject to change upon verification by NCDC. Data format provided by the Acis system of the High Plains Regional Climate Center

According to the CPC "During December, ENSO-neutral persisted, as reflected by near-average sea surface temperatures (SST) across much of the equatorial Pacific Ocean (Fig. 1). The Nino indices in all of the regions were within ±0.5°C and showed only small changes during the month (Fig. 2). The oceanic heat content (average temperature in the upper ~1000 feet of the ocean) decreased but remained above average (Fig. 3).  This followed the passage of a downwelling oceanic Kelvin wave that had raised the sub-surface temperatures in November (Fig. 4). Also in December, slightly enhanced low-level trade winds were observed in the western tropical Pacific Ocean, while enhanced upper level westerly winds prevailed in portions of the eastern half of the basin. Convection was suppressed in the central equatorial Pacific and enhanced over Indonesia (Fig. 5). Collectively, these atmospheric and oceanic conditions reflect ENSO-neutral.

The majority of models predict that ENSO-neutral (Niño-3.4 index between -0.5oC and 0.5oC) will persist into the Northern Hemisphere summer 2014 (Fig. 6). While current forecast probabilities are still greatest for ENSO-neutral during summer, there is an increasing chance for the development of El Niño. The consensus forecast is for ENSO-neutral to continue into the Northern Hemisphere summer 2014 (see CPC/IRI consensus forecast)."

Below are the preliminary Outlooks for February and the February - April 2014.

Preliminary Temperature Outlook for February 2014Preliminary February 2014 Precipitation Outlook

The Official Temperature Outlook (left) and Precipitation Outlook (right) for February 2014

February - April 2014 Temperature OutlookFebruary - April 2014 Precipitation Outlook

The Official Temperature Outlook (left) and Precipitation Outlook (right) for February-April 2014

An updated Outlook will be issued at the end of January. Keep up with the latest forecasts from the Grand Forks NWS and the CPC Outlooks. For additional information contact the Grand Forks NWS at 701-795-5198. Mark Ewens, Climate Services Focal Point 

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