Saturday, April 28, 2012

May 2012 Outlook

Good midday everyone, this is your May 2012 outlook. Let's start out by observing what has happened in the atmosphere over the past 30 days.

Over the past 30 days, mean heights have indicated the presence of a ridge of high pressure over much of the country, meaning warm temperatures for that area. This is due in part to the below normal anomalies just below Alaska.
The reason this is being looked at is because weather tends to be fairly straightforward from one month to the next (in some cases), and we can use this to or advantage and forecast the next month by observing the past month.

In the past month, we have had spells of warm weather, which have been interrupted more frequently by cooler periods of weather, especially in the past couple weeks. Some talk has been swirling around the weather world that this is the long awaited pattern change. However, since I don't have the proper observation tools to see for myself (or the willpower to see if snow will be falling in May), I do not want to comment on that right now.

Here is an analysis of 30 days of observed temperatures, ending at April 26. As you can see, much of the eastern US was slightly above normal, whereas the Plains and eastern Rockies were much above normal. The West Coast was indeed cooler than normal. I find that this is likely to be a good indicator for temperatures in the May forecast. These temperatures may have been significantly raised due to the massive heat wave experienced in March, so that possibility will be taken into account in the May outlook.

Recently, the storm track for the US has been centered around storms entering from the Southwest and shifting east into either the Southern Plains or central Plains. The Southern Plains storms were the big severe weather storms, while the central Plains storms also had some interesting events. The point I'm trying to make is that these same areas may get more severe weather in the future.

I will not be making forecasts for indices like the NAO, PNA, AO due to their day to day variability and common sense finding that concept of forecasting a day to day variable over a month to be on the lower part of the forecast accuracy spectrum.

All of that said, let's take a look at the May 2012 Outlook.
I am expecting cooler temperatures in the far northern Plains as well as the West Coast based on past below average temperatures in those areas. More important involves where the traditional Tornado Alley will be. In the past, that area moves east with time, and I believe that I will follow history for this one and have indicated that the risk area will be shifting north and east. The entire eastern US should eventually average out to average or slightly above average temperatures, but I am not going to rule out the potential for a big heat wave that rings average temperatures well above normal.

Any questions can be posted below.


Anonymous said...

What do ou think about precipitation?
We in Texas could still use the rain!

Andrew said...

The precipitation will get better as the La Nina weakens.

Anonymous said...

I will just listen to Andrew. I wont listen to anywhere now that they believe in these damn chemtrails. I'm just not a conspiracy nut. I heard they are fakes anyway!

ERN WX said...

May looks good. Storm chasing is what I am thinking. If I don't get something, I may move to the Plains states area (Kansas!?. Don't worry, I will still visit this site every day. If it comes to that. --------------------

Indndawg said...

Curious about your comments on the (perhaps) changing weather pattern to cool(er).
Pls feel free to elaborate on this. I for one, am ready for a brk in the hot weather here in the south.
2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, hot and dry.

Andrew said...

Indndawg: Considering the La Nina is fading, the South will be getting a break. I can assure you that.

Indndawg said...

woot woot

Anonymous said...

The South has been having a good break from what I see. Just the bad humid heat will be the worst most likely. If it cools, that will be better. The South deserves a break from the extreme weather for the past several years.