The March 2016 Outlook indicates exceptionally warmer temperatures in many areas, particularly northern Brazil, Central Asia, India, and Indonesia. Northern Brazil is also forecast to be exceptionally dry. (For data sources see "About this blog post" below.)

Various shades of orange and red, indicating warm anomalies, seem to blanket the globe. Deep reds - exceptional anomalies with an expected frequency of occurrence greater than 40 years - are evident in: Costa Rica, Panama, Jamaica, Amazonia, and along South America's Pacific coast from Colombia through Chile's northern tip. Also forecast to be exceptionally hotter: eastern Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula, the Caucasus, western Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Côte d’Ivoire, northern Madagascar, the western coast of the Red Sea, Yemen, much of India, Sri Lanka, southern Myanmar, parts of Indonesia, Japan, and Tasmania.

Temperature outlook for March 2016. Reds indicate above normal monthly average temperature. Blues indicate below normal monthly average temperature. The darker the color, the more extreme the anomaly relative to a 1950-2009 climatic baseline. Colors are based on the expected return period of the anomalies.

Brazil's northeast and central states are forecast to be exceptionally dry, noticeable as the large red blotch that jumps out on the map. The following areas are also expected to be dry, though not as severe: Liberia, coastal Côte d’Ivoire, coastal Ghana, Sri Lanka, the Malaysian Peninsula, and Mindanao, Philippines.

Exceptionally wetter conditions (greater than 40-year return period), shown in deep blue, are forecast for the Yucatan Peninsula. Areas of the world with severe to extreme (10 to 40-year) wet anomalies ahead: Florida, southwest Mexico, Venezuela, Paraguay, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Java, and south Australia.

Precipitation outlook for March 2016. Reds indicate below normal monthly total precipitation. Blues indicate above normal monthly total precipitation. The darker the color, the more extreme the anomaly relative to a 1950-2009 climatic baseline. Colors are based on the expected return period of the anomalies.

About this blog post:

Each week, ISciences processes an ensemble of 28 seasonal temperature and precipitation forecasts issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Forecast System Version 2 (CFSv2). We present our results in a proprietary weekly report titled Global Water Monitor and Forecast: Precipitation and Temperature Outlook. This blog post summarizes our Outlook released March 2, 2016 which includes forecasts for March 2016 through November 2016 based on NOAA CFSv2 forecasts issued February 23 through February 29, 2016.

Technical details:

  • Each CFSv2 forecast is bias corrected by:
    • Constructing probability density functions from CFSv2 hindcasts.
    • Fitting the hindcast probability distribution functions to a generalized extreme value distribution.
    • Using an inverse lookup to an extreme value distribution fitted to the observed temperature and precipitation record (Fan & van den Dool 2008, Chen et al. 2002).
  • The map colors depict the return period of the median forecast anomaly.
  • Regions where the interquartile range of the ensemble spans both above normal and below normal conditions are hashed as having uncertain direction.
  • Regions where the interquartile range of the ensemble divided by the median forecast is large (>0.4) are hashed as having uncertain magnitude.
  • Results are reported in terms of return period using a 1950-2009 baseline.


Many analyses reported in ISciences-authored blog posts are based on data generated by the ISciences Water Security Indicator Model (WSIM). Other sources, if used, are referenced in footnotes accompanying individual posts. WSIM is a validated capability that produces monthly reports on current and forecast global freshwater surpluses and deficits with lead times of 1-9 months at 0.5°x0.5° resolution. This capability has been in continuous operation since April 2011 and has proven to provide reliable forecasts of emerging water security concerns in that time-frame. WSIM has the ability to assess the impacts of water anomalies on people, agriculture, and electricity generation. Detailed data, customized visualizations, and reports are available for purchase.

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