Global Precipitation & Temperature Outlook for March 2017

2 March 2017

The March 2017 Outlook indicates drier than normal conditions in eastern Brazil and southern California, and much warmer than normal conditions in Eastern Europe into western European Russia, central Brazil, and Queensland, Australia. 

Precipitation Outlook
The precipitation forecast for March shows moderate to severe dry anomalies in southern California and eastern Brazil, and slightly more intense dry anomalies in coastal Gabon.

Moderate to occasionally severe dry anomalies are predicted for: western Alaska, northeastern Morocco, northwestern Angola into coastal Congo, central Kyrgyzstan, western Mongolia into Inner Mongolia, northern Luzon (Philippines), and northern Queensland (Australia).

Precipitation outlook. 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.

Wetter than normal conditions are forecast scattered across northern South America, including: Ecuador; western and eastern Colombia; much of Venezuela, which may be exceptional in a small pocket in the south; Guyana, Suriname, and into north-central Brazil. Moderate to severe wet anomalies are expected in Paraguay, and moderate wet anomalies will extend into southern Brazil.

Wet anomalies are also forecast for southern Africa including Namibia, Botswana, southeastern Angola, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Anomalies may reach severe to extreme intensity in northern Namibia. 

A stretch of moderate to isolated exceptional wet anomalies are expected in the eastern Tibetan Plateau. Extreme wet anomalies are forecast in eastern Russia along the Sea of Japan and Sea of Okhotsk, and primarily moderate wet anomalies are forecast in central Russia.

Temperature Outlook
The predominance of reds and oranges on the temperature map below points to a warmer than normal March in many parts of the world.

Much of Europe will see warmer temperatures, primarily moderate. But extreme to exceptional warm anomalies - what would be expected every 20 to beyond 40 years - are forecast for Eastern Europe, including Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, and Bulgaria.

Temperature outlook. 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.

Exceptional warm anomalies will also reach into a large block of Western European Russia, and warm anomalies of varying intensity are expected to span much of the country, reaching exceptional severity again in the east.

Other areas of the world expected to have extreme to exceptional warm anomalies include southwestern Mexico, north-central Brazil, western Yemen, and Queensland, Australia.

Moderate to severe warm anomalies are forecast in Africa's northern two-thirds and in northern Madagascar; southern Saudi Arabia; central Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and western Kazakhstan; along Pakistan's coast; much of India, southern Myanmar, and western Thailand; a large block of China west of the Yellow Sea; Indonesia and Papua New Guinea; Tasmania, Australia; northern Chile and coastal Peru; Cuba; and the Baja Peninsula. Primarily moderate warm anomalies are expected in southern California.

Cool anomalies are forecast for Namibia, Botswana, southeastern Angola, and central Venezuela.

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, 2017 which includes forecasts for March 2017 through November 2017 based on NOAA CFSv2 forecasts issued February 22 through February 28, 2017.

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.

For more information contact

Copyright 2019 ISCIENCES, L.L.C. Global Water Monitor & Forecast Watch List is the property of ISCIENCES, L.L.C. It is protected by U.S. copyright laws and may not be reproduced in any way without the written permission of ISCIENCES, L.L.C. The user assumes the entire risk related to its use of information on ISCIENCES, L.L.C. Web pages, including information derived from Water Security Indicators Model (WSIM). This information may include forecasts, projections and other predictive statements that represent ISCIENCES, L.L.C.’s assumptions and expectations in light of currently available information and using the highest professional standards. Actual results may differ from those projected. Consequently, no guarantee is presented or implied as to the accuracy of specific forecasts, projections or predictive statements contained herein. ISCIENCES, L.L.C. provides such information "as is," and disclaims any and all warranties, whether express or implied, including (without limitation) any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. In no event will ISCIENCES, L.L.C. be liable to you or to any third party for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special or exemplary damages or lost profit resulting from any use or misuse of this data.