Global Precipitation & Temperature Outlook February 2019

4 February 2019

Among warm anomalies in the February Outlook the forecast indicates much higher than normal temperatures in Southeast Asia and along China’s southeast coast and in Taiwan. Conditions are expected to be wetter than normal along the lower Yangtze River, in the US Southwest, and around the Gulf of Guinea in Africa.

The US Southwest is forecast to be wetter than normal with anomalies of primarily moderate to severe intensity and these conditions will extend southward into northern Baja and northern Sonora, Mexico. Western Alaska, too, will be wetter than normal with severe anomalies in the Seward Peninsula. Scattered mild to moderate dry anomalies are forecast for British Colombia, Canada.

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.

In Central America, severe dry anomalies are expected in eastern Honduras. Scattered, primarily moderate dry anomalies are forecast for southern Central America and into the Atlantic nations of northern South America including Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. At the opposite end of the continent, Chilean Patagonia will be drier than normal. Northeastern Chile will be much wetter than the norm, with conditions straddling the Argentine border. Mild to moderate wet anomalies are forecast for Paraguay, a strip along Brazil’s northeast coast, eastern Mato Grosso (Brazil), and across the southern part of the border shared by Peru and Brazil.

The few anomalous conditions forecast for Europe include some moderately drier than normal areas in northern Norway and skirting northwestern Finland, and moderately wetter than normal areas in central Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In Africa, many countries around the northern Gulf of Guinea will see wet anomalies ranging from moderate to extreme and these conditions will be widespread in Nigeria’s southern half. Anomalies of similar intensity are forecast for northern Egypt. Moderate to severe wet anomalies are forecast for eastern South Africa encompassing Lesotho. Tanzania, southwestern Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, southern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and northwestern Zambia are expected to be drier than normal. Anomalies could reach extreme intensity in Rwanda, Burundi, and pockets of western Tanzania and southern DRC.

Wet anomalies are forecast for pockets of the Middle East including: southern Iraq, Kuwait, and across the borders into Saudi Arabia; eastern Oman; and southern Iran along the Gulf of Oman and extending into southwestern Pakistan.

In Russia, a vast stretch of drier than normal conditions is expected from the southern Yamal Peninsula eastward through the western half of the Central Siberian Plateau and south past Lake Baikal. Anomalies will be exceptional around the Gulf of Ob and severe south of the Gulf, but primarily moderate elsewhere.

Wet anomalies are forecast for eastern Kazakhstan into Kyrgyzstan, through northern Xinjiang (China), and much of Mongolia. A vast portion of eastern China will see moderate wet anomalies from Beijing in the north through northern Guangxi in the south, with severe anomalies in parts of the Lower and Middle Yangtze Basin. Conditions in Yunnan and southern Sichuan will be moderately to severely drier than normal. Some moderate wet anomalies are expected in North Korea and in Kyushu and Shikoku, Japan.

Fairly intense dry anomalies are forecast for northeastern Borneo, central Philippines, pockets of western Java, and much of New Guinea. Primarily mild dry anomalies are forecast for Western Australia and South Australia; severe dry anomalies in eastern Queensland (QLD) from Rockhampton south to Brisbane; and some moderate wet anomalies across the Cape York Peninsula in northern QLD.

The temperature forecast map pops with some widespread anomalies, both warmer and cooler than the norm.

Much warmer than normal conditions are expected across the eastern and southern Sahara and past the Sahel affecting parts of Libya, Egypt, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Eritrea, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, and South Sudan. Anomalies will range from severe to exceptional and will be most intense and widespread in northern Nigeria and Sudan. Fairly intense warm anomalies are also forecast for the Horn of Africa, coastal Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Gabon, coastal Angola, central DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, and northern Madagascar. Anomalies of generally lesser intensity are expected in countries surrounding DRC and in pockets of southern Africa.

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.

In the Middle East, moderate to severe warm anomalies will blanket much of Saudi Arabia but conditions will be exceptional in the northwest on the Red Sea. Moderate to exceptional warm anomalies are also forecast for Yemen and will be intense in the west. Turkey, Georgia, and countries in the eastern Mediterranean will be primarily moderately warmer than normal, as will western Iraq and Iran near the Persian Gulf.

Nearly normal conditions are forecast for much of Europe but moderate warm anomalies are expected in Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, and into central Ukraine, with some severe anomalies in western Romania.

A vast expanse of cooler than normal conditions is forecast for Russia in the Western Siberian Plain reaching south into much of Kazakhstan. Anomalies will be extreme to exceptional in the Ob River Watershed.

India’s southern half will be warmer than normal with exceptional anomalies possible in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh, and severe anomalies in the Far Northeast.

Warm anomalies of varying intensity are forecast for many regions in China and will be exceptional along China’s southeastern coast from Shanghai through Hainan, and in Taiwan. Other regions expected to be much warmer than normal include a wide path down the center of the country through Gansu, eastern Sichuan, Chongqing, and Guizhou. Severe warm anomalies are forecast for South Korea and conditions may reach extreme intensity in the southwest. Anomalies will be extreme in much of southern Japan as well.

Southeast Asia is forecast to be much warmer than normal with exceptional anomalies covering much of Thailand, southern Laos, central Vietnam, and western Cambodia. Warm anomalies of varying severity are expected in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and New Guinea.

In Australia, severe to exceptional warm anomalies are forecast for the northwestern part of the country, particularly Kimberley Region, and in a large block of southeastern QLD around Brisbane, with anomalies of generally lesser intensity reaching through southern QLD. Some moderate cool anomalies are expected in the western Cape York Peninsula.

In the US, western Alaska will be much warmer than normal and North Dakota will be moderately cooler than normal. Primarily moderate warm anomalies are forecast in central Mexico. Anomalies will be severe with some extreme to exceptional pockets in southern Mexico between the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of Tehuantepec, extending into the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, Guatemala, and Costa Rica.

In South America, warm anomalies are forecast for much of the northern bulk of the continent and tracing a wide path along the Pacific, spreading into southern Argentina. These anomalies will be primarily moderate but conditions will be extreme to exceptional in eastern Brazil (eastern Bahia and the smaller states to the north), and severe to extreme in Minas Gerais, eastern Mato Grosso, Tocantins, and Maranhão. Intense warm anomalies are also expected in the southern Atacama Desert in Chile and Patagonia, Argentina. Northeastern Argentina will be cooler than normal, as will southeastern Paraguay and a pocket nearby in Brazil.

There are numerous regions around the world where country borders are contested. ISciences depicts country boundaries on these maps solely to provide some geographic context. The boundaries are nominal, not legal, descriptions of each entity. The use of these boundaries does not imply any judgement on the legal status of any territory, or any endorsement or acceptance of disputed boundaries on the part of ISciences or our data providers.

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 February 2, 2019 which includes forecasts for February 2019 through October 2019 based on NOAA CFSv2 forecasts issued January 25 through January 31, 2019.

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.

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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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