Global Precipitation & Temperature Outlook March 2019

4 March 2019

The March Outlook indicates exceptionally warmer than normal temperatures from eastern Mongolia through Northeast China, the Korean Peninsula, and Japan. Conditions are expected to be drier than normal in Northeast China as well.

Drier than normal conditions are forecast for Northeast China with anomalies ranging from moderate to exceptional, and the most intense anomalies will be in northern Inner Mongolia. Moderate to extreme dry anomalies are expected in northern Honshu and in Hokkaido, Japan, though Kyushu will be moderately wetter than normal. Mongolia will be moderately drier than normal with some more intense areas, particularly in the central north and across the border into Russia in the region southeast of Lake Baikal. Moderate to severe dry anomalies are forecast for North Korea.

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 expected in Southeast China, with moderate anomalies from Shanghai into Fujian, and moderate to severe anomalies in Guangxi and its neighbors. Central Sichuan will also be wetter than normal, as well as southern and northeastern Qinghai, and northern and northeastern Tibet. Dry anomalies are forecast for a pocket of southeastern Tibet.

Pockets of Southeast Asia will be moderately drier than normal with some intense anomalies in southern Cambodia. The Philippines, too, will see drier than normal conditions including severe to extreme anomalies in Mindanao. Primarily moderate dry anomalies are forecast for the Malay Peninsula and into Sumatra, but anomalies in eastern Borneo, northern Sulawesi, and into New Guinea’s Bird’s Head Peninsula could reach extreme to exceptional intensity.

Moderate dry anomalies are forecast in northern Australia from Northern Territory (NT) through central Queensland (QLD), but conditions may be severe in Arnhem Land, NT, and at the tip of the Cape York Peninsula in Far North QLD.

In South Asia, wet anomalies are forecast for central Myanmar, southern Bangladesh, in India along the northern Bay of Bengal, the western Gangetic Plain, Rajasthan, and much of Pakistan. Anomalies will be extreme around the Bay of Bengal and central Myanmar.

Conditions in the Middle East will be relatively normal. In Central Asia, dry anomalies are forecast for southeastern Tajikistan and across central Kyrgyzstan. Wetter than normal conditions are expected in a broad path across Russia from the southern Urals through the Central Siberian Plateau, crossing northern Kazakhstan.

Relatively normal conditions are forecast in Europe with some mild dry anomalies throughout the Mediterranean and some wet pockets in Scandinavia.

In South America, intense dry anomalies will form an arc through Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and into Amapá, Brazil, where anomalies will be exceptional. The northern Amazon Basin will be moderately drier than normal, and some drier than normal pockets are also forecast for northern Colombia, central Peru, and northwestern Argentina into Chile. Wet anomalies are expected in Northeast Brazil, Southeast Brazil, and parts of the Center-West Region. In Central America, some fairly intense dry anomalies are forecast in Costa Rica and Panama.

In North America, primarily moderate dry anomalies are forecast for western Canada in Alberta reaching into neighboring provinces of British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Drier than normal conditions are also forecast in the east in Newfoundland and Labrador. Moderate wet anomalies are expected in the US West in Utah and Colorado, and along the Eastern Seaboard from Maryland through Georgia and into Alabama.

Exceptionally warmer than normal temperatures are forecast in a vast stretch from northeastern Mongolia through Northeast China, the Korean Peninsula, and Japan. In China, intense anomalies will reach eastern Inner Mongolia, the North China Plain, and the Shandong Peninsula. Exceptional anomalies are also forecast for Taiwan. Moderate to severe anomalies are forecast for Southeast China.

Warm anomalies ranging from moderate to exceptional are expected in Southeast Asia, Malaysia, and Indonesia, and will be especially intense in southern Cambodia and northeastern Borneo. Many parts of Australia will be warmer than normal with exceptional anomalies forming a wide band in the southeast from Brisbane past Canberra with intense anomalies in the Murray-Darling Basin, and also in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. Anomalies will be intense in Tasmania as well. Southern New Zealand will be moderately warmer than normal.

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 South Asia, exceptionally cooler than normal conditions are expected in the Gangetic Plain in India with intense cool anomalies forecast for Nepal, Bangladesh and into Bhutan. Cool anomalies of slightly lesser intensity are forecast for much of northern India, India’s Far Northeast, central Myanmar, central Afghanistan, and the bulk of central Pakistan. India’s southern tip will be warmer than normal, as will Sri Lanka, with extreme anomalies in Tamil Nadu.

Warm anomalies of varying intensity are forecast in European Russia and in a vast extent from the southern Ural Mountains eastward across the Central Siberian Plateau, with extreme anomalies near Lake Baikal. Conditions will be moderately warmer than normal in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and parts of Kazakhstan.

In the Middle East, moderate cool anomalies are forecast for northern Iraq, northern Oman, and some pockets of Saudi Arabia, but southwestern Yemen will be exceptionally warmer than normal.

Warm anomalies are forecast for nearly all of Europe and will be extreme in southern Norway and Denmark, and severe in many places including the Baltics, Belarus, northern Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland, much of the U.K., and central Spain.

Intense warm anomalies are forecast for the Horn of Africa and in the west from Guinea Bissau through coastal Guinea, Sierra Lione, Liberia, and Ivory Coast, downgrading somewhat in countries along the Gulf of Guinea but still reaching severe intensity in many pockets. Moderate to severe warm anomalies are forecast for Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, and northern Democratic Republic of the Congo. In southern Africa, moderate warm anomalies are expected with some severe conditions in South Africa including between Swaziland and Lesotho. Northern Madagascar will be moderately to extremely warmer than normal.

In South America, warmer than normal conditions are forecast in many parts of the northern half of the continent. Anomalies will be extreme to exceptional in Suriname and French Guiana; Amapá, eastern Bahia, Goiás, Minas Gerais, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; western Bolivia; and from Antofogasta to Copiapó, Chile. Moderate to severe warm anomalies are expected in the Amazon Basin, central Peru, and central Ecuador, and moderate anomalies in Colombia and into western and southern Venezuela.

Conditions in north-central Mexico will be moderately warmer than normal but conditions will be severe to extreme in Jalisco and Nayarit. Moderate warm anomalies are forecast for the Yucatan Peninsula, but conditions will be severe in states to the south and in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras; exceptional in Costa Rica; and extreme in Panama. Warm anomalies are forecast throughout the Caribbean and will be exceptional in western Cuba and the Bahamas.

In the U.S., cooler than normal conditions are forecast in the Pacific Northwest and in the broad path of the Missouri River Basin. Southern Florida will be warmer than normal. In Canada, conditions will be moderately warmer than normal in Northern Ontario, eastern Manitoba, and Nunavut, with severe warm anomalies on Victoria Island, Nunavut/Northwest Territories.

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 March 4, 2018 which includes forecasts for March 2019 through November 2019 based on NOAA CFSv2 forecasts issued February 22 through February 28, 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.

Subscribe to our monthly Water Watch List

Search blog categories

Search blog tags


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.