90-day forecast not real definitive

The Climate Prediction Center of the National Weather Service (NWS) has released its latest 90-day forecast, covering February, March and April. 

But if you were hoping for a clear picture on the potential for more precipitation this spring, you’ll probably be disappointed.

John Eise with the NWS Central Region says the absence of a La Nina or El Nino weather pattern this winter makes it difficult to issue a definitive forecast.

“Unfortunately, when we’re in a neutral condition, that kind of drops our confidence in our forecast,” Eise says.

So while the overall forecast is basically neutral, Eise says there are still some indications that the central and southern Plains could remain dry.  “Let’s say Colorado, western Kansas, then on south and west, it still looks like—it’s leaning towards—a little bit into the below-normal category of precipitation.”

But things look a little better to the north.

“If you go into portions of, let’s say, the eastern Dakotas into the Upper Midwest—Minnesota, Wisconsin—the signal’s more for above-normal precipitation in that region,” says Eise.

And the same holds true for the Eastern Corn Belt.  “That area is not looking too bad going into spring.  We are seeing, with precipitation, that there’s a little bit of lean towards a wetter-than-normal period going into spring there.”

Eise says the 90-day temperature outlook for the central U.S. is also fairly neutral, although above-normal temperatures are a good possibility in the southern Plains.

AUDIO: John Eise (6:04 MP3)

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