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Monday, March 26, 2012

2012 Summer Forecast

Hello everyone, this is the 2012 Summer Forecast from The Weather Centre.
The big topic this winter has been the La Nina that never was. It was present and shown in the oceans, but the effects on land were similar to that of an El Nino for some places. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as a La Nino.
Anyhow, you will be glad to know that the La Nina appears to finally be giving way, and the summer months of this year look to be in a neutral ENSO state. So, what does this mean?

Well, to be quite frank, in my opinion it means very little. While there is indeed a spectrum of the ENSO indices that includes a neutral region, keep in mind that a La Nina and El Nino are extremes on that spectrum and neutral territory can be classified as a very weak La Nina or El Nino. Because of how weak it is, other indices like the NAO, MJO etc. can override that neutral ENSO phase.

Here's a forecast for the summer months (June, July, August (JJA)) from the ECCA long range ensembles.

Precipitation Forecast

Temperature Forecast
Areas of darker shades indicate 'skill areas', where the ensembles are more confident in that forecast for that area.
The ECCA is projecting a mainly warm summer, with only parts of the West Coast and south Florida getting in on some cooler weather. I feel that this forecast will probably verify. A La Nina typically brings about cool temperatures. With that La Nina fading away, temperatures would be expected to remain normal. However, counting in the extreme warmth we have been seeing across the country in recent weeks, I could see this being a sign that summer will also be warmer than normal.
More abundant precipitation is confined to the Plains and Midwest than the rest of the country. I feel like this depends on the jet stream. If the country is to be warm, the jet stream would probably be zonal at some point, going along the US/Canada border. This would bring the storm systems across the border as well. However, at the same time, storm systems would hit the Southwest, eject into the South Plains, and produce high-precipitation events across the Plains and Midwest. This is a scenario that is certainly on the table.
Now, the forecasts I have made aren't exactly having the highest confidence and are biased off of the ECCA model. That said, here is my forecast for Summer 2012.

Precipitation Forecast

Temperature Forecast (Skill area in darker shades).

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