Latest Seasonal Assessment
As the wet season nears its end in the West, coincident with the waning El Niño, a return to climatologically dry conditions is favored across the region.
Though the final drought-related statistics for California are still being determined, it appears that northern portions of the state fared well this past winter season in such areas as precipitation, snowpack, and reservoir levels.
Southern California did not fare as well, despite the presence of one of the strongest El Niño's on record. Late season precipitation was indeed welcome in southern California, but unfortunately, significant moisture deficits remain.
Much of the Desert Southwest also missed out on anticipated El-Niño related precipitation this past winter. During the next two weeks, above-median precipitation is favored across portions of California, the Great Basin, and the Southwest. However, the heaviest precipitation is expected to occur outside the ongoing drought areas.
For the upcoming May-June-July (MJJ) season, drought persistence is forecast for most areas west of the Continental Divide. For the Great Plains and Middle Mississippi Valley, however, MJJ is climatologically a wet time of year, due to the passage of frontal systems and nocturnal thunderstorm clusters (MCS's).
About one-half of the annual precipitation that falls over the lower Plains typically occurs during MJJ, and approximately one-third of the annual precipitation that falls over the High Plains usually occurs in MJJ. Precipitation outlooks out to 90-days in the future also favor a relatively wet pattern. Based on these factors, a one-category improvement in drought conditions is expected across the Great Plains, the eastern foothills of the northern Rockies, and the Middle Mississippi Valley.
In the subtropical North Pacific, the climatological trade wind regime has returned to the Hawaiian Islands, after some disruption associated with the El Niño. This pattern change favors heavy precipitation for east- and northeast-facing (windward) slopes, and drought removal. Leeward slopes, situated in the rain shadow areas of high terrain, are favored to experience drought persistence during the MJJ season.
At this time, there is no drought in Alaska. Across the Caribbean, the
annual return of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and the Atlantic
hurricane season signals a return of the wet season. A one-category improvement
in drought conditions is therefore predicted in Puerto Rico.
An active weather pattern over much of the eastern United States brought with it cooler than normal temperatures for most areas east of the Mississippi River.
Areas of the Mid-Atlantic and Florida recorded above-normal precipitation with departures of up to 2 inches above normal for the week. Temperatures were also cooler than normal over the Southwest as above-normal precipitation from southern Oregon to western Arizona helped to keep temperatures down.
Areas of the central Rocky Mountains recorded up to 4 inches above normal precipitation as a series of low pressure systems developed there and tracked onto the Plains. Drier than normal conditions dominated much of the South and much of the northern United States had above-normal temperatures.
Severe Weather Watch
Global Warming brings Climate Change and increasing amounts
of precipitation. Wake up folks!
|Hurricane Igor was the most destructive tropical cyclone on record
to strike the Canadian island province of Newfoundland. The origins of Igor
were within a broad area of low pressure that formed on August 26, 2010,
over Ghana. Tracking slowly westward, it developed into a tropical depression
on September 8 and a tropical storm shortly thereafter. Increased wind shear
temporarily halted intensification over the following days. On September
12, explosive intensification took place, with Igor reaching Category 4
status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. A prolonged turn towards
the north was apparent by this time. Peaking with winds of 155 mph (250
km/h), the system gradually weakened before brushing Bermuda as a minimal
hurricane on September 20. Turning northeast, Igor began to transition into
extratropical cyclone, completing this phase within hours of striking southern
Newfoundland. The remnants of Igor were later absorbed by another cyclone
on September 23 over the water between Labrador and Greenland.
It resulted in minor damage throughout Bermuda, totaling about $500,000. Later, before becoming an extratropical cyclone, Igor caused significant damage in Newfoundland, roughly $200 million. Due to the extent of damage in Newfoundland, the name Igor was later retired by the World Meteorological Organization and replaced with Ian.
2013 Hurricane Season
TS = Tropical Storm
NOAA National Weather Service
|2011 Mar 31|
| 2011 Mar 18
Video: 5 min (requires Flash Player)
|2011 May 21|
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
The Assiniboine River overflows its banks in Brandon, Manitoba. 2011 May 12.
North Dakota, U.S.A.
Valley Flood Watch: Red River Valley, Fargo, North Dakota
Irish Weather Online: Major flooding likely in North Central U.S.A.
Environment News Service: Spring floods begin, March 21
We are conducting a very critical experiment that endangers all living species.
Are we already past the point of no return?