A favored pattern for the summer (May-July) period based on historical analogs and our proprietary modeling is a volatile pattern with a tendency for ridging over the Southern Plains. All else equal, this means a warmer and drier summer than average in the Plains and western corn belt, with more normal but still tilting warm conditions further east.
Articles by Ryan Truchelut
Observations and model data support at most a neutral-positive ENSO state through the summer. WeatherTiger’s proprietary ENSO Whisperer model has shifted cooler in the medium-range to reflect increased chances of continued neutral conditions as the North American planting and growing seasons approach.
A weak La Niña event continues in the equatorial Pacific, reduced in intensity since last month but still not having weakened back into ENSO neutral conditions. WeatherTiger’s March modeling continues to suggest that any transition to an El Nino will not be rapid, and neutral conditions are favored through much of the summer. This indicates that ENSO is less likely to be a major factor this U.S. growing season.
WeatherTiger’s January modeling is little changed from our previous several runs, continuing to suggest that La Niña peaks in January and begins to moderate in February, with neutral-negative conditions in March and April and true neutral conditions in May and June.
Winter 2017-18 is unlikely to be a historically cold winter on average, but there are signals that it is likely to be a somewhat active one nonetheless from a snow/ice perspective, particularly the further north and west you go.
The equatorial Pacific remains on the borderline between neutral-negative conditions and a weak La Niña. WeatherTiger’s November modeling again trended modestly cooler this month, with chances of at least weak La Niña in place by year’s end now well over 75%.
WeatherTiger’s October modeling has trended modestly cooler this month, with chances of at least a weak La Niña developing by December rising to well over 50%. La Niña is now likely to be strong enough to influence growing season precipitation distribution in South America, and potentially the U.S. winter pattern as well.
Our first look ahead to winter shows temperatures are likely to skew warmer than average in the U.S. Midwest, with snow/ice expectations ranging from below normal accumulations south to near normal in the northern tier.
WeatherTiger’s August modeling shows a solidly neutral ENSO state through year’s end. Major changes to this overall outlook are not expected in the next 3-6 months, as there are seldom large shifts in the Pacific in the latter half of the year.
A final update to WeatherTiger’s 2017 hurricane season update for August shows that an above normal year in terms of total activity and U.S. landfall risk is the most likely outcome. Key considerations including sea surface temperature anomalies, wind patterns, and steering currents are in relatively good agreement for this projection.