UMC Climate Change Group Long Range Forecast for Summer 2014

Issued 25 August 2014

The long range forecast for this winter 2014-2015 is for cooler temperature and near normal precipitation with more snow than normal. Last winter we were cold due to a strong warm anomaly in the Gulf of AK. This led to strong blocking during the winter. The El Nino is still weak. You heard it here first and we stuck with it, even as many outlets were projecting a strong El Nino. The El Nino is an east Pacific type, which typically means warmer than normal. The NCEP Long Range forecasts have an El Nino like signature with warm to the north and cool to the south. We are projecting the weak El Nino to be overridden by the warm anomaly still in the Gulf of Mexico. This will lead to some blocking. This anomaly is weaker than last year, as it looks like it's breaking down. This should indicate cooler than normal at least early. We are seeing signs of that here in mid-September (I'm late due to the move to Belgorod). We also think that precipitation will be close to normal. The snow will be above normal about 20-25.

Our forecast for the summer of 2014 was just great, it was the best we've done in years. The El Nino set in, but remained weak as we thought. This led to the typical El Nino set in summer, cool early and into August. Then in August things heated up. We were pleasantly suprised with the outcome. Heres what we wrote before: "are even hints of it in the data. El nino next year should be weak (See Lupo 2008, Birk et al. 2010). It is true ENSO does not directly impact summer, but the direction of transition does (Ratley et al. 2003, Lupo et al. 2014). Last summer we did not do as well with our forecast but our winter forecast (see below) was also OK. Statistically, transitions toward El Nino presage mild temperatures and decent rains (in number and intensity). Our forecast for summer is bullish, near normal temperatures as well as precipiation. NCEP is also forecasting a milder summer, but no real forecast for precipitation, so we'll say normal." We even beat NCEP again!

Here are the numbers for the Winter 2014-2015 forecast for Columbia Missouri and the surrounding region. The standard deviation (+/-) represents what we call the typical range for that value, and 70% of years should lie within this range. These are generally reliable for most of mid-Missouri from the Ozarks to the Iowa border and Eastern MO. Also, this year I've included verification statistics, see Lupo et al. 2008 - the link is Kelsey II on the main GCC page. Forecast scoring can also be found there, 2 points for a perfect forecast, and 0 for a bust.

NOTE: These are our forecasts and they are based on the information found in several publications on the Climate Group's website (see Climate Variability section). One should not consider that these will be 100% reliable. Also, they forecast the AGGREGATE statistical character of the summer (June, July, August) or winter (December, January, February) season. This does not mean that warm and cold spells, wet and dry spells will not all occur in one month or season. Please use with caution. If you have any questions contact me at: