The Climate Prediction Center recently issued its 90-day outlook for temperature and precipitation for the U.S. It also updated the drought monitor tool.
In general the outlook calls for the next three months to feature above normal temperatures in the western third of the country and in the far southeastern states. Alaska and the Pacific Northwest will also be warmer than usual. Below normal temperatures are confined to much of Texas and areas of adjoining states. Most of the country will see an equal chance for above or below normal temperatures.
Much of the nation may experience above normal precipitation from the southeast through the gulf states to the western plains and Rockies along with a good portion of Alaska. The above normal rainfall may bring drought relief to Texas and the four corners area. The Great Lakes states will see below normal precipitation and the potential of a developing drought. Lake levels and fire danger may be impacted.
The drought monitor shows little change in the near term for the hardest hit areas of the west, parts of Texas, and parts of the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Over the 90 day period of the outlook, the drought may ease in Texas and areas northwest of there. However, drought conditions may expand in the Great Lakes. Unfortunately, little or no relief is seen for California. Just this week water use restrictions of from 8% to 36% were enacted for some municipalities.
Late breaking news. Tornadoes in Germany!
There was a fairly broad outbreak of severe weather including tornadoes in Germany on Tuesday, May 5. Here’s coverage from the British newspaper, The Guardian.
There’s been much talk in recent weeks of a more detailed method of describing the potential for severe weather now being employed by the Storm Prediction Center in its Convective Outlooks. The SPC worked with National Weather Service offices, communications experts and consumers of its products to expand its long time use of the “Slight, Moderate and High” risk categories to “Marginal, Slight, Enhanced, Moderate and High.”
In addition, the chart below describes what the storms might look like under each newly-defined category and what the main threats would be.
The Storm Prediction Center has many products that can be used by broadcast meteorologists, emergency managers and the general public to look as far as 8 days ahead. These tools are especially valuable for planning purposes and should never supplant your detailed local forecast.
The Mesoscale Discussions are particularly helpful on days when severe weather is expected. The discussions are issued on an “as needed” basis as storm threats develop. Other tools are updated as often as four times a day. If you’ve never visited the site at spc.noaa.gov, now would be a good time to familiarize yourself with the offerings.
The first Catastrophic Events Team meeting was held in Memphis, TN January 26-28, 2011. The team, supported by a special needs grant, began its work with a well-timed focus on earthquakes. 2011 is the 200th anniversary of the New Madrid Earthquake. This anniversary is being used by FEMA and others to raise awareness about earthquakes. Do you know what to do if your area experiences a significant earthquake? The EDEN Catastrophic Events team will research and evaluate existing disaster education materials, and then, based on the best available research and documented best practices, compile and test educational resources.
The first afternoon of the team’s face-to-face meeting featured a trip to the Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI). Gary Patterson, CERI Director, Education and Outreach and Brian Blake, Earthquake Program Director for the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) talked to us about the New Madrid Seismic Zone and the potential impact of a large earthquake or series of earthquakes along this fault line. CUSEC is one of the sponsors for the April 28 Great Central US Shakeout. The team then began organizing nd creating mind maps for next steps.
Interested in this or another catastrophic event? There’s space for you on the team. Contact Tim Prather or Rick Atterberry.
Back row: Vernon Turner, Abby Lillpop, Lynette Black, Virginia Morgan, Time Prather
Front row: Rick Atterberry, Conne Burnham, Summer Prisock
Not pictured: Peter Barcinas, Steve Cain, Mike Dennison, Pat Skinner and Bill Hoffman
Regards, Virginia Morgan, EDEN Chair