Climate Outlooks for the Next 3 Months - Probability Maps

Seasonal Outlooks

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General

Climatologists use historical and current climate and weather data make climate predictions for temperature and precipitation in the future. These outlook products are different from weather forecasts. Rather than predicting specific conditions on specific days, they indicate the chances that average weather conditions will be above- or below-average over the coming season.

How are these forecasts compiled?

Climate scientists use a complex mix of weather models, historical data, current conditions in the ocean (locations of unusually warm and cool waters and currents), soil moisture content, experience, and expertise to predict which regions are likely to have above- or below-average conditions in the next 3 months.

Climatological data (1981 – 2010) provides “normal” ranges for temperature and precipitation: climate outlooks describe the chances that upcoming conditions will be in the top or bottom third of historical observations.