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Several of you have expressed interest in hearing what some of the long range outlooks for Spring were saying for our area so we wanted to pass along what we have found so far. It is still a bit early but there are three long range outlooks that we have found that are worth reading. In this post we will share the highlights of all three as well as the links to the site so you can read the full reports (which are worth the read through).
Any long range seasonal outlook we share with you should always be taken with a grain of salt. While many advances have been made in the world of weather forecasting... long range forecasting remains the hardest (and often the most inaccurate). This should always be taken into consideration!
We realize fully the impact that the severe weather of last year had on many of you... emotionally, mentally, and even financially in many cases. We ARE NOT posting this info to scare you or to "Hype" the upcoming season. We started this page nearly two years ago with a mission to get the info out there and to help folks prepare. Often times this means not only telling you the lesser end of a possible weather event... but also the "higher potential" that exists with a system. Some call that "hype" but we believe in "preparing people for the worst, and hoping for the best". This sometimes means being wrong... but we would rather have you safe, informed, and prepared!
Okay, with that said let's get into what some outlets are saying for Spring 2013. We are seeing good agreement in the forecasts issued so far with some primary factors leading to the outlooks shown below. The first item always considered for a seasonal outlook is the ENSO, or El-Nino, which went into a neutral state before Winter began. Current forecasts continue this cycle at least through Spring. The next item of note is the ongoing (now becoming long term) drought that as gripped much of the central U.S. Long term droughts such as this often become "self-feeding" events that can cause impacts that actually help to continue the drought itself... making them tough to break. Finally we look to have active northern and southern jet streams.
Overall Spring Outlook for the Ohio Valley:
The items listed above are some of the leading reasons for the agreement we see in the 2013 outlooks so far. Unfortunately for those of us in the Ohio Valley this comes together as an active forecast for the region. The drought is expected to persist in the tornado alley areas of the central U.S. with the battle zone of the seasons being pushed Eastward into our area. Since we are expected to be in an active region this has been reflected into our precipitation outlooks which are in the normal/above normal range. Temperatures across the Ohio Valley are also expected to be in the normal/above normal range but (depending on the outlook you read) likely not "as warm" or "as early" as what we saw in Spring of 2012.
Before we get into the outlooks I did want to share the current state of the drought as well as the CPC outlook (through the end of April) for the drought.
Spring/Severe Weather Outlooks:
I am going to share the highlights of each forecast from Accuweather, Severe Weather Centre, and The Farmer's Almanac below. In addition, each of these has a more in depth report available which I highly recommend reading. I will include the link to each of these as well.
Link to full report: http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/spring-2013-forecast-winter-northeast/4865245
Severe Weather Centre:
Link to full report: http://torontowxcenter.blogspot.com/2013/01/preliminary-2013-spring-forecast.html
The Farmer's Almanac:
Link to full report: http://www.farmersalmanac.com/forum/2013/02/02/severe-weather-season-is-revised-the-spring-outlook-2013/
***For some reason a large blank area is at the top of the page when you follow this link. Be sure to scroll all the way down to get to the report.
Climate Prediction Center:
In addition the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has outlooks for Meteorological Spring (March-April-May). This outlook will likely be updated in about one week.
We will continue to watch for additional long range forecasts and will pass them along as they become available. With Spring around the corner we encourage everyone to review severe weather preparedness recommendations as well as having a family plan and severe weather kit. -Brian
"Prepare for the worst and hope for the best"