Thursday, March 22, 2007

Let's Talk About the Weather

I've been watching the Monthly & Seasonal Outlook maps from NOAA for about 5 years now so in light of the interest generated by yesterdays testimony on Capitol Hill, I thought I might start posting the newest monthly maps for the US.

As you can see, above average temperatures are forecast for much of the US on this map which is for April-May-June. This is nothing new and has consistently been the case since at least 2002. Probably longer but I did not check every month prior to that.

They also publish long term precipitation forecasts however they'd be the first to tell you that precipitation is much more difficult to predict beyond the very short term.

The areas with projected higher than average temperatures vary from month to month, sometimes contracting to a smaller area and sometimes covering the entire US but two things have been consistent for all 5 years.

1. Two areas are consistently in the above average zone: Alaska and the area right where I am sitting covering northern AZ and southern NV.

2. The average area covered with above average temperatures has grown larger over time. Four and five years ago it was frequently only a small area encompassing the above mentioned areas. The last two years on average it has covered at least 50% of the US.

Another point that may explain why people in the west and southwest seem to be more responsive to this issue: the east coast with the exception of southern Florida is the area most often not experiencing higher than average temperatures. This has also been consistent over the same 5 year period. Don't get too excited and think you're safe though....those areas are also being hit with increasing frequency.

Anyway, I'm going to start posting the newest monthly map and those of you who visit here can draw your own conclusions over time or visit the site itself.


TomCat said...

Thanks, NYM. I'll be watching with interest.