UMC Climate Change Group Long Range Forecast for Summer 2015

Issued 25 February 2015

The Long Range Forecast for Summer 2015 is good news for Missouri Agriculture. Weak El Nino conditions are expected to persist into the fall according to the dynamic Models and statistical models. This woud mean there is little transition in the ENSO phase. These seasons are typically associated with wetter and cooler summers in our region both for steady state Neutral and El Nino conditions. Thus we're bullish here. NCEP is not too far off as they project near normal temperatures in our region as well. They rarely forecat for precipitation in this region. It's convective and very difficult.

The long range forecast for this winter 2014-2015 ended up just fine on the strength of a cold and snowy February. We hit on the early cold of November, thought this is outside the "official winter period. We also hit on the blocking that occurred in the Gulf of Alaska. All in All a good forecast this year.

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: