What is the Weather Outlook for Early Season 2015?

Rick Thoman, NWS Climate Scientist in Fairbanks, said “Save this one!” when he showed this slide about the CPC’s spring temperature prediction in his Dec. 19 NWS Webinar.  So I did:  it’s a pretty bold forecast for a warmer than normal early spring in much of Alaska.  Of course, it’s still hard to know what that might mean for fire season.  We know that warmer springs can be associated with premature disappearance of snow and higher fire danger in that pre-greenup season though.  On the other hand, well-timed spring rain, after the ground thaws enough to receive it, can just as easily put a damper on duff fuel moistures well into the summer.  And, it’s a lot easier to predict temperature than precipitation.  Still, when I hear the starting line-up:  PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation) in a warm phase, a fairly robust El Niño, and warm early spring–I can’t help but think that it could be an interesting year.  It looks like Southcentral Alaska may be in the cross-hairs again too.  Check out the latest seasonal outlooks as the season progresses at CPC’s website.

December 18th NWS prediction for spring temperature/precip in Alaska.  See the latest at www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/90day/

December 18th Climate Prediction Center Forecast for spring temperature/precip in Alaska. See the latest at http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/90day/

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