The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track global extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topic: U.S. Average Temperature Spring Forecast
Dear Diary. Today is the last day of boreal or meteorological winter, so once again as we do on this blog, it is time to make a forecast for this coming spring. We have seen both anomalously very warm and cold conditions across most of the United States for most of the winter of 2022/23. Will that trend continue into winter? By the way, as I am writing today’s post, it is near 80°F in my hometown of Atlanta…way too warm for the end of February and near a daily and monthly record.
At the very start of spring, it’s time for me to make another attempt at a forecast for average seasonal temperatures in the U.S. This forecast will be very broad and not specific for any one state comprising the continental United States (or lower 48 states).
So how did the forecast work out for Winter 2022/23? Here is a link to the post for that forecast:
By March 8th the National Center for Environmental Information will finish their assessment for Winter 2022/23, so our verification is not complete as of February 28th. Let’s do fill in ranking numbers with 1 being the coldest and 128 warmest for a verification for months during 2022 (129 will be warmest for 2023.), which have already been assessed:
Here are my two cents for a broad, rough forecast for the U.S. for Spring 2023, which I guarantee to be warmer than this past winter, of course, as the amount of daylight increases across the Northern Hemisphere. First, I like to look at water temperature anomalies surrounding North America just before the start of a season to get a sense of how much potential anomalous heat can be added to the atmosphere across the continent. Here is what we see:
Finally, after many seasons, we see big changes across the Western Hemisphere. Due to many cold systems plowing into the western United States, water temperatures off the West Coast are below average. Sea surface temperatures off the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast continue to be well above average. These anomalies lead me to expect more of the same at least through April. We probably will see a repeat of February’s anomalies across the Continental United States, with below average temperatures persisting across the West while east of the Rockies we see above average readings. This type of pattern doesn’t bode well for many folks because it will lead to many severe outbreaks with fatalities and much destruction in the cards, unfortunately. Like February, both March and April should be close to average, but likely slightly above the median ranking of 64.5. Looking at trends, May is likely to have the warmest ranking.
Also, we are seeing big hints that our three yearlong La Niña is ending. Neutral sea surface temperature conditions between South America and Australia won’t be much of a factor through this spring but could have implications for later this year:
Second, I like to look at the strength and stability of the Hudson Bay low or polar vortex at the start of any season:
This will be the last seasonal forecast that I refer to the Hudson Bay low. I’m now convinced through the work of Dr. Michael Mann and Dr. Jennifer Francis that due to climate change the jet stream has weakened such that 500 millibar patterns have become very amplified, taking strange configurations not seen when I was forecasting before 2015. We just aren’t seeing many traditional Hudson Bay lows or vortexes staying in place anymore. Due to this the CONUS has had more tendencies to be above average, and we see this again looking at the above chart. Spring 2022 should be another above average temperature season for the CONUS as a whole.
By the 10th we probably will see a cold pattern west of the Rockies, with yet another strong system poised to interact with a wickedly warm temperature regime in the South:
Here is the National Weather Service forecast for Spring 2023:
I can’t disagree much with their assessment for this winter, especially after noting what has been happening with coastal temperatures and trends going into March. The NWS forecast might be a gad too warm for the Southwest noting strong cold systems digging into that part of the country through most of March. Another big factor is the ongoing western drought, which unfortunately should raise temperature averages, especially in the West. Also, the NWS forecast reflects what we would see during a typical La Niña pattern.
Overall, Spring 2023 will probably verify above average looking at trends from the rest of the planet.
Last, we can get another clue looking at prior National Center for Environmental Information ranking and temperature record count data. For this I like to drag out that “Record Scoreboard” (updated through 2/26/2023):
DHMX= Daily High Max Reports. DLMN= Daily Low Min Reports. DHMN= Daily High Min Reports. DLMX=Daily Low Max Reports.
For these data sets all monthly ratios of > 10 to 1 DHMX to DLMN or > 10 to 1 DLMN to DHMX are in bold type. The rankings are for the lower 48 states with the warmest ranking since 1895 of average temperatures being 127 and 1 being the coldest as of 2021. Blue colors represent cold months and red warm. Those months and years with counts close to a 1 to 1 ratio of highs to lows are colored black. Boldly red-, blue-, or purple-colored months, such as January 2020 and June 2021, have ratios of >10 to 1 daily record highs to lows or <1 to 10 daily record highs to lows, and are either historically hot or cold, most of which have made news. All-time record hot or cold ranked months are highlighted in purple.
After a relatively cold December, record numbers are trending north of a one-to-one ratio once more going into early spring. The ratio of DHMX to DLMN reports are well below 2 to 1 so far, indicating that we should see months with very high ratios soon. I would expect this new trend to hold through April with perhaps a top ten warm Mays in the cards given the state of climate change as of early 2023.
I’m predicting that all three spring months will be above average, but March and April should not be near record warm proportions due to winter like conditions persisting across the West. Here is the link to avg. rankings per year for the lower 48 states since 1895:
Not all seasons in the near future will see above average temperatures, but seasonal forecasters are beginning to ”chuck it,” discounting colder than average scenarios due to carbon pollution.
Again, here are all seasons ranked for the last decade:
An average ranking on the above chart would be 64.5 as of 2023.
Here is my bottom-line forecast for Spring 2023:
“I think that this spring will be ranked above average. Carbon pollution is definitely making below average seasons rarer. I’m going to forecast that Spring 2023 ranking will be around 100 + or – 10, with above average confidence given all of the factors on this post.“
If my forecast verifies this spring will have a similar ranking to that of last year.
My forecast for Fall 2022 of a ranking of 100 was spot on since we saw a ranking of 103. We will see how well my forecast ranking of near 80 for Winter 2022/23 worked out in a few days.
As of 2023 the top ranking for any month or season would be 129 since climatological rankings for the United States started in the year 1895. Carbon pollution is definitely making below average seasons rarer. As stated, I’m going to guess that Spring 2023 gets ranked around 100 + or – 10, and with above average confidence given all of the factors in this post.
We will see how this forecast pans out around June 8th, 2023.
Here are some “ET’s” recorded from around the planet the last couple of days, their consequences, and some extreme temperature outlooks, as well as any extreme precipitation reports.
Here is some new February 2023 climatology:
Here is more climate and weather news from Tuesday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.)
Guy Walton… “The Climate Guy”