NOAA March 2023 Outlook: Colder and Wetter Than Normal For Most of the Country

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March 2023 Temperature outlook. Credit: NOAA
March 2023 Temperature outlook. Credit: NOAA

The NOAA just released its outlook for March 2023. After February saw record-breaking snow fall in California and Utah, the outlook is for March to be wetter and colder than normal. Will we see this snowy pattern continue? Let’s hope so.

NOAA’s discussion is below:

The March temperature outlook favors below-normal monthly mean temperatures for South Alaska including the Alaska Panhandle, much of the western CONUS eastward to the northern Plains, western Great Lakes, and New England. Areas forecast for Alaska, much of the western U.S., and the northern Plains are supported by background La Nina conditions that continue to remain in place in the atmospheric circulation in the north Pacific Ocean and much of North America. Even though equatorial Pacific negative SST anomalies continue to become less negative, the atmospheric response is likely to remain during much of the month of March.

Above-normal snow depth in some areas of the northern Plains also aids support for favored below-normal temperatures in this region. Above-normal temperatures are also favored for parts of southwest Alaska and the Aleutian Islands in part related to above-normal SSTs.

The March precipitation outlook favors above-normal monthly total precipitation amounts for northern California and the Pacific Northwest eastward across the northern Rockies, northern Plains, upper Midwest, and southward to include the Ohio Valley and parts of the Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys. The continuation of the potential influence of ongoing La Nina conditions and both statistical and dynamical model forecast guidance supports the outlook in these areas. Also, the evolution of the MJO, should it occur, would tend, to first order, become additive to these forecast positive precipitation anomalies at times during March. Below-normal precipitation is most likely for the extreme Southeast and Gulf Coast as well as southern Texas.

For Alaska, La Nina conditions and to some degree forecast model guidance favor above-normal precipitation for the west coast of Alaska and below-normal precipitation for the south-central Alaska coast.

March 2023 Precipitation outlook. Credit: NOAA
March 2023 Precipitation outlook. Credit: NOAA

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