The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has issued its extended weather forecasts. In its outlook for May, it calls for above-normal temps across the southern tier of states a well as most of the Southwest. Below-normal temps are expected in Washington. Elsewhere, chances are equal for below, normal or above-normal temps. Below-normal precip is expected in the Pacific Northwest in May, while chances are equal for below, normal or above-normal precip across the rest of the country.
In its outlook for May through July, the CPC expects above-normal temps to continue across the same areas, but also along the East Coast. Below-normal temps are expected to move furthest east to cover most of Montana and the western portions of the Dakotas. Across the Central Plains and Midwest, chances are equal for below, normal or above-normal temps. During this time, below-normal precip is expected across the Northwest, while chances are equal for below, normal or above-normal precip across the rest of the country.
In its Seasonal Drought Outlook, the CPC says the drought outlook is "not optimistic. "Substantial improvement is expected only in southern Maine, the southern half of Florida with the onset of its rainy season, and western North Dakota. Meanwhile, limited surface moisture improvement is anticipated in the rest of the Northeast, North Carolina, the immediate southern Atlantic coastline, northern Florida and adjacent Alabama, and the upper Midwest," it adds. "In addition, late-period monsoonal rains could bring limited improvement to southern sections of New Mexico and Arizona. Drought should persist where it exists elsewhere (including Hawaii) and may expand to cover the central Rockies. It should be noted that the Drought Outlook is hampered by uncertainty regarding the track and intensity of a storm system that could drop heavy precipitation on part or all of the Atlantic Seaboard during April 21 – 23."
Check the following links for maps of forecasts:
Juli says: These forecasts point to the likelihood of a weather scare for the upcoming growing season... especially since drought is epxected to continue in the Upper Midwest.