Climate center predicts wet June for south

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, June 2, 2015

May in Pearl River County was abnormally wet. Rainfall totals in some locations in the southern part of the county exceeded 10 inches. This is over double the average for May, which is a little under five inches.

Now the U.S. Climatic Prediction Center (CPC) says that June also is likely to be wetter than normal.

On Sunday CPC, which is part of the National Weather Service, issued their one-month outlook for the entire United States. This outlook consists of a map showing the probabilities of the total precipitation over the upcoming 30-days will be above normal, below normal, or near normal. A similar probability outlook is issued for temperatures.

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CPC’s outlook for this June shows the best chances for above normal rainfall in the lower 48 states is in a broad swath through the Gulf South, Southeast, and up the Eastern Seaboard. The other area with the highest chances of above normal rainfall is in parts of Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming and South Dakota.

“Normal” June rainfall for Pearl River County is between five and five and a half inches.

CPC’s temperature outlook for June gives us equal chances of having above, below, or near-normal temperatures.

CPC’s forecasters look at a number of factors when putting together their outlook each month. They analyze several measures of large global ocean-atmosphere phenomena, including the warming of sea surface temperatures in the Pacific known as El Nino. A weak to moderate El Nino is currently underway.

The forecasters also examine a number of computer models of the ocean and atmosphere. Dynamical models attempt to represent the physical processes in the ocean, atmosphere, and land surface. Another set of tools includes statistical models, which make predictions based on past and present observations and the correlations that have been observed in the past.

While long-range monthly and seasonal forecasts certainly aren’t as accurate as the one to seven day forecasts issued by the National Weather Service and others, CPC did accurately forecast that our last two months, April and May, were going to be wetter than normal.

Despite the long-term outlook for the month, it looks like June is going to start out with a drying trend. Our chances for late morning, afternoon, and evening thundershowers is about 20-30 percent through Sunday, which is down from the 50-70 percent we have had lately. With less clouds, expect temperatures to be headed into the 90s by late in the work week.

By Skip Rigney