Spring Outlook 2009

Spring Outlook 2009
Friday, 27 February 2009

It’s that time again: to stick my neck out, this time for a spring outlook.
In the interest of safety, I am wearing a hardened steel collar just in case.

First, let’s see how I did for the Dec-Feb Winter Forecast:

>>>I said it would be drier than normal; it was even worse than I feared but I was in the ballpark on that one. For the first two months of the year, here’s our percentage of the normal (30-year average) rainfall as shown below:













>>>I said we would have lots of cold nights due to the dry air; which we did. However, the overall temperature for this winter was much above average, February especially, so I was off on this to some degree.

>>>I said that we’d have a decent chance for frozen precipitation given the frequent visits by cold air. We had four ice events this winter, twice the average. One of these gave all Texoma kids a day off from school in late January.

Overall, I am pleased with the forecast I posted versus what we got.

Now for the spring:
La Nina continues to dominate the Pacific Ocean and to influence the jet pattern over the northern Pacific and the U.S. Also, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is in a cold phase. Both events point to a drier than normal spring.

Drier weather in the spring means warmer than average. Low pressure to our west, which seems to persist in dry years, makes for a southwesterly surface flow and this sends temperatures soaring. It also shunts the low-level moisture further east.

There will of course be severe weather, and there’s no way to say how much of that we’ll get in Texoma. Who would have predicted an intense EF4 tornado like the one in Lone Grove, even three days out?

But, if the drier pattern comes to pass, then we’ll likely see fewer severe weather events overall in Texoma. The expected dry and warm southern Plains pattern would favor more severe weather further east in the Mid-Mississippi valley this spring, on average. Again, this does not mean we will have zero tornadoes. It’s impossible to predict individual severe weather outbreaks more than a few days out.

To highlight then:

>>>Overall precipitation will likely be on the dry side of average.
>>>Overall temperatures above average.
>>>Severe weather may run below normal for spring.

I sincerely hope I’m wrong about the dry spell…but it does not look good right now.

Take Care,
Steve LaNore
Chief Meteorologist
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  • by Steve LaNore Location: KXII-TV on Mar 5, 2009 at 04:08 PM
    The PDO will remain in a cold phase for years, while the LaNina should diminish by summer. This will be too late to help our spring, and we know the summers are almost always dry in Texoma. So it does not look good for rainfall well into the year.
  • by Paige Location: Howe on Mar 3, 2009 at 01:29 PM
    Steve, How long will the La Nina and PDO patterns persist? Do we have any way of knowing?
  • by alan Location: denison on Mar 2, 2009 at 04:02 PM
    I agree with Mary!! I hate the heat I love texas but I think I want to move to colorado some place with a actual 4 seasons
  • by Darrell Location: Pottsboro on Mar 2, 2009 at 06:44 AM
    Hey Steve...I have noticed in the past, that when a La Nina event is ongoing, that the Tropics are more active. Does this perhaps mean an above average hurricane season??? Less wind shear aloft and warmer water temps in the Atlantic Basin usually occur during La Nina....Thanks Darrell
  • by Mary Location: Sherman on Mar 1, 2009 at 07:30 AM
    I just don't like the sound of that forecast. I hate the hot weather and to hear that it may be hotter than normal doesn't sound so good to me. I'm one of the crazy ones that loves the really cold weather. Oh well I live in the wrong place for a mild summer. Thanks for the details. I too hope you're wrong about the dry spell.
Sherman 4201 Texoma Pkwy (903) 892 -8123 Ardmore 2624 S. Commerce (580) 223-0946
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