Weather Update – March 29th, 2022

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Here is a look at how the MJO (Madden-Julian Oscillation) has behaved for the past 90 days…
Notice how we haven’t had a full cycle through all of the regions, which is something the MJO does…on a “normal” year. The reason for the lack of full cycling is the La Nina…it keeps the MJO locked into regions/phases that are in the far Western Pacific Ocean. This usually makes for some very dry times for parts of the western half of the country… Areas farther east do much better. See the total precip for the past 90 days.
Notice how much of The West has been shutout, with a few exceptions from SE WY into parts of Eastern Colorado and Northwest Kansas. Otherwise, the majority of the moisture has fallen MUCH farther to the east. And because the MJO has been pretty much locked into either phase 3 or in null (inactive) phase, this pattern has been very reluctant to change. So, is there any evidence that this may change? Not really… The La Nina has had a little resurgence in the past month. The animation below, shows how the colder than average water was greatly eroded, only to come back recently and at a decent depth too…
This means that the La Nina will likely hold on for a bit longer, before likely disappearing in later this spring…May? With this in mind, here is the current MJO forecast through the end of April.
The black line is where it has been, and the colored lines are where it is forecast to go. These two models show the MJO either staying very close to center (null/inactive phase), or cycling weakly into the same areas that it has been cycling for awhile now. That is what makes me skeptical of any significant help for areas that are and have been dry right now. In fact, one could also argue that the areas that have SERIOUSLY LUCKED OUT (parts of Eastern Colorado and Western Kansas), may struggle going forward… Again, does this mean that there won’t be any storms? No…it is the seasonal change and there will always be storms. Keep in mind, this is the favored trend and doesn’t take into account individual storm exceptions. However, who is the most likely to benefit from those storms in the next month?  See below…
EURO Weeklies Model 45 Day Forecast
GFS Extended Model 35 Day Forecast
Canadian Extended Model 32 Day Forecast
Notice how the majority of those three models keep it pretty dry in the center and western part of the country. The EURO model has some moisture for parts of Texas, but I think areas farther east will benefit the most. Bottom-line, with the storm track still favoring a somewhat northwesterly flow (keeping California largely drier than average), it makes it tough for the storm to organize far enough west to benefit the areas that have been dry. IF for some reason the MJO can become more active and cycle properly through the various phases, then this forecast changes greatly. However, with the La Nina episode lingering, the chances of that happening are pretty slim. Some areas in the dry regions will no doubt get lucky, but those areas will certainly be the exception versus the rule. Also, it just seems prudent that the farther southwest you live, the worse your chances will be to get something significant. Areas farther north/east will have better chances…
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