2014 Spring Forecast

1997ElNino

Winter 2013-2014 has departed into memory lane. We welcome Spring 2014 as it is on a cold start. I have been reading that we could see El Nino this year. Even NWS Climate Prediction Center has an El Nino Watch. It can develop in late spring to fall. The westerlies have been getting stronger, which has been the case in 1997, which had a strong El Nino in 1997-1998. Based on this, I choose these past springs for Spring 2014 Analogs. It is based mostly on El Nino development.

Analog For Spring 2014
1957
1965
1972
1982
1991
1997
2002

I choose these springs because the year started either neutral or weak La Nina to El Nino by end of year. 1982-1983 and 1997-1998 had strong Eastern Equatorial El Nino, while 1957-1958, 1965-1966, and 1991-1992 had strong Modoki El Nino. Modoki El Nino is where the warmest water is in the Central Pacific, which is Region 3 to 4.

ElNinoRegion

Region 1+2 is off the coast of South America. Region 3 is west of Region 1+2. Region 3.4 is between region 3 and 4. Region 4 goes past the International Date Line. El Nino covers a great area of the Equatorial Pacific. The picture below is an Eastern Equatorial El Nino.

ElNino1950-2012

Eastern Equatorial El Nino
1972-1973
1982-1983
1997-1998

The picture below is a Modoki El Nino. Notice the warmest water is south of Hawaii.

ModokiElNino1950-2012

Modoki El Nino
1957-1958
1965-1966
1991-1992
2002-2003

Four of the seven were Modoki El Nino, while three out of seve were Eastern Equatorial El Nino. I am inclined to think this will more likely be a Eastern Equatorial El Nino. When I look at the anomaly and atmospheric and oceanic patterns, it looks fairly similar to 1997. The subsurface of 1997 and 2014 are similar as they are unusually warm.

Here is a weekly El Nino pattern chart I made. I got it off of Climate Prediction Center It is from March to early April.

Analog2014SpringENSO

1991 had an overall cooling trend in Region 1+2. Region 3 warms and than cools. Region 3.4 warms up. Region 4 warms up.
1997 has an overall warming trend in all regions. There are some fluctuations.
2002 is like 1997 with overall warming trend in all regions.

When I look at 2014, Region 1+2 cools at first, than starts to warm up. Region 3, 3.4, and 4 warm up considerably. It is following a pattern similar to 1997.

Let’s look at the statistics for those analog springs, regardless of PDO in America. Data is from Divisional Weather

2014SpringAnalogUSDivisionalWeather 2014SpringAnalogWeather

America Spring Analog
Temperature
Mean: 50.89°F
Median: 50.66°F
Lowest: 49.38°F (1965)
Highest: 52.61°F (1991)

Precipitation
Mean: 8.53
Median: 8.21
Lowest: 7.34 (1972)
Highest: 10.40 (1957/1991)

Overall Spring Temperature (1895-2013)
Mean: 51.06°F
Median: 50.78°F
Standard Deviation: 1.37

Overall Spring Precipitation (1895-2013)
Mean: 7.93
Median: 7.86
Standard Deviation: 0.98

Overall, analog years in America are wetter. In fact, 1957 and 1991 are the wettest spring on record and they tie! They can also be dry, but within average as it is within the standard deviation of 0.98. In terms of temperature, spring is cooler than average. Here is the top 20 wettest, coolest, and warmest spring in America. It goes back to 1895.

Wettest Spring For America (1895-2013)
1.) 1957*/1991* 10.40
2.) 1983 10.37
3.) 1973 10.36
4.) 1995 9.92
5.) 2011 9.76
6.) 1922 9.65
7.) 1912 9.76
8.) 1905 9.48
9.) 1975 9.35
10.) 1944 9.33
11.) 1929 9.25
12.) 1938 9.23
13.) 1935 9.19
14.) 1979 9.10
15.) 1945 9.04
16.) 1990 9.03
17.) 1908 9.00
18.) 1920 8.87
19.) 1980 8.86
20.) 1984 8.85

Coolest Spring For America (1895-2013)
1.) 1917 47.37°F
2.) 1924 48.45°F
3.) 1975 48.63°F
4.) 1920 48.79°F
5.) 1912 48.94°F
6.) 1950 48.98°F
7.) 1983 49.12°F
8.) 1909 49.15°F
9.) 1923 49.24°F
10.) 1960 49.27°F
11.) 1899/1965* 49.38°F
12.) 1971 49.39°F
13.) 1906 49.47°F
14.) 1970 49.67°F
15.) 1951 49.68°F
16.) 1907 49.71°F
17.) 1932 49.82°F
18.) 1944 49.83°F
19.) 1915 49.90°F
20.) 1984 49.92°F

Warmest Spring For America (1895-2013)
1.) 2012 56.18°F
2.) 1910 54.09°F
3.) 2004 54.00°F
4.) 2000 53.92°F
5.) 1934 53.74°F
6.) 2007 53.51°F
7.) 2006 53.39°F
8.) 1946/1986 53.38°F
9.) 1985 53.31°F
10.) 1987 53.02°F
11.) 1925 52.99°F
12.) 1977 52.97°F
13.) 1992 52.80°F
14.) 1991*/1994 52.61°F
15.) 1921 52.58°F
16.) 2001 52.46°F
17.) 1936 52.37°F
18.) 1981 52.31°F
19.) 1939 52.25°F
20.) 2010 52.23°F

*Analog Spring

Only one of the coolest warmest springs on record occurred in an analog spring. 1965 ties with 1899 as the 11th coolest spring on record. 1991 ties with 1994 as the 14th warmest spring on record. So, it could be possible that America could see either a cool or warm spring in the analog springs. I think it will depend on what region. Some areas might be warmer, while others are cooler.

Let’s go the Lone Star State and see how analog years are like.

Texas Spring Analog
Temperature
Mean: 64.94°F
Median: 64.80°F
Lowest: 62.90°F (1957)
Highest: 67.00°F (1991)

Precipitation
Mean: 8.75
Median: 7.63
Lowest: 5.67 (2002)
Highest: 14.75 (1957)

Overall Spring Temperature (1895-2013)
Mean: 64.75°F
Median: 64.73°F
Standard Deviation: 1.78

Overall Spring Precipitation (1895-2013)
Mean: 7.27
Median: 7.05
Standard Deviation: 2.17

Overall, analog years in Texas are wetter. Some of the wettest springs have occurred in analog springs. Here is a list of wettest, coolest, and warmest springs in Texas.

Wettest Spring For Texas (1895-2013)
1.) 1957 14.75*
2.) 1905 12.59
3.) 1941 12.43
4.) 1900 12.36
5.) 2007 12.16
6.) 1922 11.97
7.) 1914 11.90
8.) 1997 10.85*
9.) 1929 10.79
10.) 1926 10.44
11.) 1908 10.18
12.) 1935 9.96
13.) 1990 9.90
14.) 1979 9.75
15.) 1969 9.66
16.) 1992 9.64
17.) 1919 9.49
18.) 1968 9.46
19.) 1995 9.35
20.) 1981 9.20

Coolest Spring For Texas (1895-2013)
1.) 1931 59.93°F
2.) 1915 60.67°F
3.) 1924 61.07°F
4.) 1926 61.50°F
5.) 1958 61.53°F
6.) 1969 62.03°F
7.) 1983 62.17°F
8.) 1941 62.37°F
9.) 1947/1987 62.50°F
10.) 1914/1970 62.57°F
11.) 1903 62.73°F
12.) 1912/1952 62.80°F
13.) 1913 62.83°F
14.) 1917/1957*/1960 62.90°F
15.) 1923/1973 62.97°F
16.) 1968 63.00°F
17.) 1932 63.13°F
18.) 1993 63.20°F
19.) 1906/1997* 63.23°F
20.) 1919 63.27°F

Warmest Spring For Texas (1895-2013)
1.) 2012 69.67°F
2.) 2006 69.17°F
3.) 2011 68.73°F
4.) 1967 68.17°F
5.) 2000 68.13°F
6.) 1974 68.03°F
7.) 1925 67.90°F
8.) 1963 67.87°F
9.) 1927 67.03°F
10.) 1991 67.00°F
11.) 1972 66.97°F
12.) 1955 66.90°F
13.) 1902/1986 66.83°F
14.) 1908 66.70°F
15.) 1985/2004 66.60°F
16.) 2003 66.53°F
17.) 1989 66.50°F
18.) 1946 66.47°F
19.) 1939 66.30°F
20.) 1896/1904/1938/2002* 66.17°F

*Analog Spring

Two of the twenty wettest springs have occurred in analog spring; 1957 and 1997. Texans in 1957 were pleased that it was a wet spring as they were languishing in a severe drought that plagued the great state for years. They thought rain will never return and got their glorious liquid gold. El Nino causes the jet stream to go further south, which allows storms to track over Texas, which makes it wetter.

1957 and 1997 also happened to be in the top 20 coolest spring on record for Texas. The cool spring is from all the rain falling and clouds covering the Sun. Interestingly, 2002 is in the top 20 warmest spring for Texas. 2002 ties with 1896, 1904, and 1938 as 20th warmest spring on record. This is despite the fact that there was a deep freeze in early March. I suspect that this spring will be cooler than normal for Texas based on the analog.

Upper Texas Coast Spring Analog
Temperature
Mean: 69.32°F
Median: 68.93°F
Lowest: 68.10°F (1997)
Highest: 71.00°F (1991)

Precipitation
Mean: 13.94
Median: 13.04
Lowest: 7.02 (1965)
Highest: 22.18 (1997)

Overall Spring Temperature (1895-2013)
Mean: 68.52°F
Median: 68.40°F
Standard Deviation: 1.68

Overall Spring Precipitation (1895-2013)
Mean: 10.38
Median: 9.91
Standard Deviation: 4.29

Again, there is a wide range of rainfall total in analog springs. However, they are wetter compared to spring overall. Analog springs are interesting as they can be wide ranging as they can be cool and warm. Here are top 20 wettest, coolest, and warmest spring for the Upper Texas Coast.

Wettest Spring For Upper Texas Coast (1895-2013)
1.) 1997 22.18*
2.) 1900 19.54
3.) 1957 19.32*
4.) 1929 19.06
5.) 1914 18.54
6.) 1944 18.33
7.) 1993 18.32
8.) 1905 17.60
9.) 1941 17.46
10.) 1907/1979 17.02
11.) 1991 16.66*
12.) 1992 16.41
13.) 1970 16.16
14.) 2007 15.85
15.) 1923 15.49
16.) 1922 15.45
17.) 1946 15.35
18.) 1995 15.23
19.) 2004 15.17
20.) 1973 15.16

Coolest Spring For Upper Texas Coast (1895-2013)
1.) 1931 63.37°F
2.) 1915 64.87°F
3.) 1926 65.53°F
4.) 1913 65.63°F
5.) 1983 65.67°F
6.) 1914/1969 65.87°F
7.) 1952 65.90°F
8.) 1924/1960 66.07°F
9.) 1941 66.40°F
10.) 1947 66.53°F
11.) 1970/1993 66.57°F
12.) 1912 66.60°F
13.) 1919 66.63°F
14.) 1917 66.67°F
15.) 1932 66.77°F
16.) 1942 66.83°F
17.) 1937 66.90°F
18.) 1928/1962 67.03°F
19.) 1930 67.07°F
20.) 1906 67.10°F

Warmest Spring For Upper Texas Coast (1895-2013)
1.) 2012 72.83°F
2.) 2011 72.03°F
3.) 2006 72.00°F
4.) 2000 71.57°F
5.) 1967 71.43°F
6.) 1963 71.40°F
7.) 1908 71.37°F
8.) 1991 71.00°F*
9.) 1925 70.97°F
10.) 1933/1953/1999 70.67°F
11.) 1974 70.57°F
12.) 1955 70.50°F
13.) 1985 70.47°F
14.) 1902/2002* 70.37°F
15.) 1899 70.33°F
16.) 2004 70.27°F
17.) 1927/1935/2008 70.23°F
18.) 1972 70.17°F*
19.) 1897 70.07°F
20.) 1929 70.03°F

*Analog Spring

Three of the twenty wettest springs have occurred in analog springs; 1957, 1991, and 1997. Two are also in the top 10 and 20 wettest springs for Upper Texas Coast. I remember 1991 and 1997 being quite stormy. Heavy rain would fall almost every week in those years.

In terms of temperature, none of the analog years are in the top 20 coolest spring on record. However, some of the analog years are the warmest spring on record. 1991 had 8th warmest, 2002 had 14th warmest spring, a tie with 1902, and 1972 had 19th warmest. This suggest this spring could be warmer than normal for the Upper Texas Coast. However, I think we could have average to slightly cooler spring. The reason is in those analog years, the East Pacific Oscillation (EPO) is negative, which means there is ridging over Alaska. When there is ridging over Alaska, cold air goes down south.

2014SpringAnalog500mbGeopotentialAnomaly

What is my forecast for Spring 2014? My forecast is this could be a wetter than normal spring with possibility of severe storms and flood events happening, especially in the latter half of spring. Usually with a developing El Nino, severe storms are more likely to happen, especially in the southern half of America, including Texas. Here are examples of severe weather events in the analog spring.

1957
April to June had series of heavy rain in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The heavy rain end the severe 1950s drought.
April 1957 Southeastern United States Tornado Outbreak occurs in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia on April 8. The outbreak produces 14 tornadoes and claim 7 lives.
April 1957 Dallas Tornado Outbreak on April 2 to 4. The tornadoes primarily hit the Dallas-Fort Worth Area and North Texas. It also affects Mississippi and Oklahoma. Once it is over, 19 people are killed from 50 recorded tornadoes.
May 1957 Central Plains Tornado Outbreak produced 57 recorded tornadoes in Kansas and Missouri on May 19 to 21. The outbreak claims 59 souls, 52 of them in Missouri.
Late-May 1957 Tornado Outbreak in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, and Arkansas on May 24 to 25. The outbreak claims 4 lives from 37 recorded tornadoes.

1965
1965 Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak ravages Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa on April 11 to 12. At least 47 tornadoes are confirmed and many were violent. The massive tornado outbreak claimed 271 souls, including 138 souls in Indiana. It remains the deadliest tornado outbreak in Indiana history and one of the deadliest in American history.
Early-May 1965 Tornado Outbreak hits Minnesota on May 5 to 8. 72 tornadoes are recorded and claim 17 lives.
Brazos River Valley in Central Texas is hit by flooding on May 16 to 17 from 10 inches of rain.
On May 18, San Antonio area is hit by 6 inches of rain, which leads to flooding. The flooding claims 2 lives in Bexar County.

1972
Thunderstorms develop ahead of a cold front on March 20. Many areas in the northern part of Harris County saw over 7 inches of rain, including 7.47 inches at Bush Intercontinental Airport. All that rainfall fell in three hours!
The Portland, Oregon area is hit by a severe weather outbreak, including a F3 tornado, which hit Oregn and Washington. The F3 tornado is the first recorded in Oregon. Once it is over 6 people perish.
Central Texas is hit by massive rain on May 11 to 12 with areas seeing up to 16.50 inches of rain in four hours. 12 inches of rain fell in one hour!

1982
Heavy rainfalls in North Texas with 13 inches falling in Pilot Point on May 13 in 24 hours. It leads to widespread flooding.

1991
A derecho hits on April 9 from Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Two people lose their life in the event.
Heavy rain falls in South Texas on April 5. Harlingen records over 17 inches of rain, while there are unofficial reports over over 20 inches in six hours.

1997
A Nor’easter hits on March 31 to April 1, which is dubbed the April Fool’s Blizzard as it dumped snow, sleet, and rain. Many areas saw 10 to 20 inches of snow with some isolated areas seeing 32 inches of snow. Boston Logan had the foruth biggest snowfall amount from that event, which remains the largest April snowfall total.
Heavy rain falls on night of April 10 to wee hours of April 11 over Texas Gulf Coastal Bend. Up to 13 inches of rain is recorded over Lavaca and Shiner. The flooding claims 2 lives.
Houston area is hit by series of storms and flooding rains from March to May. The heavy rain of May 21 to 22 claims the life of an elderly man.
North Dakota, Minnesota, and Southern Manitoba is flooded by the Red River from massive snowfall amount and warm weather. It is the worst since 1826.
Central Texas is hit by a severe weather outbreak including tornadoes on May 27. A monsterous F5 tornado hits the town of Jarrell, which claims 27 lives. The town is wiped out from that deadly tornado. The tornado outbreak produces 20 known tornadoes and claims 28 souls.

2002
Unusually strong cold front passes through Texas in early March. Many areas see record lows including 12°F in Austin and 22°F in Houston.
Heavy rain and strong winds from severe thunderstorms on the night of April 7 to early morning of April 8 over Houston area.

When I look at this, I think Spring 2014 could be a rough one, especially in April to early June. Some of the deadliest tornado outbreaks have occurred in analog spring, the 1965 Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak. There is also the 1997 Jarrell Tornado, which destroyed Jarrell. There was even a spring blizzard in the Northeast. Texas is often hit by heavy rain and flooding that usually occurs at night. Interesting that most of those extremely heavy rain happen at night. Does this mean, we could see those events? No, it just means there is a better chance to see severe weather and flooding.

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