I suppose if you had to guess what the spring might hold for us in Wisconsin, you would say warmer than normal conditions. That is what the Climate Prediction Center’s updated outlook for April calls for too. They project most of the eastern two-thirds of the nation to have above normal temperatures. They pinpoint the greatest likelihood of above normal temperatures around the Southern Plains. They are predicting an increased chance of cooler than normal temperatures in the Pacific Northwest.
As far as precipitation goes, the Climate Prediction Center indicates that above normal amounts are possible from Michigan south to Tennessee basically. They think that drier than normal conditions are more likely in places like Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and in a strip from southern Texas over to Florida and South Carolina. The CPC has Wisconsin in an area of equal chances of below, normal, and above precipitation. So there is no strong signal either way from the models and ocean-atmospheric patterns. We normally get around 3″ of moisture in April in our region.
At this time, there is still a weak La Nina pattern ongoing in the tropical Pacific Ocean. However it is projected to dissipate completely by May. One thing we’ll have to keep an eye on around Wisconsin with the warmer than normal weather is the possibility of earlier than normal severe thunderstorm outbreaks. Usually severe weather season doesn’t hit high gear until mid May to early June around here. That’s normally when the warm, humid air necessary for severe storms and tornadoes makes a more regular appearance to our area as the jet streams migrate northward. However this year, it appears those conditions will come together about a month early perhaps.
This post was written by Tony Schumacher on March 19, 2012