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Weekly Look Ahead

May 19, 2022 (Updated Every Thursday)

5–7 Day Outlook

The upper-level circulation will continue to bring Pacific weather systems across the contiguous U.S. during the next week. Temperatures are forecast to be below normal from the Pacific Northwest to the Great Lakes and southward into the Central Plains. An eastern ridge will keep temperatures warmer than normal along the East Coast. An inch or more of precipitation is predicted to fall through Tuesday morning for some of the mountains of the Pacific Northwest and central to northern Rockies. An inch or more is expected from the Southern Plains to the Great Lakes and eastward to the East Coast. However, some areas along the East Coast will have less than an inch, and some areas from the Lower Mississippi Valley to Ohio Valley, as well as much of Florida, can expect 2 or more inches. Most of the Great Plains will see less than half of an inch of rain. Much of the Southwest, from California to New Mexico and including parts of the Pacific Northwest, will receive little to no precipitation.

6–10 Day Outlook

Looking ahead to May 24–28, odds favor above-normal temperatures for the Southwest, Deep South, East Coast, and southwest Alaska, and below-normal temperatures in Washington, the Upper Mississippi Valley, and eastern Alaska.

Odds favor below-normal precipitation from California to the western portions of the Central and Southern Plains, as well as western Alaska. Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation is likely in Washington, east-central Alaska, eastern portions of the Southern Plains, and from the Mississippi Valley to East Coast.

 

This weekly look ahead is modified from the U.S. Drought Monitor's National Drought Summary for May 17, 2022, written by Richard Heim (NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information) and Tsegaye Tadesse (National Drought Mitigation Center).

Featured Outlooks & Forecasts

Predicting drought depends on the ability to forecast precipitation and temperature within the context of complex climate interactions. Many different datasets and maps are available that predict how precipitation and temperature may change in the future.

Quantitative Precipitation Forecast

Produced by the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center, this Quantitative Precipitation Forecast shows the amount of liquid precipitation expected to fall over the next 24 hours. (In the case of snow or ice, the forecast represents the amount of liquid that will be measured when the precipitation is melted.) Precipitation amounts can vary significantly over short distances, especially when thunderstorms occur, so the Quantitative Precipitation Forecast is defined as the expected "areal average" (on a 20 x 20 km grid) in inches. Learn more.

Produced by the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center, this Quantitative Precipitation Forecast shows the amount of liquid precipitation expected to fall over the next 7 days. (In the case of snow or ice, the forecast represents the amount of liquid that will be measured when the precipitation is melted.) Precipitation amounts can vary significantly over short distances, especially when thunderstorms occur, so the Quantitative Precipitation Forecast is defined as the expected "areal average" (on a 20 x 20 km grid) in inches. Learn more.

Predicted Inches of Precipitation
Range Map Hex Color
0 - 0.01 #ffffff
0.01 - 0.1 #7fff00
0.1 - 0.25 #00cd00
0.25 - 0.5 #008b00
0.5 - 0.75 #104e8b
0.75 - 1 #1e90ff
1 - 1.25 #00b2ee
1.25 - 1.5 #00eeee
1.5 - 1.75 #8968cd
Range Map Hex Color
1.75 - 2 #912cee
2 - 2.5 #8b008b
2.5 - 3 #8b0000
3 - 4 #cd0000
4 - 5 #ee4000
5 - 7 #ff7f00
7 - 10 #cd8500
10 - 15 #ffd700
15 - 20 #ffff00
20 - #ffaeb9
Predicted Inches of Precipitation
Range Map Hex Color
0 - 0.01 #ffffff
0.01 - 0.1 #7fff00
0.1 - 0.25 #00cd00
0.25 - 0.5 #008b00
0.5 - 0.75 #104e8b
0.75 - 1 #1e90ff
1 - 1.25 #00b2ee
1.25 - 1.5 #00eeee
1.5 - 1.75 #8968cd
Range Map Hex Color
1.75 - 2 #912cee
2 - 2.5 #8b008b
2.5 - 3 #8b0000
3 - 4 #cd0000
4 - 5 #ee4000
5 - 7 #ff7f00
7 - 10 #cd8500
10 - 15 #ffd700
15 - 20 #ffff00
20 - #ffaeb9

6–10 Day Temperature & Precipitation Outlooks

The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) produces precipitation outlooks for the U.S., including 6–10 day, 8–14 day, monthly, and seasonal outlooks. This outlook depicts whether there is a greater probability (percent chance) for above-normal, below-normal, or near-normal conditions during the next 6 to 10 days. Learn more.

The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) produces temperature outlooks for the U.S., including 6–10 day, 8–14 day, monthly, and seasonal outlooks. This outlook depicts whether there is a greater probability (percent chance) for above-normal, below-normal, or near-normal conditions during the next 6 to 10 days. Learn more.

Probability (Percent Chance) of Below-Normal Precipitation
Range Map Hex Color
33% - 40% #f0d493
40% - 50% #d8a750
50% - 60% #bb6d33
60% - 70% #9b5031
70% - 80% #934639
80% - 90% #804000
90% - 100% #4f2f2f
Probability (Percent Chance) of Above-Normal Precipitation
Range Map Hex Color
33% - 40% #b3d9ab
40% - 50% #94cd7e
50% - 60% #48ae38
60% - 70% #3a7b5f
70% - 80% #008e40
80% - 90% #28553d
90% - 100% #285517
Value Map Hex Color
Near-Normal Conditions #a2a2a2
Probability (Percent Chance) of Below-Normal Temperature
Range Map Hex Color
33% - 40% #a0c0df
40% - 50% #77b5e2
50% - 60% #389fdb
60% - 70% #005ca1
70% - 80% #2f406f
80% - 90% #221852
90% - 100% #1c1342
Probability (Percent Chance) of Above-Normal Temperature
Range Map Hex Color
33% - 40% #e7b168
40% - 50% #e38b4a
50% - 60% #dc562f
60% - 70% #c72e28
70% - 80% #cc3047
80% - 90% #8a2f38
90% - 100% #622228
Value Map Hex Color
Near-Normal Conditions #a2a2a2

U.S. Drought Outlooks

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center's Monthly Drought Outlook is issued at the end of each calendar month and is valid for the upcoming month. The Outlook predicts whether drought will emerge, stay the same, or get better over the next 30 days or so. Learn more.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center's Seasonal Drought Outlook is issued monthly on the third Thursday of each month. The Outlook predicts whether drought will emerge, stay the same, or get better in the next three months. Learn more.

Drought Outlook
Value Map Hex Color
Drought persists #9b634a
Drought remains but improves #ded2bc
Drought removal likely #b2ad69
Drought development likely #ffde63
No drought present #ffffff

Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI) Forecast

The Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI) is an experimental drought monitoring and early warning guidance tool. It examines how anomalous the atmospheric evaporative demand (E0; also known as "the thirst of the atmosphere") is for a given location and across a time period of interest. This experimental subseasonal EDDI forecast shows projected evaporative demand for the next 14 days from the CFS-gridMET dataset at 4-km gridded resolution. Learn more.

The Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI) is an experimental drought monitoring and early warning guidance tool. It examines how anomalous the atmospheric evaporative demand (E0; also known as "the thirst of the atmosphere") is for a given location and across a time period of interest. This experimental subseasonal EDDI forecast shows projected evaporative demand for the next 28 days from the CFS-gridMET dataset at 4-km gridded resolution. Learn more.

Dry Conditions
Value Map Hex Color
D4 #730000
D3 #E60000
D2 #FFAA00
D1 #FCD37F
D0 #FFFF00
Wet Conditions
Value Map Hex Color
Near Normal #ffffff
W0 #AAFF55
W1 #01FFFF
W2 #00AAFF
W3 #0000FF
W4 #0000AA
Dry Conditions
Value Map Hex Color
D4 #730000
D3 #E60000
D2 #FFAA00
D1 #FCD37F
D0 #FFFF00
Wet Conditions
Value Map Hex Color
Near Normal #ffffff
W0 #AAFF55
W1 #01FFFF
W2 #00AAFF
W3 #0000FF
W4 #0000AA
Experimental

Challenges with Predicting Drought

Pressure Systems

High pressure systems, which hinder cloud formation and lead to low relative humidity and precipitation, can cause drought. When large-scale anomalies in atmospheric circulation patterns last for months or seasons, prolonged drought occurs (NDMC).

Temperate Zone Forecast Reliability

In temperate regions (above 30 north latitude), long-range forecasts have limited reliability. Due to differences in observed conditions and statistical models, reliable forecasts for temperate regions may not be attainable for a season or more in advance (NDMC).

Interconnected Variables

Anomalies in precipitation and temperature may last from several months to several decades, and how long they last can depend on air–sea interactions, soil moisture, land surface processes, topography, and weather systems at the global scale (NDMC).

ENSO and Global Weather Patterns

Teleconnections, such as ENSO and La Niña events, are atmospheric interactions between widely separated regions. Understanding these teleconnections can help in forecasting droughts, floods, tropical storms, and hurricanes (NDMC).