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Weekly Look Ahead

April 8, 2021 (Updated Every Thursday)

5–7 Day Outlook

The National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center's forecast for the next 5 days (April 8–12) forecasts heavy rain and the potential for thunderstorms for the central U.S. As the storm system pushes eastward, chances increase for heavy rain and thunderstorms across the Upper Midwest, south-central, and southeastern U.S. In the Northwest, a storm moving in from the Pacific will bring colder than normal temperatures with snow likely falling in the Cascades and Northern Rockies and rain at lower elevations. In the Southwest and southern High Plains, warm, dry weather combined with gusty winds is expected to persist, leading to the potential continuation of dangerous fire weather conditions.

6–10 Day Outlook

The Climate Prediction Center 6–10 day outlook (valid April 12 through April 16) favors above-normal temperatures across the West, Northeast, and Southeast, with the largest probabilities centered over the Great Basin and New England. Below-normal temperatures are most likely across the Great Plains, Mississippi Valley, and Alaska.

The greatest probabilities of above-normal precipitation are across the Southern Plains, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic states.

 

This weekly look ahead is modified from the U.S. Drought Monitor's National Drought Summary from April 8, 2021, written by Deborah Bathke (National Drought Mitigation Center) and Brad Rippey (U.S. Department of Agriculture).

Data and Maps

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.

Featured Outlooks and Forecasts

Drought Outlooks & Forecasts

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.

Taking the U.S. Drought Monitor as a starting point, the Climate Prediction Center's Objective Drought Tendency Forecast is an integrated product that combines information from the flash drought development tool and subseasonal SPI3 forecasts. The forecast synthesizes information through a decision-tree process to determine whether drought will emerge, stay the same, or get better in the next 30 days, on a rolling basis. This tool is used to inform the official forecasts. Learn more.

Drought Outlook

The color with the hex code #9b634a identifies:
Drought persists
The color with the hex code #ded2bc identifies:
Drought remains but improves
The color with the hex code #b2ad69 identifies:
Drought removal likely
The color with the hex code #ffde63 identifies:
Drought development likely

Drought Outlook

The color with the hex code #9b634a identifies:
Drought persists
The color with the hex code #ded2bc identifies:
Drought remains but improves
The color with the hex code #b2ad69 identifies:
Drought removal likely
The color with the hex code #ffde63 identifies:
Drought development likely

Drought Outlook

The color with the hex code #8c645a identifies:
Drought persists
The color with the hex code #e1beb4 identifies:
Drought remains but improves
The color with the hex code #1eb41e identifies:
Drought removal likely
The color with the hex code #ffe878 identifies:
Drought development likely
The color with the hex code #c00000 identifies:
Drought intensification likely

Evaporative Demand and Flash Drought

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.

Created by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC), this subseasonal tool predicts the areas susceptible for flash drought development. The real-time product started running in April 2018 and has been used to support CPC’s Monthly Drought Outlook efforts. The tool, which is used to inform official forecasts, calculates the rapid change index (RCI) using 7-day mean evapotranspiration anomalies. RCI is the accumulated magnitude of moisture stress changes occurring over multiple weeks, and drought is likely to develop when RCI is negative. In the legend below, a higher number of non-exceedances indicates a greater potential for flash drought development. Learn more.

Drought Categories

The color with the hex code #ffff00 identifies:
ED0
The color with the hex code #ffd37f identifies:
ED1
The color with the hex code #ffaa00 identifies:
ED2
The color with the hex code #e60000 identifies:
ED3
The color with the hex code #730000 identifies:
ED4

Wetness Categories

The color with the hex code #8ccdef identifies:
EW0
The color with the hex code #00bfff identifies:
EW1
The color with the hex code #1d90ff identifies:
EW2
The color with the hex code #4169e1 identifies:
EW3
The color with the hex code #0000ff identifies:
EW4

Number of Non-Exceedances (Range: 0-30)

The color with the hex code #ffffff identifies:
≤ 2
The color with the hex code #ffff99 identifies:
2 - 5
The color with the hex code #ffcc33 identifies:
5 - 10
The color with the hex code #ff6633 identifies:
10 - 15
The color with the hex code #cc3300 identifies:
15 - 20
The color with the hex code #990000 identifies:
20 - 25
The color with the hex code #663333 identifies:
≥ 25
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).