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Southeast Climate Monthly Webinar: June 27, 2023

Event Date
June 27, 2023
Event Time
10:00 am - 11:00 am

For the second straight month, temperatures were below average across much of the Southeast, particularly across parts of Virginia and the Carolinas. On the other hand, temperatures were quite warm across the southern tip of Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where excessive heat warnings were issued on several days. Precipitation was above average across much of the Southeast, owing to the passage of multiple frontal boundaries and low-pressure systems. However, the Caribbean region remains dry, with significant rainfall and moisture deficits building over the past several months. Drought expanded across the interior of the Southeast, while major improvements were noted across the Florida Peninsula. Exceptional (D4) drought emerged on Saint Croix. The number of severe weather reports through the first three weeks of June was more than double the monthly average. El Niño conditions have developed and are expected to persist through the winter. River streamflows remain mostly in the normal range across the region, with some areas seeing above-normal flows.  

Looking Ahead: Generally warm and wet weather is expected across much of the Southeast over the next week. Cooler conditions are expected across the northern half of the region during week 2 with precipitation remaining above average. Average rainy season precipitation is expected across Florida. Weeks 3 and 4 look to be more variable in terms of temperature, while precipitation remains mostly above average. The summer outlook continues to advertise above-average temperatures, though there is less confidence in the precipitation forecast. Drought is expected to persist across Virginia, while removal is likely across Puerto Rico and Florida. The flood outlook through September is for near-normal conditions for most Southeast river systems. However, we need to watch for flooding across Florida as the wet season progresses and across the entire region as tropical activity increases.

Check out this month’s special presentation, 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Outlook” from Matthew Rosencrans at the NOAA/NWS Climate Prediction Center. 


Introduction and Welcome

Speaker: Chris Fuhrmann, Southeast Regional Climate Center

  • This webinar contains a special presentation on the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Outlook from Matthew Rosencrans at the NOAA/National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center.



Climate Conditions 

Speaker: Chris Fuhrmann, Southeast Regional Climate Center

  • Temperatures were several degrees below average for the second straight month across much of the region, except Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where above-average temperatures persisted; excessive heat warnings and advisories were issued across Puerto Rico and South Florida.
  • Precipitation was once again above average across much of the region, including most of Florida; dryness persisted across the Caribbean; Saint Croix has observed less than half of its expected year-to-date rainfall, making it the driest start to the year since 1951.
  • Drought conditions expanded across Tennessee, Alabama, and Virginia; drought conditions improved considerably across the Florida Peninsula, with a small area of abnormal dryness remaining along the west-central coast; drought persisted across Puerto Rico with a small area of severe drought (D2) emerging in the northwest; exceptional drought (D4) emerged on Saint Croix.
  • El Niño conditions have developed and are expected to persist and strengthen into the Northern Hemisphere winter (55% chance of a strong event).
  • Over the next two weeks, temperatures will be variable, while most of the region will be wetter than average, except South Florida; warm weather is expected across the southern tier during weeks 3 and 4, while wet conditions are expected across Florida and the East Coast.
  • Over the next three months, temperatures are expected to be above average with equal chances of above- and below-average precipitation (except in South Florida); drought removal is likely in Tennessee, Florida, and Puerto Rico, but drought is expected to persist across Virginia.
  • Additional Information: Climate data, services, and climatologies in the southeast region can be accessed at the Southeast Regional Climate Center.



Water Resources: Summer Flood Outlook 

Speaker: Jeff Dobur, Southeast River Forecast Center, National Weather Service

  • 28-day USGS streamflows are mostly near normal across the Southeast with some pockets of above normal.
  • Streamflows typically are in their summer low period this time of year. The exception is the Florida Peninsula, where streamflows ramp up during the wet season into the tropical season.
  • Looking Ahead: Overall through the 3-month period, the river flood risk is forecast to be near what is typical for the interior Southeast river systems. We often have to watch for tropical activity coming up as climatology says, especially during June and very much so for September for the Southeast.
  • View additional information.



Agriculture Impact and Outlook

Speaker: Pam Knox, University of Georgia 

  • Wetter conditions have improved crops but hindered field work.
  • Fungal diseases and weeds have increased rapidly due to difficulty in making chemical applications.
  • Multiple rounds of severe weather, including hail and high winds, have caused damage to many crops, including corn, vegetables, peanuts, and cotton.
  • Cloudy conditions and cooler temperatures have slowed growing degree day accumulation, slowing crop development.
  • Additional Information:



2023 Atlantic Hurricane Outlook

Speaker: Matthew Rosencrans, NOAA/NWS Climate Prediction Center

  • 2023 Atlantic Outlook: A near-normal season is most likely.
    • 12–17 named storms, 5–9 hurricanes, 1–4 major hurricanes.
    • Warm Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and El Niño competing!
  • Ongoing high-activity era conditions favor more hurricane activity. These conditions include:
    • Above-average sea surface temperatures in the Main Development Region.
    • Weaker trade winds and a stronger, wetter West African monsoon.
  • El Niño will likely increase wind shear and increase vertical stability as the summer 2023 progresses.
  • Prepare now—it only takes one storm! Resources:
  • Sources of information during the season:



Q&A and Closing

Speaker: Chris Fuhrmann, Southeast Regional Climate Center

    • Register for the next webinars!
      • July 25, 2023: Flash Drought in the Southeast
      • Aug 22, 2023: Future water availability and streamflow characteristics in the Southeastern U.S


    About This Webinar

    The Southeast Climate monthly webinar series is hosted by the Southeast Regional Climate Center, the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), and the NOAA National Weather Service. These webinars provide the region with timely information on current and developing climate conditions such as drought, floods, and tropical storms, as well as climatic events like El Niño and La Niña. Speakers may also discuss the impacts of these conditions on topics such as agriculture production, water resources, wildfires, and ecosystems