(VIDEO) Without a strong influence from El Niño or La Niña, the U.S. winter climate is less predictable. Based on recent trends, however, drought is likely to develop in the Southwest and Southeast over the 2013-14 winter.

Traditional weather forecasts consist of weather maps that predict exactly how much rain may fall or the maximum daily temperature of an area. NOAA climate outlooks forecast the odds that future weather conditions will be above, below, or near normal.

The most likely explanation for the lack of significant warming at the Earth’s surface in the past decade or so is that natural climate cycles caused shifts in ocean circulation patterns that moved some excess heat into the deep ocean.

Global average sea level in 2012 was 1.4 inches above the 1993-2010 average, which was the highest yearly average in the satellite record. Sea level has been rising over the past century, and the pace has increased in recent decades.

Tampa Bay Water provides safe, potable drinking water to 2.3 million people in the Tampa Bay region.  But future availability of surface water can be hard to predict, and drought is a recurring challenge there.  The water utility managers are increasingly using seasonal climate forecasts to track climate variability, which helps them better plan their water supply and reduce their vulnerability to seasonal climate impacts.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has issued its 2013 Atlantic hurricane seasonal outlook. In this video, Gerry Bell, a NOAA CPC meteorologist, explains that as of May 23, 2013, the outlook favors an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season from June 1 through November 30.

As the whole ocean gets warmer, NOAA scientists must redefine what they consider “average” temperature in the central tropical Pacific, where they keep watch for El Niño and La Niña.

Pages