from the Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador Newsletter
The Spring 2022 Seasonal Outlook, issued by the Climate Prediction Center calls for continuing above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation across North and Central Texas. Drought conditions have intensified across the state this winter, and with La Niña expected to persist through at least the spring months (March – May 2022), drought conditions are unlikely to improve before summer.
From the Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador Winter 2022 Newsletter
“The Climate Prediction Center is expecting La Nina conditions this winter. The winter 2021 (December, January, February) seasonal outlook calls for above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation across North and Central Texas. The outlook does not project snowfall as snow forecasts are generally not predictable more than a week in advance.
“One additional note, for those with any interest in the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), recently the Climate Prediction Center issued a La Niña Advisory with La Niña favored to continue through winter 2021-22 (~95% chance) and then transitioning to ENSO-neutral during spring 2022 (~60% chance during April-June).
“Drought conditions have returned to the region, and with La Niña expected to prevail throughout the cold season, additional drought development is anticipated during the winter months.”
The WRLARC is an Ambassador in the “Weather-Ready Nation” program sponsored by the National Weather Service. Here are highlights from the NWS North Texas Spring 2021 Newsletter.
You could reasonably argue that North and Central Texas (and really the entire state of Texas) squeezed in 3 months of winter into just the last few weeks in February. And what a record-breaking winter we had. Here is a look at the most notable winter weather event in the 2020-2021 winter season by the numbers:
Click here to see a complete list of the snowfall reports we received for the 2/14-2/15 Winter Event. Click here to see a complete list of the snowfall reports we received for the 2/16-2/17 Winter Event.
Here is a look at the climate stats and new records for DFW Airport and Waco Regional Airport during this period.
This event also tied the 7th longest streak, set in January 1942, with temperatures at or below 32 degrees at DFW Airport with 139 consecutive hours spanning from the afternoon of Saturday, February 13, 2021 until Friday, February 19, 2021. That is just short of 6 days! DFW Airport was above freezing briefly on Saturday from 3-4pm with an additional 93 consecutive hours of at or below freezing temperatures before that. The all time record is 295 consecutive hours set in 1983.
Read more about this historic winter storm and arctic outbreak here!
Looking Ahead: The 2021 Spring Seasonal Outlook
While many of us are still shaking off the chill of winter, it is time to begin looking ahead to spring. The Spring 2021 (March, April, May) outlook favors above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation.
The three-month outlook on temperature and precipitation probability from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center for March through May 2021. (Source: https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/)
Additionally, the official ENSO forecast from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center indicates that La Niña conditions are favored to persist through the spring months. With a La Niña climate pattern in place, southern parts of the U.S. (including the State of Texas) may experience expanded and intensifying drought.
Severe Weather Potential This Spring?
A question we are often asked this time of year is related to how “bad” or how much severe weather we can expect across North and Central Texas this spring. With respect to the climatology of this region, we see a peak in thunderstorms including severe thunderstorms during the spring months, March-April-May. Here is a look at the probabilities that severe weather will occur during the spring months from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) estimated from a 30-year period of severe weather reports from 1982-2011.
As expected, the higher probabilities are generally found across the Central and Southern Plains including North and Central Texas during the spring months. This in no way guarantees that severe weather will occur, but it is during this time of the year that we often experience the conditions that are favorable for the development of thunderstorms and severe weather. The best way to ensure you are always prepared is to develop a plan, make sure you have multiple ways to receive weather alerts, and stay up to date with your local weather forecast. Time for a shameless plug: Visit www.weather/gov/fwd to keep up with the latest forecast updates for your area!