Does CPC Stand for Conflicting Predictions Center?

This is the monthly temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center for August, which was made on July 31, 2012:

August temperature outlook for the US from the Climate Prediction Center.

The following two images are the 6-10 and 8-14 day temperature outlook valid for the middle-to-late portion of August:

CPC 6-10 day temperature outlook valid August 19-23, 2012.

CPC 8-14 day temperature outlook valid August 21-27, 2012.

Keeping in mind that much of the central and eastern US has been at or below normal since the cold frontal passage this past weekend, their monthly outlook seems rather humorous.  Granted, the first week to 10 days of the month were still above normal, following the trend from July, and their monthly forecast may still prove somewhat accurate.  Still, it would be hard for both the 6-14 day temperature outlook and the monthly outlook to be accurate.

I acknowledge that I’m picking on the CPC here.  They probably don’t update their monthly outlook once the month has started – it would look kind of silly if they did.  I just happened to visit the site today and found the presence of both forecasts on the same page to be ironically funny.

To offer some insight into how the monthly prediction is fairing, I looked at Kansas City, MO and Omaha, NE records for the month of August.  Both cities are given a 60% chance of above-normal temperatures during August by the CPC outlook (basically, their in the bull’s eye on the August outlook).  Both cities are currently running 2 degrees above normal for the month, largely due to the warmth experienced during the first 8 days of the month.  Four out of the last five days (including today) have been below normal in each city.  After a brief warm-up Tuesday and Wednesday, they should cool back down below normal through the weekend.  So, if the 6-14 day outlook from the CPC verifies, it will probably bust their monthly outlook.  If the monthly outlook proves accurate, it will probably be because their 6-14 day outlook was wrong.  Either way, one of their outlooks will probably verify and one probably won’t – a classic CYA move by the CPC. 🙂

I’ll check back later in the month to see how this outlook is panning out.  Meanwhile, if you live in the central/eastern US, enjoy what looks like a break from a brutal Summer.  (If you live in the UK, enjoy what looks like a break from a brutal Summer as well.  Just the opposite side of the Brutal Summer Coin.)

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