National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Active Weather Pattern Continues for the Northwestern U.S.

A series of Pacific storm systems will bring periods of locally heavy rain, gusty winds, and mountain snow to portions of Washington and Oregon for the next couple days. In addition, much of the northwestern U.S. and Intermountain West will experience strong winds from these storm systems, particularly in Sierra Nevada, Great Basin, and the northern Rockies/High Plains. Read More >

 

  Climate Home Hydrology Home

December and Year 2014

  • Fort Smith: December 2014 was the 47th warmest (43.5°F; since 1882) and the 59th driest (2.31"; since 1882) December on record. A trace of snow fell, which ties several years (since 1883).
  • Fort Smith: No daily records were set or tied this month.
  • Fayetteville: December 2014 was the 18th warmest (40.5°F; since 1949) and the 32nd driest (2.64"; since 1949) December on record. A trace of snow fell, which tied several years (since 1949).
  • Using the radar-derived estimated observed precipitation from the RFCs, rainfall totals for December 2014 ranged from 0.50” in Osage and Pawnee Counties to around 4” in Le Flore and Franklin Counties. The majority of the area received 1.5”-3” of rain this month. Most of the area received below normal rainfall this month, getting 25%-90% of the normal December rain. A few isolated locations in eastern OK and northwest AR did receive near to slightly above normal rainfall for the month.
  • No mainstream river flooding occurred this month.
  • According to the Drought Monitor from December 30, 2014, Severe Drought (D2) conditions were occurring across portions of southeastern Osage, eastern Pawnee, northern Creek, and far western Tulsa Counties in eastern OK. Moderate Drought (D1) conditions were present across portions of Osage, Pawnee, eastern Kay, western Tulsa, Creek, and Choctaw Counties in eastern OK. Abnormally Dry (D0), but not experiencing drought, conditions existed across areas of Osage, far southern Washington, Tulsa, far southern Creek, northern Okmulgee, far southern Le Flore, and Pushmataha Counties in eastern OK. Drought/abnormally dry conditions were not present in northwest AR.
  • According to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, December 1-30, 2014 was the 43rd driest for northeast Oklahoma, the 34th wettest for east central Oklahoma, and the 46th driest for southeast Oklahoma.  Records go back to 1921.  From January 1-December 30, 2014, northeast Oklahoma ranked as the 18th driest, east central Oklahoma was the 27th driest, and southeast Oklahoma was the 33rd driest year-to-date period.
Year 2014
  • Using the radar-derived estimated observed precipitation from the RFCs, rainfall totals for the Year 2014 ranged from around 25” in Pawnee County to around 50” in southeast OK and west central AR. The majority of the area received 30”-40” of rain this month. The entire area received below normal rainfall in 2014, with most of the area receiving 50%-90% of the normal annual rain. Annual rainfall deficits for 2014 ranged from only a couple of inches to near 20”.
  • There were only 9 tornadoes that occurred in eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas in 2014.  The strongest tornado was an EF-2 that occurred near Quapaw in Ottawa Co. on April 27, 2014. Four of the tornadoes were EF-1, and the other 4 were EF-0. 
 
Outlook
  • The Climate Prediction Center CPC outlook for January 2015 (issued December 31, 2014) indicates a slightly enhanced chance for above median precipitation across eastern OK and west central AR, generally along and south of I-40. Elsewhere, there is an equal chance for above, near, and below median precipitation. This outlook also indicates an equal chance for above, near, and below normal temperatures across all of eastern OK and northwest AR. This outlook is based on short-range forecasts of expected weather conditions, primarily during the first part of the month, since there has been a lack of mid-latitude response to ENSO so far.
  • The Climate Prediction Center CPC outlook for the 3-month period January-February-March 2015 indicates an enhanced chance for below normal temperatures across all of eastern OK and northwest AR. This outlook also indicates a slightly enhanced chance for above median rainfall across eastern OK, and equal chances for above, near, and below median precipitation across northwest AR (outlook issued December 18, 2014). This outlook is based on both statistical and dynamical forecast tools and considering weak El Niño conditions.
  • According to CPC, current atmospheric observations continue to indicate ENSO neutral conditions; however, the oceanic observations are suggestive of El Niño conditions. Taken together, the observations indicate ENSO-neutral conditions remain. Forecast models still indicate the development of El Niño, but the continued weak atmospheric response this late in the season suggests that a weak El Niño event is most probable. CPC is forecasting a 60% chance for El Niño development and a 40% chance for a continuation of ENSO-neutral conditions through the winter.