The Earth globe viewed from space and showing land masses in different colours according to temperature, from blue to red.

Seasonal Climate Outlooks

What is the Seasonal Climate Outlook?

Following the El Nino event in 2015, the Met Office worked with the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the University of Reading to design a new service which would provide insights into the upcoming season and enable more lead time for decision making. The service focuses on the upcoming 6 months and provides details of potential differences in weather compared to a ‘typical’ season. The forecast covers a number of countries across the world and also provides an overview of the outputs of all the Global Producing Centres (GPCs) for long-range forecasts across the world.


Following the announcement of the global pandemic of COVID-19, the FCDO requested that the Met Office make this service more widely available to allow other organisations to access the information at such a critical time.  These outlooks are produced under the FCDO's Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and Resilience (SHEAR) programme.


Seasonal forecasting 

Seasonal forecasts rely on aspects of the global weather and climate system that are more predictable, such as tropical sea-surface temperatures or the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO).  However, whilst such forecasts may be able to show what is more or less likely to occur, they acknowledge that other outcomes are possible. 

As forecast certainty generally decreases with longer range, the 1 month outlook is more reliable than the 1-3 month outlook, and the 1-3 month outlook is more reliable than the 4-6 month outlook.  The information presented in this service should therefore be used to raise early awareness of potential hazards, with a view to using updated monthly seasonal forecasts and then shorter-term weather forecasts as time progresses. 

See the video series at the bottom of this page for more on seasonal forecasts.


Latest Seasonal Climate Outlooks

September 2020

Global Seasonal Climate Outlook – October 2020 - March 2021
Africa Seasonal Climate Outlook – October 2020 - March 2021
Asia Seasonal Climate Outlook – October 2020 - March 2021

 

Videos on seasonal forecasting

View the whole video series by following the links below:

Seasonal Forecasts Explained: Introduction - shown above

Seasonal Forecasts Explained Part 1: The underpinning science

Seasonal Forecasts Explained Part 2: Seasonal forecasts production

Seasonal Forecasts Explained Part 3: Interpreting seasonal forecast output

Seasonal Forecasts Explained Part 4: Forecast delivery and services

A transcript of all the videos can be found here.

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