Seasonal Climate Outlooks
Providing global seasonal forecasts to aid long-term decision making
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 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
Videos on seasonal forecasting
View the whole video series by following the links below:
Seasonal Forecasts Explained: Introduction - shown above
A transcript of all the videos can be found here.