SE REGIONAL Climate Monthly Webinar ( Notes from Webinar presentation)

Southeast Climate Webinar Recap
March 11, 2020
A Summary of the
Southeast Climate Monthly Webinar
The Southeast Climate monthly webinar series is held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 10 am ET. This series is hosted by the Southeast Regional Climate Center, in partnership with the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS).
Access the March 10 webinar recording here.
Next webinar: Tuesday, April 14th, 10 am ET. Register now!
Winter and February Climate Conditions and Outlooks
  • The Southeast has experienced a warm and very wet 2019-2020 winter. This is due to a positive Arctic Oscillation and a strong, stable Polar Vortex.
  • Recent storms include:
  • January 11, Severe Storms, EF-2 Tornado in Pickens County Alabama
  • Winds at 134 mph, 7 injuries, 3 fatalities
  • January 13, Microburst in Sampson County North Carolina
  • Winds at 80-85 mph, 3 injuries
  • February 6-7, Rain
  • Hickory, NC observed 5.31 inches of precipitation, making it the wettest February day on record.
  • February 20, Snow
  • Several hours of light to moderate snow across North Carolina and southern Virginia
  • Beaufort County, NC measured 4.3 inches of snow, Raleigh, NC measured 2.5 inches of snow
  • The Southeast is mostly drought free, except for a persistent pocket in the Florida panhandle.
  • Looking ahead: Spring looks to be warm, wet, and mostly drought-free.
Focus: Southeast Water Resources
  • Streamflows remain well above normal across most of the Southeast.
  • February and March are typical flood months for most of the Southeast. However, flooding this year has been well above normal for much of the region and nearly every river has seen flooding with impacts.
  • The flood potential for March and April will be above typical chances for most of the region, especially as water continues to make its way to the larger coastal rivers.
  • Drought potential remains well below normal
  • The “Rain Train” typically slows into late spring and streamflows will typically come back to normal levels.
What happened over the Winter: Southeast Temperature
This has been a relatively warm winter. Near or above-normal temperatures were recorded across the region.
A look at temperature across the Southeast over the winter. High Plains RCC.
What happened over the Winter: Southeast Precipitation
There has been lots of precipitation across the region, especially in February, with the exception of parts of Florida. Many stations recorded their wettest winter on record.
A look at precipitation across the Southeast over the winter. High Plains RCC.
Looking Ahead: Spring Precipitation and Temperature Outlook
Above normal temperature and precipitation is expected for most of the region into March/April/May.
Three-month (March/April/May) outlook for precipitation. NOAA Climate Prediction Center.
Three month (March/April/May) outlook for precipitation. NOAA Climate Prediction Center.
River Conditions: Flooding
There was extensive flooding in February. Nearly every river has seen flooding events with some moderate to major impacts. The water is making its way downstream to larger coastal rivers, where flooding may continue for a few more weeks.
A look back at river flooding during the month of February 2020 in the Southeast. SERFC.
Recent river flood status for March 9, 2020 across the Southeast. SERFC.
Looking Ahead: Late Spring River Flood Threat Outlook
Overall, the threat of river floods will be above typical for most of the Southeast region, except for the Florida Peninsula. Flood potential is elevated in the coastal plain regions.
Sandra Rayne, Southeast Regional Climate Center
Jeff Dobur, NOAA Southeast River Forecast Center
Relevant Resources
Southeast Regional Climate Center (SERCC)
Southeast River Forecast Center (SERFC)
SERFC February 2020 Water Resources Outlook
Streamflow Monitoring & Forecasting
For webinar-related questions or suggestions, please contact:
Meredith Muth,