Anna Answers: What do the colors mean on the temperature outlook?

Weather Wisdom

Question: What do the colors mean on the temperature outlook?

Answer: Meteorologists commonly show temperature outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center. A common outlook shown is the 6-10 Day Temperature Outlook.

The temperature map shades regions with greater than 33% of being warmer (orange to red), colder (shades of blue), and historically normally is gray. The deeper the shade of the color the more likely it is to be above or below normal.

The scale below is as follows:

(Climate Prediction Center).

The Climate Prediction Center uses 1981-2010 as the guide for the temperatures and 500 hpa heights in the climate outlooks.      

According to the Climate Prediction Center this is how the data is configured: “For temperatures, monthly average maximum/minimum temperatures are assigned to the 15th of the current month and subsequent month. Intervening values are linearly interpolated… and averaged over the 5-day period to create average maximum/minimum temperature normals.” (CPC.)

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