The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is tasked with long-term, seasonal forecasting for the United States. Their latest outlook from November has a few nuggets about the upcoming Spring. First, let’s look at the text:
“below normal precipitation is favored over
parts of the Northwest and Northern Plains, as well as in the Southern Plains
from spring 2024 through early fall 2024.”
Then, let’s take a look at the graphic above.
The top illustration is the precipitation for March-May, showing a belt of above-normal precip from the Southeast back into the Plains.
That area shrinks and moves away from the Plains for April-June (bottom-left) before being replaced by an area of below-normal precipitation over parts of the Southern Plains in the May – July outlook (bottom-right).
Taken as a whole, it does seem like the CPC is expecting a drier-than-normal back half of the Spring over the heart of the traditional alley, but things could be busy early across the Southeast and back into the Southern Plains. This would match some past El Niño springs that had rapid and wild starts and tepid, quiet back halves. 2007 immediately comes to mind as one example of this.
However, seasonal forecasting is an imperfect science. Regardless, speculation is what storm chasers do this time of year.