What's Next for the Pacific Northwest?
Neutral ENSO conditions still exist in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, according to the Climate Prediction Center (CPC). The equatorial Pacific Ocean sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) are currently above normal across the entire basin, and also when averaged over the last 4 weeks. Models are still predicting the development of a weak El Niño by winter, with chances now exceeding 70%. The "El Niño Watch" that the Climate Prediction Center issued on March 6 is still in effect.
What does this mean for Washington in the coming months?
The CPC outlooks are reflecting the expected development of the El Niño in the coming months. The CPC three-class winter (December-January-February; DJF) temperature outlook has increased chances of above normal temperatures for the entire state, and the chances of warmer than normal temperatures are greatest for a small sliver of coastal WA. For winter precipitation, there are increased chances of below normal precipitation statewide, with greater chances of less precipitation in northeastern WA.
The likelihood of above normal temperatures is greater for January-February-March (JFM) CPC three-class outlook which shows the chance of above normal temperatures exceeding 50% for WA. For precipitation, the JFM outlook is very similar to earlier in the winter: there are increased chances of below normal precipitation for the entire state, with higher chances of that outcome for northeastern WA.
Last Updated: 11/21/2014
Climate Prediction Resources
NWS Local 3-Month Temperature Outlook
The links below provide access to global and regional climate predictions.