OWSC

Climate Outlook
What's Next for the Pacific Northwest?

Neutral El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Conditions

The ocean and atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific Ocean continues to show neutral ENSO conditions. During the last month, sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) have cooled in the tropical Pacific Ocean, and are near-normal or below normal in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific. The neutral conditions are expected to last through the summer. Models indicate that La Niña conditions will develop by the August through October period and persist through the winter of 2016-17. At this time, La Niña will likely be a weak event, and a "La Niña Watch" has been released.

What does this mean for Washington in the coming months?

The CPC August-September-October (ASO) temperature outlook has increased chances of above normal temperatures for the entire state, with chances exceeding 50% on the three-tiered scale. For ASO precipitation, there are increased chances of below normal precipitation for southeastern WA. For the remainder of the state, there are equal chances of below, equal to, or above normal precipitation.

The outlook for the fall (September-October-November; SON) is also indicating above normal temperatures statewide. The SON precipitation forecast is taking into account the forecasted La Niña, and is indicating above normal precipitation for Western Washington. The rest of the state has equal chances of above, equal to, or below normal precipitation for the upcoming fall.

Remember that these outlook percentages are based on a tercile system, and therefore the chances of below, equal to, or above normal temperatures or precipitation are split into equal probabilities of 33%. When there is a greater than a 33% chance of an occurrence, it should be looked at as a slight tilting of the odds in favor of that outcome.

Last Updated: 7/21/2016


Climate Prediction Resources

NWS Local 3-Month Temperature Outlook
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