What's Next for the Pacific Northwest?
El Niño Conditions
El Niño conditions are present in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, and are expected to persist through the winter of 2015-16. Weekly sea-surface temperature (SST) departures from normal exceed 2 degrees Celsius in the central and eastern tropical Pacific, and SST anomalies over the last 30 days are much warmer than normal throughout the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The 30-day anomalies even exceed 3 degrees Celsius in some portions of the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. The "El Niño Advisory" that was released on March 5 is still in effect. Model consensus is high that the El Niño will persist through the winter, with chances above 95%, and the current forecast indicates that it will be a "strong" El Niño event. The 3-month seasonal forecasts from the Climate Prediction Center are representing the tendency for El Niño winters to be warmer and drier than usual in the Pacific Northwest.
What does this mean for Washington in the coming months?
The CPC three-class October-November-December (OND) temperature outlook has increased chances of above normal temperatures for the entire state, with chances of warmer than normal temperatures highest for the western half of the state. For OND precipitation, there are elevated chances of below normal precipitation statewide, with higher chances of drier than normal conditions in eastern WA.
The outlook for November-December-January (NDJ) is very similar: there are increased chances of above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation statewide. For precipitation, there are higher odds of below normal precipitation in eastern WA, while the Olympic Peninsula has equal chances of above, equal to, or below normal precipitation.
Last Updated: 9/17/2015
Climate Prediction Resources
NWS Local 3-Month Temperature Outlook
The links below provide access to global and regional climate predictions.