What's Next for the Pacific Northwest?
Neutral ENSO conditions still exist in the equatorical Pacific Ocean, according to the Climate Prediction Center (CPC). During the last 4 weeks, the sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) have been warmer than normal in the western equatorial Pacific Ocean and below normal across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. Models are predicting neutral conditions to persist through spring 2014.
What does this mean for Washington in the coming months?
The CPC three-class spring (March-April-May; MAM) temperature outlook has higher chances of above normal temperatures in the southern half of WA State. The remainder of the WA has equal chances of below, equal to, or above normal temperatures. For precipitation, there is no indication either way: there are equal chances of below, equal to, or above normal spring precipitation statewide.
The April-May-June (AMJ) CPC three-class outlook has much higher chances of above normal temperatures throughout the entire state. For precipitation, there are higher chances of below normal precipitation for the western two-thirds of the state and equal chances of below, equal to, or above normal precipitation for the eastern one-third.
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 occurance, it should be looked at as a slight tilting of the odds in favor of that outcome.
Last Updated: 2/20/2014
Climate Prediction Resources
NWS Local 3-Month Temperature Outlook
The links below provide access to global and regional climate predictions.