What's Next for the Pacific Northwest?
Neutral ENSO conditions still exist in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, according to the Climate Prediction Center (CPC), and the chances of an El Niño developing have decreased in the last month. Most of the Niño indices have decreased compared to where they were in early July. During the last 4 weeks, the sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) have remained above average in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean but have turned negative in the east-central Pacific. Despite the decrease in SST anomalies, models are still predicting the development of weak-to-moderate El Niño conditions in the fall. The "El Niño Watch" that the Climate Prediction Center issued on March 6 is still in effect. There is now about a 65% chance of the El Niño developing in the fall.
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 autumn (September-October-November; SON) temperature outlook has increased chances of above normal temperatures for the entire state, and the chances of warmer than normal temperatures are greater east of the Cascade Mountains. For precipitation, there are increased chances of below normal precipitation statewide with higher chances of below normal precipitation in western WA.
The October-November-December (OND) CPC three-class outlook is very similar to the SON outlook and is reflecting the El Niño signal. There are increased chances of above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation for the entire state.
Last Updated: 8/21/2014
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