What's Next for the Pacific Northwest?
El Niño Conditions
An "El Niño Advisory" was released on March 5 in response to continued warmer than normal SSTs in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and a weak coupling of the atmosphere. This is rather late in the season for an advisory to be released and the weak El Niño is not expected to have many impacts as we enter spring. It is worth noting that spring periods during past El Niño events, many of them much stronger than this year's, have been dry in western WA and warm statewide. Model predictions have shifted in the last month, and are now showing increased chances that the El Niño will persist through the calendar year. Chances are between 50 and 65% that El Niño conditions will last through the spring.
What does this mean for Washington in the coming months?
The CPC three-class April-May-June (AMJ) temperature outlook has increased chances of above normal temperatures for the entire state, with chances of warmer than normal temperatures highest in the western half of the state. For AMJ precipitation, there are increased chances of below normal precipitation for the western two-thirds of the state. The eastern one-third has equal chances of below, equal to, or above normal precipitation.
The outlook for May-June-July (MJJ) is also calling for increased chances of above normal temperatures statewide. Western WA has increased chances of below normal precipitation and eastern WA has equal chances of below, equal to, or above normal precipitation for the period.
Last Updated: 3/19/2015
Climate Prediction Resources
NWS Local 3-Month Temperature Outlook
The links below provide access to global and regional climate predictions.