What's Next for the Pacific Northwest?
Neutral ENSO conditions still exist in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, according to the Climate Prediction Center (CPC). The equatorial Pacific Ocean sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) are currently above normal. There was some cooling in SSTs in mid-July, but the temperatures have since warmed and are currently above normal across the basin. Models are still predicting the development of a weak El Niño, with a 65% chance of development in the winter. The "El Niño Watch" that the Climate Prediction Center issued on March 6 is still in effect.
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 November-December-January (NDJ) temperature outlook has increased chances of above normal temperatures for the entire state, and the chances of warmer than normal temperatures are greater west of the Cascade Mountains. For precipitation, there are increased chances of below normal precipitation statewide, with greater chances of less precipitation in far eastern WA such as the Spokane area, for example.
The likelihood of above normal temperatures is greater for the winter (December-January-February; DJF) CPC three-class outlook which shows the chance of above normal temperatures exceeding 50%. For precipitation, the DJF outlook is very similar to the NDJ: there are increased chances of below normal precipitation for the entire state, with higher chances of that outcome for parts of eastern WA.
Last Updated: 10/16/2014
Climate Prediction Resources
NWS Local 3-Month Temperature Outlook
The links below provide access to global and regional climate predictions.