What's Next for the Pacific Northwest?
Neutral ENSO Conditions
Neutral El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are still present in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, but the Climate Prediction Center has issued an "El Niño" Watch. Over the last 4 weeks, sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) have been near-normal or above normal across the equatorial Pacific, and there were warmer SST anomalies north of the equator. ENSO forecast models favor weak El Niño conditions for the upcoming winter. Probabilities of El Niño development are at nearly 60% for the October through December period, and between 65 and 70% for the December through February period.
What does this mean for Washington in the coming months?
The expectation of El Niño development is evident in the seasonal forecasts from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC). The CPC October temperature outlook has higher chances of above normal temperatures for all of WA, with the chances of warmer than normal temperatures relatively high (at least 50% on a three-tier system). The September precipitation forecast indicates increased chances of below normal precipitation for the entire state.
The CPC October-November-December (OND) outlook is very similar to the October monthly outlook. The temperature outlook is calling for warmer than normal temperatures statewide, but with a lower probability than the October outlook. For precipitation, there are increased chances of below normal precipitation statewide, with higher chances of below normal precipitation in eastern WA.
Last Updated: 9/20/2018
Climate Prediction Resources
NWS Local 3-Month Temperature Outlook
The links below provide access to global and regional climate predictions.