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 continued to be warmer than normal in the western equatorial Pacific Ocean, become warmer than normal in the central Pacific, and remained below normal in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Models are predicting neutral conditions to persist through spring 2014. On March 6, the Climate Prediction Center issued an "El Niño Watch", which is still in effect. There is now greater than a 50% chance of El Niño developing this summer or fall.
What does this mean for Washington in the coming months?
The CPC three-class May-June-July (MJJ) temperature outlook has higher chances of above normal temperatures for most of WA State. For precipitation, there are increased chances of below normal precipitation for the western two-thirds of the state, but equal chances of all three outcomes for the eastern one-third.
The summer (June-July-August; JJA) CPC three-class outlook for temperature has increased chances of above normal temperatures statewide. For precipitation, there are equal chances of above, equal to, or below normal precipitation statewide.
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: 4/17/2014
Climate Prediction Resources
NWS Local 3-Month Temperature Outlook
The links below provide access to global and regional climate predictions.