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 sea-surface temperatures (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. Equatorial SSTs over the last four weeks are above average throughout the tropical Pacific Ocean. Model predictions are now showing increased chances that the El Niño will persist through the calendar year. Chances that the El Niño will persist through spring and summer are at about 70%.
What does this mean for Washington in the coming months?
The CPC three-class May-June-July (MJJ) 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 MJJ precipitation, there are equal chances of below, equal to, or above normal precipitation statewide.
The outlook for summer (June-July-August; JJA) is also calling for increased chances of above normal temperatures statewide. The western two-thirds of the state have increased chances of below normal summer precipitation, while the rest of the state has equal chances of below, equal to, or above normal precipitation.
Last Updated: 4/16/2015
Climate Prediction Resources
NWS Local 3-Month Temperature Outlook
The links below provide access to global and regional climate predictions.