Office of the Washington State Climatologist

Climate Outlook

What’s Next for the Pacific Northwest?

Neutral El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Conditions

According to the Climate Prediction Center (CPC), neutral El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are still present in the equatorial Pacific.  Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) have continued to cool in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific since early May creating cold -1 ˚C anomalies.  The cooler SSTs in the east-central Pacific nearly reach the threshold of a weak La Niña, but the tropical atmospheric circulation still agrees with neutral ENSO conditions. Forecast models place a 52% chance of neutral ENSO conditions persisting through September.  The odds of La Niña creep up during the fall, and are essentially equally favored with neutral conditions.  Since neither the odds of La Niña or neutral conditions are above 50%, substantial uncertainty remains whether equatorial Pacific oceanic SSTs will continue cooling and trigger La Niña.  Historically speaking, El Niño and La Niña events tend to develop in April through June and reach peak strength from October to February.

What does this mean for Washington in the coming months?

The CPC July temperature outlook has slightly increased chances of above normal temperatures statewide.  The precipitation outlook provides little insight for the upcoming month with equal chances of above, below, and near to normal precipitation

The 3-month CPC temperature outlook for the bulk of the summer (July-August-September) has increased chances of above normal temperatures for the entire state. The outlook is fairly confident with chances of above normal temperatures in the 60-70% range except for the northeastern third of the state, which is in the 50-60% range.  The precipitation outlook shows slight chances of below normal precipitation statewide with highest chance of below normal precipitation in the eastern third of Washington at 40-50%. 

Last Updated: 6/20/2020

Climate Prediction Resources

NWS Local 3-Month Temperature Outlook
Select a location plotted on the map to view the local outlook.

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The links below provide access to global and regional climate predictions.