Climate Outlook - What's Next for the Pacific Northwest?
La Niña Conditions
Weak La Niña conditions are present in the tropical Pacific Ocean, and are expected to continue through winter 2017-18. The latest weekly sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) in the equatorial Pacific Ocean are below normal, continuing the pattern that has existed for the last several months. In addition, the atmosphere has been displaying signs of La Niña in the circulation as well. The "La Niña Advisory" is still in effect from the Climate Prediction Center. ENSO forecast models show weak La Niña conditions through the winter 2017-18 with the chances of the La Niña persisting through the February-April period at about 65%.
What does this mean in the coming months?
The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) January temperature outlook gives little indication of how the temperatures will play out. The January outlook shows equal chances of below, equal to, or above normal temperatures for the entire area. On the other hand, the January precipitation outlook has increased chances of above normal precipitation for the entire area.
The CPC outlook for January-February-March (JFM) is consistent with the typical response to La Niña conditions. The JFM outlook is calling for increased chances of below normal temperatures for the entire area. For precipitation, there are higher chances of above normal JFM precipitation for the entire state.