Federal forecasters see an El Nino moving in and bringing warmer and drier weather
The odds now strongly favor an El Nino forming in the Pacific Ocean, federal climatologists said Thursday, tilting the long-range weather outlook toward a warm 2018-19 winter in the Northwest.
The cool waters that ruled the seas along the equator since last fall have warmed to normal or just-below normal temperatures. The federal Climate Prediction Center, a branch of the National Weather Service, puts the chances that waters will heat to El Nino levels by December at 70 percent.
El Nino winters are generally warmer and drier in the northern U.S. But it’s not a sure bet, Washington State Climatologist Nick Bond said.
“It’s completely possible we’ll have a cold winter, but more likely it will be on the warmer side,” he said. “The odds of having a little below normal snowpack are higher than usual.”
A month ago, the prediction center put the odds of an El Nin