(This is a message from Emergency Management Coordinator Christine Badger)
What’s expected this winter? One of the warmest El Niño’s in recorded history has developed in the eastern Pacific Ocean equatorial waters. Sea surface temperatures in this region have risen to more than two degrees above average. El Niño is expected to continue through this winter and, more than likely, well into spring 2016.
El Niño for much of the Pacific Northwest usually brings warmer-than-average temperatures through the winter season. In terms of precipitation, El Niño usually offers near- or below-average rainfall. With warmer-than-average temperatures, mountain snow levels are usually higher than normal, meaning odds are good on a less-than-average snow pack.
The latest outlook gives huge odds on above-normal temperatures and tips the odds toward below-average precipitation from October through March.
El Niño seasons produce fewer storm events. Still, that does not mean no significant storm events occur. Go to Take Winter By Storm to sign up to receive weather updates. You’ll also find winter preparedness tips for your home & car.