is reporting the summer of 2017 was the third warmest on record globally, with
the Pacific Northwest feeling the same heat, but the region may be in for
another cold, wet fall and winter.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center’s most recent El Nino Southern Oscillation
outlook includes a “La Nina Watch” with a 55-60 percent chance of the pattern
developing during the coming fall and winter. El Nino and La Nina weather
patterns are driven by Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures, and both
patterns can be powerful influences on weather across the greater Columbia
we are expecting La Nina conditions,” said Dave Elson, a meteorologist with the
National Weather Service in Portland. “They have a La Nina watch out right now,
which means La Nina through fall is likely. We did have a La Nina last year.”
last water year for the basin, starting in October of 2016, was marked by
colder-than-average temperatures and higher-than-normal precipitation,
resulting in record or near-record snowpacks covering mountain ranges across
in September 2016, Spokane, Wash. recorded 23.47 inches of rain and snow
through the following spring, short of the 1947-1948 record of 28.9 inches, but
well above the historic average of 16 inches. Similar precipitation came to
areas across the region.
it did lead to a big snowpack this spring,” Elson said. “It was a pretty
impressive year as far as that goes.”
cautioned that El Nino or La Nina patterns don’t necessarily cause warmer-drier
or cooler-wetter weather, respectively.
hard to draw conclusions about what La Nina means for the Pacific Northwest,”
he said. “It’s clear there’s a lot more that drives our winters here that goes
beyond El Nino or La Nina.”
favor these predictions in part because of recent cooling of surface and
sub-surface (ocean) temperature anomalies, and also because of the higher
degree of forecast skill at this time of year,” the ENSO outlook states.
could be a sharp turn from a summer that brought record-high heat and dryness
in the region. Many counties in western Montana, northern Idaho and western
Washington received no precipitation over a period lasting more than two
mirrors global conditions.
the entire globe, both August and (the summer) season (June, July and August)
each went down as the third warmest on record,” NOAA stated in a recent climate
report. “But depending on where you live, the summer you experienced may have
felt warmer or cooler than normal.”
2017 was 1.49 degrees above the 20th-century average of 60 degrees. This was
the highest in the 1880-2017 record, behind 2016, the highest, and 2015, the
second highest. The seasonal global temperature for June through August was
1.46 degrees above the average of 60 degrees — the third highest for this
period in the record, trailing 2016 and 2015, the highest and second highest on
the weather seemed to be baking dry to people throughout the Columbia Basin,
temperatures across the Midwest were “much cooler than average” or “near
average” during August and the summer season.