The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

NOAA: Warmer Aug. to Nov., winter to be neutral


The Pacific Northwest should expect continued warmer-than-average temperatures and normal rainfall August through October, according to a new long-term climate outlook developed by the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

The El Niño Southern Oscillation, measured largely by Pacific Ocean surface temperatures and resulting atmospheric conditions, is projected to be neutral this year, meaning no El Niño or La Niña conditions that can be hugely influential on weather in the lower 48 states.

A La Niña pattern is credited with the colder and wetter-than-normal conditions that dominated from last October through the winter in the Columbia River Basin. There is now a greater-than 50 percent likelihood of neutral conditions persisting through the winter.

The new three-month outlook shows that warmer-than-normal conditions should be particularly dominant through western Montana and nearly all of Idaho through October. Precipitation is expected to be average for the other Columbia Basin states, Washington and Oregon.

So far, the big impact of prevailing weather has been a drought that quickly took hold in the Dakotas and eastern Montana, significantly diminishing crops such as spring wheat and corn, along with livestock production.

The Climate Prediction Center also reports that June turned out to be the third warmest on record for more than a century around the globe, and the first six months of this year were the second warmest around the globe. Only the Junes of 2015 and 2016 were warmer worldwide. Across the lower 48 states, it was the 20th warmest June on record.

Forecaster Dan Collins said the entire country is projected to experience above-average temperatures during August, with the exception of a cool pocket that is expected to develop in the Southwest. Models show the hottest part of the country in August will be eastern Montana and the Dakotas.


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