Drier Winter In Northwest
4:45 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Forecast Predicts Drier Than Normal Winter For Northwest

Rain may be in the forecast for much of the region tonight and tomorrow, but the Northwest is in for a drier than normal winter. That's according to an updated long-term forecast released Thursday by the National Weather Service.

A specialized division of the Weather Service equipped with supercomputers makes the long-range forecast. The Climate Prediction Center determined the whole Northwest is likely to experience below normal precipitation this winter.

Washington state climatologist Nick Bond says if that forecast holds, it has serious consequences.

"This isn't necessarily good news, even if you won't have to wear your galoshes so often."

A low snowpack makes life hard for people in the winter recreation business, municipal water supply, farm irrigation and hydropower production.

Bond says the outlook is less clear when it comes to temperature trends this winter.

"There's conflicting information on which way the deck is stacked for temperature."

Bond says one of the influencers of our climate is a tropical ocean cycle called El Nino. It was brewing this summer, but now seems to be weakening.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

On the Web:

Climate outlook maps