National Weather Service


It’s going to be a lot wetter and windier soon, with a series of strong Pacific storms expected to move across the Northwest for the rest of the week and through the weekend.

Estela Caballero /

It’s February, the month of sunny skies, warm air, and spring breezes. Wait… that’s not right, is it? But it reached 78 degrees in Long Beach this week. And we can expect highs as much as 15 degrees above average across the state.

This could be bad news, coming on the heels of last winter’s drought, except that Washington saw above-normal snowpack this year. Making this even more unusual? It’s an El Nino year, which typically means warm, dry weather.

Holiday Greenery Takes A Hit This Season

Nov 19, 2015
Lori L. Stalteri / Flickr Creative Commons

The $50 million evergreen tree industry that encompasses Christmas trees, wreaths and garlands could be facing a 10 percent loss this season since the warm weather has given them a late start.

Your Autumn Outlook: Warm and Dry

Sep 23, 2015
Flickr User Rachel Samanyi / Flickr Creative Commons

Fall officially arrived Wednesday – and the rest of the season promises to be warmer and dryer than normal. The culprit? El Nino. 

Weather Could Cause Trouble For Washington Fire Crews

Aug 24, 2015

Weather is expected to cause more problems Monday for fires in north central Washington. The Okanogan Complex is burning more than 250,000 acres.

Where's The Rain In All These Thunderstorms?

Aug 19, 2015
Flickr user 'not on your nelly'

There are many large fires burning across the Northwest – many of them sparked by lightning. But thunderstorms that bring lightning should also mean rain. So why isn’t the rain dampening these fires?

The daffodils and tulips are up and so are hungry black bears. Our unseasonably mild winter is bringing black bears out of hibernation earlier than usual.

Leveretdreaming / Flickr

2014 was the hottest year on record. That was according to data released Friday by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In the Northwest, temperatures also rose above normal.

After a warm summer and winter, last year was the second hottest on record for Oregon and the fifth hottest on record for Washington.

The hottest year for both states is still 1934, when the Dust Bowl plagued the West.

Karin Bumbaco is the assistant state climatologist in Washington.

Two King County Rivers Reach Stage 4 Flood Level

Jan 5, 2015

In King County, two rivers east of Seattle have reached the phase 4 flood alert stage, indicating severe flood danger. The Tolt and Snoqualmie rivers both hit levels as high as they’ve been in 6 years, says Doug Williams with the King County Flood Warning Center.  He says there are numerous road closures throughout the Snoqualmie valley, with sometimes fast-moving floodwaters covering highways. Williams says it’s never a good idea to try to drive through.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Washington State Climatologist Nick Bond said a lot of what's driving this forecast is an El Niño , a warming cycle in the Pacific Ocean that can have big effects on weather and climate around the globe.

"It is slowly getting started, but it looks like it is happening in the tropical Pacific,” he said. “In the past when we have had those conditions, it has tended to be on the warm, dry side."

As you might imagine, this outlook sends shivers down the spines of anyone who depends on winter snowpack for recreation, water supply or hydropower.

NOAA Climate Prediction Center

The supercomputers at the Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center have crunched long-term trends to produce an outlook for June, July and August. For most of the Northwest, the forecast gives a strong probability of above-normal temperatures. 

NOAA Climate Prediction Center

On this first day of spring, we get a seasonal outlook from the National Weather Service. It calls for a warmer-than-average spring west of the Cascades and normal temperatures and rainfall across the inland Northwest. There's also no let-up seen for drought conditions in California, and parts of Oregon and southwest Idaho. Correspondent Tom Banse has more.

mikelehen / Flickr

On a clear day in Seattle, Nick Bond can size up the mountain snowpack on his bike ride to work. But as Washington state’s climatologist, he crunches the data for a more precise picture.

Snow On The Mountains Comes With Heightened Avalanche Risk

Feb 11, 2014

The Baker County Sheriff in eastern Oregon says two cross-country skiers died Tuesday in an avalanche in the southern Wallowa Mountains. Two others were seriously injured. 

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Northwest wine grape growers expect this week's cold weather to do some damage to their vineyards. But it’s not clear yet how much of next year’s fruit might be affected.

Fall Colors Have Been Especially Good This Year

Oct 25, 2013
Tess Freeman / Oregon Public Broadcasting

It's not your imagination: Fall colors have been spectacular in the Northwest this year. But if you want to catch a glimpse, you'd better hurry.

It IS Foggier- Puget Sound Stuck In Foggy October

Oct 24, 2013
davidjlee / Flickr

If it seems like it’s been a lot foggier than usual around Seattle, you’re right.

Residents of the inland Northwest are cleaning wheat field dirt off their furniture. It's the fallout from an unusually large, desert-style dust storm that carried a wall of dirt across eastern Washington Sunday night.

Still smarting from a wasp sting this summer? Well, you're not alone. It's been a "banner year" for yellow jackets in the Northwest by many accounts.

The Northwest is experiencing an unusual weather pattern this week.

The weather forecast calls for an abrupt switch from cloudy and showery to a heat wave beginning as soon as Thursday. Next week could start with the hottest days of the year so far in many places around the Northwest.

For Portland, the National Weather Service is forecasting a high of 88 on Sunday and 91 on Monday.

For Seattle, a high of around 80 on Monday.

Spokane could see the mercury hit 96 on Sunday and near 99 by Tuesday.

Boise and Medford could hit triple digits by Saturday and 105 degrees on Monday.

masmediaspace / Flickr

Climate change will affect different regions of the country in different ways. In the Southwest it may get warmer and drier. In the Northwest, however, climate models predict it getting warmer and wetter.

Just about all the cities in the Northwest have endured a stretch of abnormally cold weather. Now an updated three-month climate outlook suggests the past could be prologue.

The latest computer model run by the National Climate Prediction Center increases the likelihood for below normal temperatures during the next three months in most of our region. This applies to all of Washington, nearly all of Oregon and the northern half of Idaho.

Washington State Climatologist Nick Bond says to get used to "chilly."

In the past two days, there have been 149 vehicle crashes in Spokane County. Though snow falls in Spokane every year, Police say they still see a rise in car-wrecks on icy winter roads. Paige Browning reports.

Chris Lehman

High winds and heavy rain are pummeling the Northwest Monday. Downed trees and floodwaters have closed countless roads, making the evening commute a difficult one. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman went to check out a creek near his home.

National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center

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.

Satellite image courtesy National Weather Service

The streak of dry weather in much of the Northwest is about to come to a soggy end. A weather system fueled by subtropical moisture is bearing down on the region.

Northwest Skiers Bank On Early Forecasts Being Wrong

Oct 8, 2012
Schweitzer Mountain Resort

Weather forecasters say the current dry spell in the Northwest may turn into a dry winter. But the region’s ski areas aren’t buying it. They’re banking on enough snowfall for winter sports.

Smoke Creating Vicious Cycle In Northwest Skies

Sep 24, 2012
Jim Larson / Flickr

The fight against numerous large fires in central Washington is turning the corner. Since the weekend, fire bosses have been able to release nearly 400 firefighters from the blazes near Wenatchee. But forecasters say it may be a while before the Inland Northwest sees clear, blue skies again.

Chris Phan / Flickr

Northwesterners heading out for the Labor Day weekend have a pretty good chance of staying dry. The region is in the midst of one of the driest streaks on record. And there's little chance of that changing soon.