Weather

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.

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.

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