Weather

Estela Caballero / http://nwpublicradio.tumblr.com/

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. 

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