NOAA's forecast for this summer in the Pacific Northwest: Hot and dry again
If you were a fan of the past five warm, dry summers around the Northwest, Mother Nature is apparently ready to grant you a sixth this year.
New long range seasonal forecasts from NOAA suggest the Pacific Northwest is once again on tap to see hotter and drier than usual conditions this summer -- and they're actually fairly confident about it.
The maps denote a level of confidence in the forecast -- the darker the shade, the more confident forecasters are in their forecast. For Seattle, the map shows forecasters suggest there is a 49 percent chance Seattle's average temperature for the June-through-August period will be higher than 64.8 degrees (normal 64.3 degrees), compared to just a 31 percent chance that the period will end up near normal, and only a 20 percent chance of a cool summer.
That confidence rises over 50 percent for the July-October periods that it will be warmer than normal.
This "summer" is already off to a warm start with May hitting at or above 85 degrees twice in Seattle, in addition to hitting 80 in April. Our Summer Scoreboard shows Seattle has had a significantly higher than usual amount of what I would call "hot" days the past five summers, with 2015 being the record hot summer and last summer actually not all that far behind. 2017's summer did set the record for number of days at 85 degrees or warmer.
MORE | Current Summer Scoreboard
And it's already been rather dry of late as well. Seattle has received just 0.08" of rain through the first half of May, and the forecast remains fairly dry over the next two weeks with only sporadic chances of light showers.
But the warm and dry forecast doesn't just hold through the summer. Long range forecasters are seeing growing signs that this winter will flip over to El Niño conditions after two winters of weak La Niña conditions. El Niño winters tend to be milder and drier in the Pacific Northwest and thus forecasters continue the mild/dry trend through the winter.
Note for winter/snow fans: Just because there's a decent chance of an El Niño winter doesn't mean it won't snow in the lowlands this winter. It just means the odds are reduced. Still, this is not a forecast skiers will be all that happy with if it holds.
But fans of summer heat, it looks like Seattle will once again cater to your wishes. And although it is a very long ways out, the forecasters have taken an initial stab at next summer's forecast and have painted a similar hot/dry picture.