Last November I made an extended winter forecast taking an in-depth look at the teleconnections that influence the Pacific Northwest including the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and found that we were on track to seeing a cooler and drier than average winter. (You can find an in-depth discussion on these teleconnections on the weather homepage under the “winter forecast”). We are right on track for continuing our drought conditions and in fact the latest U.S. Drought Monitor was released today increasing southern Oregon and northern California’s drought conditions to ‘Severe’ while southern and central California’s ‘Extreme’ drought spread into northeast California and Nevada. This is no surprise since California and southern Oregon saw the driest year on record in 2013, and 2014 is starting off on a dry note too. Another teleconnection that is a good indicator of precipitation along the west coast is the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), unfortunately even this pattern isn’t changing, with a weak MJO, like we have currently, means dry conditions. ENSO has been neutral and is forecast to stay neutral…this keeps us dry, the PDO has been negative (cool-phase) and is forecast to stay in these phase…also keeps us dry. These conditions could stay constant through the Summer which means a persisting to potentially intensifying drought for southern Oregon and northern California. Keep fire safety in mind over the next several months even though we aren’t in fire season.
The only change in the forecast in the next few days is an end to the Chetco Effect at the coast leading to cooler, yet still mild temperatures and increasing clouds this weekend. Inland areas will see increasing afternoon sunshine each day through the weekend which also means warmer temperatures. Klamath Falls was finally able to climb out of the fog today and temperatures climbed into the 40s! Once fog clears temperatures are able to climb quickly, in fact all day temperatures were stuck in the 30s until the fog cleared and climbed 9 degrees in just two hours this afternoon! Fog forecasting and thus temperature forecasting is something we have to take one day at a time as the airmass dries out less fog will form and temperatures will be warmer!
Meteorologist Megan Parry