Dry Time

Posted by Rufus La Lone on

Friday September 30
We end the ninth month of 2022 with a return to dry.  How long will this dry spell last?  Well, refill that Mug.
Indeed, another stretch of dry wx has arrived.  Drat.  We need rain.  Anyway, the long-range pattern keeps surface Lows (our PNW rain producers) twirling around in the Gulf of Alaska, never reaching our shores for the next 11 days.  Temperatures will remain at or above seasonal norms during this dry run.  
RAIN should return when the 1st of at least 3 cold fronts cross the PNW starting late Wed Oct 12.  The 2nd, notably stronger, pacific storm should arrive early Fri the 14th.  WINDY & quite wet, esp for NW WA and Vancouver Island.  Temps will drop.  Then, as the weekend of Oct 15,16 gets underway, the 3rd storm will slam into the PNW with plenty of wind & precipitation.  Let’s hope the models verify, and not push back these system to later dates.  Hazelnut harvest could be rather damp.
Another tropical system is charting to roll north off the Atlantic coast during that weekend, as well.  Way too early for details, of course, but the position of a High pressure ridge over the New England states should keep the hurricane offshore.  
<see our La Niña discussion below> 
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Friday September 30
As mentioned earlier this month, here’s a brief write-up on the 3rd consecutive La Niña fall/winter that is upon us.  (Please note, we do not wish to imply expertise on this subject; just a provider of a few interesting tidbits.   There are excellent online resources published by specialists on this topic.)  
The Event & Frequency
Short definitions: El Niño - when the sea surface temperatures (SST) in the Tropical Pacific are a warmer than normal; La Niña - it’s the opposite, surface sea temperatures are below normal.  We refer to SST that are above, or below, normal as anomalies (aberrations, deviations).  
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   From Climate.gov/news:
  • El Niño and La Niña are the warm and cool phases of ENSO (pronounced “en-so”).
  • ENSO is the most influential natural climate pattern on Earth.
  • ENSO swings back and forth every few years.
  • El Niño and La Niña affect both the ocean and the atmosphere.
  • Periods of weaker- or stronger-than-average easterly trade winds initiate El Niño and La Niña. 
Presently, SST represent the 3rd consecutive active La Niña, a “triple dip” (note bright blue color in central tropical pacific).  Current readings are 2.2 degrees C (about 3.9 F) below normal, making this one of the ‘colder’ La Niña cycles on record and the third “Triple Dip” since the 1950.  A rare event, indeed.
The illustration below indicates the ’typical’ affect La Niña has on winter weather across the US (source: Climate.gov/News).  Particularly, dry conditions over the desert SW & California; wetter than average winters for the PNW, which often includes lower than usual snow falls.  Of course, that is not always the case, but the pattern has repeated itself enough over many cycles to warrant the tentative forecast of general weather conditions, as we look ahead in the long-range outlook.  
Will late Fall of 2022 and Winter of 2023 meet that expectation?  Keep your Mug handy, as we continue to provide Patrons winter weather outlooks in the time frame necessary to ‘be prepared, just in case’.
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