Drier and Warmer Winter Ahead
Dr. Art Douglas, Professor Emeritus of the Atmospheric Science Department of Creighton University spoke at last week’s Tri-State Grain Growers Convention.
Douglas explains why after the super-wet August and September, the moisture suddenly stopped for the Pacific Northwest.
Douglas: “Basically we had a large warm water pool that was moving across the Pacific for the last two to three years. Got near the West coast, the first fall storms in August and September hit it and churned up the water and cooled it off. It they went from two degrees Centigrade above normal to two degrees below normal. As soon as that water got cold, it turned off any ability to create storms. And that’s why it’s been dry all through October and November. Now the good thing though is when you don’t have the storms you have a ridge of high pressure that sits up on top of that water and it stops it from cooling any further. So as we keep on going into the winter, rather than this thing cooling because of storms -- it will stay the same temperature. It will end up warmer than normal come later in the winter.”
Douglas shares that weather forecast the months of December, January and February are for below normal precipitation. He says not to expect a lot of precipitation throughout eastern Washington and it will be even drier for Eastern Oregon and Southern Idaho.
However, he says come March through June there will be above average rains for Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho though the precipitation in Eastern Oregon and Southern Idaho will only be about 60 percent of the average rainfall.