Spring Forecast and Drought Pt 1

Spring Forecast and Drought Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. Given all the dire news we hear, are you worried about the drought continuing for a second straight year? Well, if you live in Washington state, don’t.

At least, that’s the opinion of University of Washington meteorologist Cliff Mass who says our water situation looks pretty good right now …

MASS … “If you’re doing irrigation, and you’re getting the water off the Yakima or Columbia, you’re going to be fine. I mean, in effect, you’ll be more than fine. There’s going to be more water than normal for the Yakima system, as an example.”

This is, typically, what happens, Mass says in a La Nina year …

MASS … “La Nina years are really interesting. They’re associated with these big ridges that develop in the eastern Pacific. And, it’s a two-edged sword. If the ridge is a little bit further towards the east, we can be dry and cool, and we got into that in February.”

And all of the models, Mass says are showing that ridge is weakening which opens us up to precipitation …

MASS … “We had that dry period in February and some people were kind of panicking, but they shouldn’t have because the end of these La Nina years are inevitably wet and cool, which is very good for snowpack.”

After a wet fall, Mass says La Nina was pretty predictable …

MASS … “Once you get to January 1st, then the La Nina effect kind of rolls in and that’s exactly what happened. The ridge starts developing and that gets you into the situation where you can be cold, cold and dry for a little then you can be cold and wet and get the snow.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on the wetter, cooler spring Mass is expecting.

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