PENDLETON – The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting classic El Nino conditions for the Pacific Northwest this winter.
“They’re predicting that we’re going to have a warmer and drier winter than we generally do,” National Weather Service Hydrologist George Perry said. “That’s kind of consistent with the El Nino situation.”
Under El Nino conditions, winter in the northwest is generally warmer and drier while the opposite is true of the southwestern United States. Perry said the center is calling for a 60 percent chance of above normal temperatures and a 33 to 40 percent chance of below normal precipitation.
Meanwhile, there have been no significant changes to the drought monitor for Eastern Oregon and Southeastern Washington. Based on forecasts issued last week, the bulk of Umatilla and Morrow counties are experiencing a moderate drought while the southern portions of both are considered abnormally dry.
In Washington, central Walla Walla County is in a severe drought, while the eastern and western ends are experiencing moderate drought conditions. The majority of Benton and Franklin counties as well as Columbia, Garfield, and Asotin are in a moderate drought.