Fall and Winter Long Range outlook and ENSO status

Friday, October 5, 2012

  • ENSO Status: El Niño Watch
  • Fall and Winter General Outlook for Shoreline and Lake Forest Park
  • Where's the rainfall now?
The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center has released this month's ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) status and forecasts.  The El Niño that started to develop at the end of August and in early September has dissipated during the last two weeks of September.  Atmospheric conditions have remained in ENSO neutral conditions.  The forecast released now favors ENSO neutral conditions to continue through October - December with a very remote chance that a very weak El Niño could develop in January or February 2013.  The next discussion and forecast for ENSO is scheduled for release by the National Weather Service on November 8, 2012.

Fall and Winter:
You may have read some recent stories or heard on TV recently that forecasters are expecting a warmer and drier winter for our region.  I looked at several years in the past that have had similar patterns and global phases. Based on my research I have a different outlook due to several things going on right now.  There are several other global oscillations aside from the ENSO, and the various phases each of them are leaning towards us having a wetter than normal winter, however our temperatures should hover around average. I believe we may see at least 2-3 major wind events effecting our area. There may be several cold snaps this winter and I believe we should be prepared for the possibility of some winter weather events, this includes the S word, snow.

Total rainfall from January to September.
Waiting for the rain?
It's right around the corner.  The fall weather that we are used to is about to make it's way in at about the 12th or 13th of October.  After that we should fall right into our regular grey and wet days of the falls and winters we typically have around here.  So enjoy this sunshine while it's here, because it won't be for much longer.

The 3-year average annual rainfall at Carl's Shoreline Weather Station is 40.14 inches.  2010 and 2011 had about one inch of rain above average and both years were La Niña winters.  Normal 3-year average rainfall by end of September is 22.30 inches, this year we are at 33.05 inches.  We are almost 11 inches above our normal so far this year, so really our dry summer is making up for our very wet late winter and spring.

The first graph shows the total rainfall from January to September in 2012, and then the 3-year average total rainfall from January to September.  Below is the monthly total rainfalls compared to the monthly 3 year averages.
Monthly total rainfall amount for 2012 compared to 3-year average.
My judgment on our local weather is based on my personal studies of historic weather coordinated with the known past of global oscillations and global events, including but not limited to the ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation.) Links to many of my resources can be found at Carl's Shoreline Weather Station, under weather links.

Twitter: @SWeatherWatcher


Connie October 9, 2012 at 2:28 PM  

Sounds great to me! As long as it still gets cold enough for snow in the passes I'll take the wet down in Shoreline. It's weird to see that we are still above average for rainfall over the whole 2012.

Connie W.

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