Potentially one of the warmest autumns in years.
And this is exactly what the National Weather Service's long-range forecasting system is predicting.
We start with "the blob", the highly persistent area of warm water west of the Northwest coast (described in my previous blog). The sea surface temperature anomaly (difference from normal) for the first 8 days of September are shown below. You can see the warm water off our coast.
Since the air that reaches the Northwest comes off the Pacific, you don't have to be a meteorologist to understand that they will tend to warm our area. The warm blob has been very persistent and will certainly remain in place for the next month or two.
And then there is the developing El Nino (associated with warmer water in the central and eastern tropical Pacific). Here is the latest prediction from the NOAA/NWS Climate Prediction Center. Roughly an 65% chance of El Nino this winter.
And what do El Ninos typical favor in the Northwest? Warmer than normal temperatures. Here are the typical temperature anomalies (from climatology) for some previous El Ninos... the orange/red colors are above normal
So we have both the warm blob and El Nino working together for warmth.
But what does the National Weather Service's fancy Climate Forecast System (CFS) say? A sophisticated coupled ocean/atmosphere combination that takes everything into account? Here are the air temperature anomalies (right above the surface) for October-November-December. Warm.
And what about the official Climate Prediction Center forecast for this fall? (see below). Not surprisingly warmer than normal.
The rest of the winter looks the same.
Is a warm fall and winter guaranteed? Of course, not. But the meteorological dice are heavily weighted in this direction.
Particularly, when these two folks below combine forces.