Computer models suggest that a new El Nino will form later this year.
According the U.S. Climate Prediction Center, we’re still in a La Nada, in between the cooler La Nina and the warmer El Nino sea-surface temperature patterns.
Within the past week, ocean temperatures along the equatorial regions and the West Coast of South America have shown signs of warming. Readings in this area are now approximately 1-2 degrees above average. However, since early this year, there has been a back-and-forth warming and cooling of ocean waters along the equator.
Many of the climate models are projecting the sea-surface temperatures to continue to warm. According to NOAA, we’ll likely stay in a La Nada pattern into at least the early summer and could be talking about a weak El Nino in mid- to late 2014. Typically, the Inland Northwest receives much less now during the winter and California gets above normal amounts of precipitation during an El Nino. The next few months should give us a good indication on what type of pattern we may encounter for the rest of the year.
With the current La Nada, there is a good chance that the big drought in the Far West will eventually move over the central U.S. later in the spring and early summer. We should also have plenty of sunshine and very warm temperatures here in the Inland Northwest this summer.