WASHINGTON, USA — While Punxsutawney Phil thinks there will be longer 2023 winter, scientists are drawing their own conclusions. The Climate Prediction Center releases outlooks for the incoming weeks and months, and the forecasts through spring have been released.
The outlook for the next 30 days was issued on Jan. 31, and that reveals a trend toward below normal temperatures for the west coast, including the Pacific Northwest, and above average precipitation for the northern United States.
The three-month outlook, including February, March and April, predicts below average temperatures for the Pacific Northwest and average precipitation totals for western Washington.
So, Phil may be onto something. His prediction does tend to agree with the science (this time).
These predictions come after an extremely dry January for western Washington (no, not the alcohol kind). Sea-Tac usually sees 7.8" of rain on average in January, but 2023 only brought 3.7" to the airport. That's a 4.1" deficit for the month.
To contrast, major California cities saw above-average totals for the month. Los Angeles recorded 6.66" for the month of January, more than double the normal 2.86" usually observed in January. San Diego saw 5.14" for the month, also more than double the normal 1.98" for January.
The image below shows the seasonal precipitation outlook for the rest of the country.
The Climate Prediction Center is also anticipating a transition from La Nina to ENSO-neutral in the spring of 2023.
Download the KING 5 app to check the interactive radar near you, as well as the latest forecast, cameras and current conditions.