- For the majority of the month of January the persistent ridge of high pressure over the eastern Pacific continued bringing warm and dry conditions throughout the western US. As a result, many regions across California, Nevada, Arizona and Oregon have less than 40% of their normal snowpack.
- While the ridge has shifted slightly from time to time, allowing moisture into portions of Washington and northern Oregon, it appears to have a lock on the west at least through mid-February. There is some indication of cooler and wetter conditions late in the month, but the models have not been consistent enough to call for a major change yet.
- The seasonal forecast from February through April remains dominated by the pattern expected by the La Niña in the tropics and cold PDO conditions in the North Pacific. As a result, the forecasts continue to tilt the odds to spring being cool/wet in the PNW and cool to average and dry in California. The odds for making up the current precipitation deficits decline daily and large areas of the west are likely to see drought conditions develop or get worse in the coming months.