- January was dominated by an Arctic event mid-month, ending up colder than average for the northern Rockies and much of the PNW, while southern Oregon to central California and across to the central Rockies were much warmer than average.
- January precipitation was above average in the PNW and below average for much of California, the opposite of what would be expected during a typical El Niño winter. But change is afoot.
- Mountain basins are currently running below average for snow water equivalents for much of the western US. There is still time to make these deficits up, but water managers are starting to show some concern.
- A major change in circulation is ushering in a more typical El Niño pattern over the west, resulting in a strong southerly storm path tapping into subtropical moisture that will bring substantial rain to California.
- The seasonal forecast continues to hold to a ‘typical’ El Niño pattern, dry and mild in the PNW and wetter in California and across the south. Observations and modeling are pointing to the continued weakening of El Niño into spring and early summer. Concerns about too much precipitation too fast for some, not enough for others, and a cool April and slow start to the growing season are top of my mind.