By Don Jenkins, Capital Press
Already the state most affected by drought, Washington has the highest chance in the continental U.S. for a warmer-than-average summer, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted Thursday.
High sea-surface temperatures along the equator and the west coast of Alaska are likely to push temperatures up throughout the West, but especially in the Alaska Panhandle and Washington, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
Also Thursday, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported that drought conditions now prevail in most of Washington. No other state comes close.
This is stark contrast to the Midwest states, which are likely to continue to have cool and wet weather, according to NOAA.
Washington State Climatologist Nick Bond said he agreed with NOAA’s summer outlook, though nothing indicates the state will dry out and sizzle like in 2015, the last year Washington suffered a statewide drought.
“Right now, there’s no screaming message of intense heat,” he said. “It’s not as bad as 2015, but it does look like that in some parts of the state, water supplies will be less than 75% of normal.”