A new estimation from the National Weather Service shows there is about a 50 percent chance the U.S. will see an El Niño summer.
While an El Niño winter would mean a milder and drier season, it likely will not have a large impact on the summer weather.
“There’s no real correlation between what goes on with La Niña and El Niño and the summer weather,” explained Jeffrey Cote, with the NWS Spokane office. “They don’t have any real studies or anything that say it really has a big impact on what goes on. It’s not strong enough to impact what goes on [in the summer.]”
A seasonal outlook from the NWS Climate Prediction Center did indicate we “better than average chances” of milder and drier weather this summer.
Right now, we are currently in neutral conditions – it is not an El Niño or La Niña season.
Cote said the NWS does do seasonal outlooks, regardless of El Niño or La Niña and right now, June through August is predicted to have better than average chances of milder and drier weather.
The snow pack in the Inland Northwest as of Thursday, was “in a good place,” according to Cote.
“Pretty much everyone is around 95 to 100 percent,” Cote explained. “Up towards Okanagan they’re at 113 above normal.”
The snow pack is just one part of what impacts the summer fire season.
“It also depends on what triggers a fire and how active we are,” Cote said. “If we have more moisture in the ground, then there is a better chance that the fires won’t be as severe.”