No changes on the horizon. A sunny Wednesday with occasional cloudiness every other day or so will accompany a return to the warmer than average temperatures, starting in the low 50s Wednesday and reaching 60 by the end of the weekend. Winds will be generally light throughout, and precipitation will be generally absent.

PDO2

(Courtesy NOAA Fisheries Center)

El Niño seems to get all the press, but I think that for our weather here in western Nevada and the Sierra, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) actually has a stronger influence on our climactic patterns. What is the PDO? It is similar to El Niño in that it is a long lived variability in the ocean temperatures, with warm (positive) and cold (negative) phases, but as opposed to equatorial ocean waters, the PDO measures the temperatures in the northeastern Pacific. And instead of having a lifespan of around a year and a half (like El Niños), the PDO phases generally last a decade or more.

So how does this affect our weather? Those ocean temperatures have a lot to do with the strength and location of the polar jet stream. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you why that means a lot to us.

 

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