While looking down the road a bit does give us a slight chance of some showers by the middle of next week (and if those do come through they don’t look all that exciting), for the short term the dry and mild weather continues. The west coast ridge of high pressure shows no sign of moving through the weekend, and that will bring dry if not cloudless conditions to our region through the weekend. Temperatures will be slow to rebound in the valleys thanks to light winds and cold air pooling, but by the weekend we should see temperatures back up near 60 degrees.

pdo_warm_cool

Image courtesy of Stepen Hare and Nathan Mantua, University of Washington, units are degrees Celsius

So just how do northern Pacific Ocean temperatures affect our weather patterns? As with most things dealing with the weather, it’s not a straight cut and dry answer. But as a weak rule of thumb, when the PDO is in its negative (cold) phase, which it has been in for most (note “most”) of the last 10 years, it tends to weaken the west to east flow across the northern Pacific, and pushes the polar jet stream farther to the north. That usually doesn’t bode well for us here.

But as I said, it’s not as simple as cause and effect. A switch in the PDO phase won’t immediately change the weather patterns, and this year is a good example of that. I’ll continue this tomorrow.

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