Driest November in decades not a worry just yet, but could point to shift toward El Niño

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Manage episode 247636514 series 1250214
By KNKX and KNKX Public Radio. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
The dry, cool and sunny conditions that brought extraordinary fall color to the Northwest also have toppled a major record. Seattle charted its driest November in 43 years, with just 1.71 inches of rain – about 26 percent of normal. (Spokane was at 30 percent of normal, with .68). That’s the driest November since 1976 — a “startlingly dry” year that saw about half of last month’s precipitation, says KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass. But the latest dry weather isn’t cause for concern just yet, he stresses. “Never call a winter in mid-December,” Mass says. “I wouldn’t be concerned unless these conditions continue into February.” One key feature is common among the dryness then and now: high pressure over the eastern Pacific. Mass says that was in place 43 years ago, and it has been parked over us this year since November. The pressure forms a ridge aloft that keeps precipitation sparse and weakens weather systems as they come in. “We don’t tend to get the low-pressure systems that bring

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