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Pacific Northwest DEWS Drought & Climate Outlook Webinar: October 23, 2023

Event Date
October 23, 2023
Event Time
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

These webinars provide the region's stakeholders and interested parties with timely information on current and developing drought conditions, as well as climatic events like El Niño and La Niña. Speakers also discuss the impacts of these conditions on things such as wildfires, floods, disruption to water supply and ecosystems, as well as impacts to affected industries like agriculture, tourism, and public health.


Webinar Introduction

Speaker: Britt Parker | NOAA National Integrated Drought Information System



Climate Recap and Current Conditions

Speaker: Larry O’Neill | Oregon Climate Service

  • While the past 90 days have been wetter than normal across much of the Pacific Northwest, this has done little to ameliorate substantial year-to-date precipitation deficits in much of the region.
  • It has been a warmer-than-normal summer across the Pacific Northwest, particularly in Washington and Oregon.
  • Continued drought recovery has occurred in the southeast Pacific Northwest.
  • Increased drought intensity has occurred in most of western Oregon and Washington, northern Idaho, and northwest Montana.
  • During 2023, streamflows and total runoff have been historically low at several stations draining the Cascade and coast ranges and in northern Idaho and northwestern Montana.
  • Substantial excess evaporation occurred this summer, mainly in regions already experiencing substantial year-to-date precipitation deficits, compounding surface water deficits.



Seasonal Conditions & Climate Outlook

Speaker: Jon Gottschalck | NOAA Climate Prediction Center

  • A strong El Niño event is ongoing in the Pacific Ocean, as shown by both oceanic and atmospheric conditions.
  • A strong El Niño very likely to remain in place through Spring 2024, with some potential for further strengthening.
  • Above-normal temperatures are favored for the Pacific Northwest during the November 2023–January 2024 and December 2023–February 2024 seasons.
  • There is high uncertainty and low confidence in the winter precipitation outcome. Below-normal precipitation is favored—at very modest odds—for eastern Washington and Oregon, much of Idaho, and the state of Montana.



Fire Program Analysis Fire-Occurrence Database (FPA-FOD)-Attributes: Physical, Social, and Biological Attributes for Improved Understanding and Prediction of Wildfires

Speaker: Moji Sadegh | Boise State University



Subseasonal Forecasts in the Climate Toolbox

Speaker: Katherine Hegewisch | University of California – Merced

  • View the Subseasonal Forecast tool.
  • The Climate Toolbox lets us look at subseasonal forecasts for the next 1–4 weeks as summaries on maps and for the next 1–28 days as timeseries on graphs. 
  • The subseasonal forecast data used is from NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information's CFSv2, but has been bias corrected and interpolated to 4-km grids over the contiguous U.S. to create 48 ensemble forecasts for the next 1–28 days.
  • A hindcast skill analysis was performed for this data. The weekly skill of the next 1–4 weeks of forecasts is viewable in a table alongside the weekly box plots in the Subseasonal Forecast tool. 
  • The Climate Mapper tool lets us view forecast category agreement across 48 ensemble members.
  • The Subseasonal Forecast tool lets us view forecasts as a timeseries of daily forecasts, as box plots of weekly forecasts showing the ensemble spread, and as daily categorical forecasts.




Speaker: Britt Parker, NOAA/NIDIS, CU Boulder/CIRES