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Bob Larson El Nino Winter
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: October 03, 2018

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I’m Bob Larson. Fall is here and the warm dry spring and summer we experienced this year is likely behind us. But, even in the fall and winter months ahead, there’s no guarantee we’re going to see that trend change much.

Washington State Climatologist Nick Bond says the forecast is calling for a good chance, a 70 to 75% chance of a moderate El Nino this winter which usually means we’ll be on the warm and dry side of normal …

BOND … “Obviously, we depend on our mountain snowpack to get through the dry season, especially the Yakima Valley and the Columbia Basin Project. And, during El Nino winters we tend to have less snowpack at the end of winter than normal. Again, there’s some exceptions. There’s no guarantees in this business. While the deck is stacked, Mother Nature still deals the cards and sometimes it seems like she doesn’t play fair.”

But, Bond says that’s no reason to fret …

BOND … “For some people, hearing the word El Nino is kind of a dirty word and I want to emphasize that it’s no time for panic and that, while we’re probably going to be on the warm side, especially after the first of the year, there’s no indication at this point that there’s going to be a disaster in terms of the snowpack at the end of winter, but it is something we’re keeping an eye on.”

Bond says in terms of snowpack, El Nino winters tend to end with less, but there’s always the exception.

In the short term, he says things look cooler and wetter, but not overly so.

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