The latest summer weather outlook was recently released by the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC). What does it say for the North Sound??
The CPC outlooks offer odds on above, near or below average temperature and precipitation. Think of it like 100 poker chips divided into these three categories.
For temperatures through September, the pile of poker chips in the above average category exceeds 70, or a greater than 7 in 10 chance of above average temperatures for the summer season. That does not mean there won’t be a few cool periods during the summer. Yet when averaged over the entire summer period, there is a really good chance that it will be a warmer than average summer.
So, what does this mean? The region averages three 90 degree days per year. This year could easily have more than three 90 degree days. For 80 degrees or better, an average year has 26 days and this year will likely have more than that total.
A typical June through August precipitation total is around 5 inches. This summer has adds tipped toward less than a total of 5 inches of rain.
On May 1st, the Northwest Avalanche Center reported the North Cascades snowpack was about average, meaning the North Sound should have plenty of water supply this summer. From Snohomish County PUD, the latest Spada Lake elevation depth behind the Culmback Dam on the Sultan River – a key water source for residents – was on the high end of the lake’s normal levels.
So what does this all this information mean for the wildfire season? The Washington Dept of Natural Resources (DNR) has reported over 300 wildfires across the state so far this year, about triple the 10-year average by the end of May. Twenty-five percent of these wildfires have been west of the Cascades.
Given the summer weather outlook, the wildfire season may be above average. With many staying home during the pandemic, a lot of yardwork is being done with burning the debris instead of composting the debris. These debris burns have caused many of the wildfires thus far.
To help prevent wildfires, your yardwork can include building defensible space around your home and business. Visit readyforwildfire.org for more information about how to build defensible space. Have a fun and safe summer!
Ted Buehner - Meteorologist