Maybe El Niño isn't such the slam dunk it seemed a few months ago?
Forecasters with NOAA's Climate Prediction Center – the people in charge of watching for El Niño and La Nina, among many other things – have dropped their chances of El Niño developing this fall and winter to 65 percent from 80 percent.
Granted, that's like saying a football team that was a 14 point favorite to win is now just an 11 point favorite – still a pretty good chance it'll happen. Just not as much as before.
But if nothing else, the trend is interesting.
With the tropical paradise of Hawaii bracing for Hurricane Iselle later Thursday, I've had quite a number of people email and ask why we're not calling the storm "Typhoon Iselle." After all, there's a similar storm just a bit farther west across the Pacific called "Typhoon Halong."
The reason is simple: Geography.
Photo galleries around here are full of dramatic cloud shots created by some of the tallest mountains, be it Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood or even just the Cascades or Olympics.
But mountains don't have to be measured in thousands of feet to create their own weather patterns.
For much of late winter and spring, the message has been the same by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center: Expect a warmer than normal summer.
So far, July is delivering, with several days of 80s and 90s around the Pacific Northwest, and even a few triple digit days east of the Cascades.
Portland is just one spot in the region, but it's a whopping 2.5 degrees above normal so far.
And the forecast for this week brings a return of more warm-to-hot weather to finish off the month!
So what about August? Those same long-range forecasts suggest more of the same. And September. And October. And November. And...see a theme developing?
Don Jensen, who has done a number of gorgeous time lapse videos of the daytime and nighttime skies over the Pacific Northwest, had an idea: What if I apply the processed used to create star trails and the like on my nighttime videos to daylight scenes?
The wildfires raging across Washington, Oregon and Idaho are not only bringing a dense, smoky haze to much of the area just to the east of the Cascades, but its effects are being felt over 1,000 miles away across the Upper Midwest.
Jonathan Yuhas, a meteorologist with KSTP-TV in Minneapolis, noted that skies over Minnesota have taken a "frosty haze" to them ever since the wildfires have erupted here in the Northwest.
Would you like to live in a place where no matter what the weather is, be it sunshine, pouring rain, or a foggy overcast, the temperature is about the same?
All you have to do is head west, stop just before you get pummeled by ocean surf, then either put in your tent stakes or, more comfortably, talk to a local real estate agent.
If it was in Mother Nature's playbook, it was used against parts of Nebraska Tuesday evening: Torrential rain, constant lightning, near-hurricane-force winds, tornadoes, and tennis ball-sized hail...
Pretty much all at the same time.
Let's start with the torrential rain as I was wide-eyed watching the rainfall numbers come in from Omaha.
The storm began with quite the punch, bringing a burst of rainfall and a gust of wind that was clocked at 72 mph!
The rain just kept going from there, which included jaw-dropping rainfall rates that saw over a half-inch of rain (0.53") fall in 3 minutes! That's 0.01" of rain per 3.4 seconds.
'Tis the season for severe weather across the Midwest and storm chasers have been out in full force capturing Nature's fury.
We're all likely familiar with what a hail storm looks like from the ground -- around here, it's as if someone dumped gazillions of frozen peas on the ground... if the peas were made of ice.
But have you ever seen a big hailstorm from the top? (And I mean BIG hailstorm, not the "what passes for big in Portland but Midwesterners and East Coasties laugh as child's play" hailstorm? The kind that could be disguised as a golf ball or, when you're really in for it, a softball?)
Storm chasers near Newcaslte, Wyoming lucked out this weekend in capturing an amazing supercell thunderstorm into its formation, then rapid dissipation.
The BaseHunters Chasing team followed the weather east into Nebraska on Monday and captured more supercells: