Two weather entities have been battling it out for media attention of late: The warm 'blob' of water in the Pacific Ocean largely blamed for our year-plus long of warmer temperatures in the Northwest, and a budding El Niño of super strength that has been given a variety of monikers, from "Bruce Lee" El Niño to "Godzilla" El Niño.
But University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences professor (and fellow weather blogger) Cliff Mass says only one can survive, and the two will engage in a meteorological battle that will rival those found on late night monster movies.
Who will win? Mass reveals who he'd put his money on:
"Just like in the movies, Godzilla will become our ally. And it makes sense that the mighty Godzilla will prevail," Mass wrote.
Mass says the atmospheric conditions caused by El Niño will create an opposite effect over where the warm "blob" lives, eventually causing its demise.
"Basically the blob is there because we had high pressure that was just sitting the Eastern Pacific and the higher pressure caused us to get warm and it caused the sea surface temperatures to get warmer than normal," Mass told KOMO News Radio. "But El Niño is going to cause a different pattern. We're going to see lows forming offshore and it's going to change the wind pattern a lot... I think the blob is going to die and I think El Niño is going to win."
(Mass has many more details in his weather blog entry.)
It just won't happen overnight -- we'll have to wait until later in the winter. Until then, long range forecasts maintain it'll remain warm -- don’t forget, even if "blob" goes away, El Niño's themselves tend to make for warmer than normal winters.
"I suspect we will not see a great deal of lowland snow in Seattle and the Puget Sound region this year," Mass said.
But Mass thinks compared to the last two winters that were quite abnormal -- especially last winter with temperatures 4-5 degrees above normal, he thinks this upcoming winter will seem tame in comparison, with only slightly warmer than normal levels. And as for mountain snowpack?
"Last year we had extremely low snowpack. I expect more of 75-80 percent of normal this year," Mass said. "That's a big improvement."
He says once "Blob" is defeated, and El Niño eventually fades next year, we should get back to more typical weather conditions, meaning the region's long warm spell has a light at the end of the tunnel…
Just as long as it's not Mothra's laser eyes.
For More Information:
Cliff Mass' Weather Blog