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Why you might want to start preparing for a cold, wet winter

Melting slush piles up on East Bay Drive near Olympia’s Priest Point Park in February.
Melting slush piles up on East Bay Drive near Olympia’s Priest Point Park in February. sbloom@theolympian.com

With that chill in the morning air this week, it might have you thinking about the colder weather ahead. And forecasters don’t exactly have good news on that front.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center released its latest outlook on Thursday, showing a 55 to 60 percent chance we’ll see La Nina this fall and winter.

La Nina conditions here mean below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation. Last year’s La Nina gave us the wettest October-to-June on record.

KOMO reports while we typically go from El Nino to a “neutral” winter to La Nina, getting two La Nina winters in a row is not unheard of.

Meanwhile, the Old Farmer’s Almanac offers a slightly different outlook. It also predicts western states will see colder-than-normal temperatures this winter, but it forecasts that the Pacific Northwest will see less precipitation than normal. The coldest periods will be in late November to early December and in late December, according to the almanac.

The Farmer’s Almanac map shows Western Washington will be “cold, dry” this winter, while areas east of the Cascades will be “cold, snowy.”

The first day of fall is Sept. 22, but it might feel fallish starting Sunday, when the high will reach just 64 degrees, and Monday, when the high will only crawl to 58. Lows are expected to be in the mid 40s all next week.

Rain also is in the forecast for Sunday and Wednesday.

Abby Spegman: 360-704-6869, @AbbySpegman

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