Phil Volcker of ERF Weather Inc. is expecting that Western Oregon will see a milder winter this year, with above-average rainfall. He shared his thoughts with members of the OAN’s Willamette Chapter during their late November meeting in Salem. “I’m confident we’re going to see a very good water year this year,” he said.
Volcker said he expects a predominant pattern where cold air over the North Pacific Ocean directs the jet stream to flow over the top of Oregon. As a result, the West Coast should experience average temperatures 1.5–3 degrees higher than normal, and rainfall totals that are 105–135 percent of normal. The rain will be particularly welcome in California, which experienced a drought last year due to a lack of cold air support from the ocean, he said.
Although the general forecast is for a milder winter, the Willamette Valley still may experience cold weather events, Volcker said. Additionally, the latter half of the winter could see lower snow levels in the mountains and perhaps less rain in the western half of the state.