SEATTLE (AP) — Forecasters who thought Washington was in for a warmer, drier El Nino winter say the outlook has shifted to a more neutral pattern.

But neutral doesn’t mean uneventful. National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologist Ted Buehner (BEE’-ner) says there’s a “good shot” of a “pineapple express.” That’s a system of heavy rain coming from the direction of Hawaii that can hit the Northwest like a fire hose.

A three-day pineapple express storm system in November 2006 sent some Western Washington rivers to record high flows.

The neutral pattern is between the El Nino and La Nina patterns which are named for Pacific Ocean warming or cooling and affect the weather worldwide.

Buehner and other Washington flooding experts spoke to Seattle media Tuesday about the winter outlook.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


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