The ongoing El Nino weather pattern will have the Phoenix area looking a lot more like a Pacific Northwest city this year, a climatologist said Wednesday.

“This year, we’re going to become Seattle,” Randy Cerveny, a climatologist with Arizona State University, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes. “The storms that normally go up there will come down here.”

Cerveny said Phoencians can expect a lot of Seattle-like weather for the next several months.

“The whole winter is going to have these series of storms that aren’t very strong but are going to drop a lot of rain,” he said.

Much like the Pacific Northwest, Cerveny said El Nino-powered storms will roll in “very frequently” and will be similar to what Phoenix has seen over the past several days.

While the rain may make Phoenix traffic a bit of a headache, Cerveny said there is a benefit: El Nino is a “perfect kind of drought-busting situation” for the entire state.

“When you get these kind of slow, soaking rains — and particularly snow up in the (Mogollon) Rim country — that’s absolutely the perfect kind of conditions to alleviate a drought,” he said.

Cerveny said Phoenicians should expect frequent rain until at least March or April.

© KTAR News