Multnomah County Feel-free From Drought: Multnomah County has exited a drought due to a cold, wet, and frosty December, but much of the Western United States remains in a severe drought. According to KOIN 6 Meteorologist Kelley Bayern, despite recent rains in the Pacific Northwest, the West’s drought conditions remain severe. Bayern stated that the recent significant rainfall “will not end the area drought quickly.”
“If you focus on Oregon alone, you can see that the drought there has improved by around 8% over the previous three months, but it will take months of rain surplus to make a dent in Oregon’s drought.” The Western U.S. is now experiencing one of the worst droughts on record, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which was established in 1999.
Furthermore, despite Multnomah County receiving a particularly significant bout of seasonal rain in December, the monthly rainfall totals for the Pacific Northwest’s parched regions are “slightly above average,” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The area’s three-month precipitation totals are also below average.
Multnomah County’s most recent drought ended due to the region’s very wet spring and summer, according to Larry O’Neill, climatologist for the state of Oregon. During this time period, Multnomah County experienced the wettest April, May, and June since records began in 1895. The unseasonably warm weather also resulted in flush snowpacks in the Cascades, which supported river conditions during the summer’s record-breaking heat.
Vast Condition Of Some Areas
“This snowfall season got off to a tremendous start across Oregon,” according to O’Neill. To reach even ‘normal’ peak levels by the end of March, we’d need roughly three times as much snow. We still need a lot more snow to ensure a sufficient water supply for the coming summer.
While the majority of Northwest Oregon is still experiencing “abnormally dry” drought conditions, O’Neill believes the region is faring better than the state’s centre and southwest. According to him, northwest Oregon is one of two areas in Oregon where the severity of the drought is improving. “It should be noted that the worst drought in recorded history continues to affect the majority of the rest of Oregon, particularly central Oregon,” the statement said.
The area’s reservoirs have been depleted due to “exceptional” and “severe” drought conditions in Central Oregon. Agriculture, cattle, natural resource exploitation, and the leisure sector have all been severely impacted by the local economy’s severely constrained water supply. As a result of the circumstances, Governor Kate Brown declared a drought emergency in the area earlier this year.
It's been a cold, wet, snowy and icy December — but how much of that has helped Oregon's ongoing drought? https://t.co/PoGvSoOoyq
— KOIN News (@KOINNews) December 30, 2022
O’Neil stated that it’s still doubtful that these reservoirs would revert to a normal level in the next months, especially with the majority of the rainy season yet to come. The reservoir levels in various regions of the state, such as those in Prineville, Wickiup, Owyhee, and Warm Springs reservoirs, among a few other smaller ones, have “one important influence,” according to O’Neil.
“Because they were all very empty before the rainy season began, they had a low likelihood of filling to normal levels during this rainy season.” Nexstar Media Inc. retains all rights until 2022. This content may not be rewritten, broadcasted, published, or transmitted.
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