By Associated Press • 

Drought finally leaving Western Oregon

 

SALEM — Western Oregon has finally escaped the drought that has plagued it since last spring.

A drought outlook map released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Thursday shows Western Oregon either not in a drought or in a situation where drought removal is likely, reported The Statesman Journal.

The region has rebounded from the drought that began to take hold in June thanks to a higher-than-normal rate of precipitation since October and decent snowpack in the Cascade Range.

“Things got a lot better in the last couple of weeks,” said Kathie Dello, deputy director of the Oregon Climate Service at Oregon State University. “This is just a snapshot in time — and given El Nino things are still up in the air for the rest of the winter — but overall it's very encouraging.”

The abundant rain and nearly average snowpack are good, but that's not enough to ensure the drought won't return next year, according to hydrologist Andy Bryant of the National Weather Service in Portland.

“The tough thing is that most of this water isn't going to help us next summer,” Bryant said. “If it gets to January and all of a sudden we stop getting snow — and that's what happened last year — then we're still going to be in trouble again next summer.”

Meanwhile, the USDA map shows Eastern Oregon as an area where the drought is expected to remain but improve.

“It's still going to take a lot to dig Eastern Oregon out of this drought,” said Dello.

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Information from: Statesman Journal, http://www.statesmanjournal.com

Comments

Joel2828

It sounds like 'ol Andy is just pained by the fact that the drought is over... But he's still holding out hope that it will return in the summer.

Don Dix

Joel, preaching caution is the 'company line'. Andy also said the major storms hitting Oregon so far have been unexpected and could change at any time. Unexpected and could change at any time? Surprise! -- welcome to Oregon weather 101! Continued dry through next spring was the prediction for this year's El Nino -- yet somebody forgot to get Mother Nature on board!

Former White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel said, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." In other words, beat the drum harder. You cannot have a crisis nobody pays attention!

Don Dix

Sorry -- last line should read -- You cannot have a crisis if nobody pays attention!

Trafik

Yamhill County Commissioners announce ban on drought

MCMINNVILLE -- After weeks of near-incessant rain, Yamhill County commissioners are almost ready to declare an end to the area’s storied drought of 2015. “Almost,” said Commissioner Mary Starrett. “Those Californians don’t understand that the word ‘drought’ means something totally different here. When it doesn’t rain here almost every day, we start to freak out,” she said.

According to Starrett, Oregon needs a lot more rain than other areas of the country. “Our greenness depends on it,” said Starrett. “Those mildew streaks you see everywhere don’t just grow by themselves,” she said.

Starrett said that winter just isn’t winter unless a local home succumbs to a landslide. “If a Yamhill County resident doesn’t lose his or her trailer because of torrential rains, then winter isn’t here,” she said. “The loss of one mobile home on one obscure hill somehwere means the rest of us can sleep easy.” Starrett went on to claim that local citizens can almost depend on this. “If some poor faimly’s single-wide slides down the mud on the side of Parrett Mountain in December,” said Starrett, “then the people of Dayton can rest assurred their following summer will be free from every-other-day watering.”

Starrett said the ban on dought will join the commission’s bans on courthouse firearms, marijuana and other-than-Christian prayer. “It will be very effective,” she said.

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