No More Drought?


This U.S. Drought Monitor week saw a very active pattern in parts of the western U.S. as a series of Pacific storms brought significant rain to coastal areas of central and northern California, Oregon, and Washington while heavy snows blanketed higher elevations of the Sierra, Cascades, and northern Rockies. Continued snowfall this week across the Sierra is making a positive impact on the overall drought situation where the snowpack statewide is 176% of normal according to the California Cooperative Snow Surveys. Most of the major reservoirs in California are currently above historical averages. Some lingering hydrologic impacts (low reservoir levels and below-normal groundwater levels) are still present in portions of the central Coast, southern California, San Joaquin Valley, and the western foothills of the Sierra despite abundant precipitation during the past several months. Elsewhere in the West, mountain snowpack levels are normal to above normal across the Great Basin, southern Cascades, Wasatch, as well as central and southern Rockies. In the southern Plains and portions of the South, overall dry conditions have persisted, especially across Arkansas and Oklahoma. During the past week, temperatures were above normal across most of the conterminous U.S. with the exception of the northern Plains and much of the Pacific Northwest where temperatures were 5 to 20 degrees below normal with the greatest departures observed across Montana.


Their cups runneth over.

Or at least some reservoirs.

[BUT have they taken advantage of the droughty period to build more reservoirs and deepen others?]


NOAA still says conditions are ENSO neutral, but I fear we have a La Nina coming. Good for the far west, but bad for the center of the country.

Where I am, January is always the driest month, but this one has been particularly so.


Yes, this winter in the PNW has been much more like those in the past. I come from up north, so Seattle still feels warm, mild to me this time of year. But head north and you hit snow, ice, wind that cuts to the bone. I am glad for the huge snow packs though. Glad for the return of normalcy. Hope this doesn’t bring the soggy mild summers too. :slight_smile: We’ve had some scorchers recently. I now swim in lakes starting in June - used to be way too cold. Ditto salt water, bays, ocean. You can swim in June if you can handle cold. We’ll see.


yep we are still recovering from the last ice age


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