PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The weekend rainfall could make a difference in the drought Oregon has been in this summer but National Weather Service Hydrologist Andy Bryant said we have a way to go to make up the deficit.
Bryant told KOIN 6 News the metro area has a good water supply but many other areas in the state have experienced shortages.
Since spring, Oregon has been on the dry and warm side, he said. The rivers have been impacted and, he said, most rivers in the Portland area through northwest Oregon and southwest Washington are at their lowest water volume in years.
“If we had near normal precipitation for October through the winter months into spring, we should be fine,” Bryant said. “We have a deficit of something on the order of 40 to 50 inches. That’s what we need to see in the coming months — which is basically near normal precipitation — and that would put us in good shape.”
But rather than a lot of rain all at once, Bryant said the area just needs active weather — one or two rain events a week — to get back to near-normal conditions. Too much rain at once will just run off into the ocean.
There are multiple factors that enhanced this year’s drought conditions, he said. The past 5-6 years in the Cascades have been fairly dry years with long term soil moisture deficience. That means the snow pack won’t translate into as much run off into the rivers.
This rain, though, is a good start and a sign of things to come.
Officials from the Oregon Department of Transportation remind drivers to look out for rockslides or debris slides this weekend — and clean out storm drains to avoid flooding.