PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Despite a weekend of moderate rainfall across the Oregon coast and Willamette Valley, drought conditions remain in place across nearly all portions of the state.
The latest drought report, released on Thursday, shows that 97% of the state is in some level of drought.
Extreme drought (D3) formed across the southwest corner of Oregon in the middle of April, and continues to slowly increase with every week. Moderate drought (D1) is now affecting the majority of the Willamette Valley.
Worsening drought conditions have been caused by persistent dry weather across the Pacific Northwest. Every month aside from January brought below-normal rainfall to northwest Oregon since the beginning of the new “water year.” In total, the area is missing 9.14 inches of rain from the amounts typically measured at this point in the year.
May brought soggy days and plenty of showers. The majority of days have provided at least trace (<0.01″) amounts of rain. As a result, rainfall amounts this month are above-normal.
Looking back through the decade of May rainfall totals, it’s interesting to note how the first five years, from 2010 to 2014, all provided near to well above-normal rainfall amounts at PDX. The latter half of the decade, from 2015 of 2019, all produced below-normal rain totals and totals below 2.0″ as well. May 2018 holds the record as the driest May observed with rainfall totals only reaching 0.17″.
Long-range forecasts by the Climate Prediction Center (NOAA) continue to show below-normal rainfall probabilities across the west coast for June through August. Our water supply, farming and agricultural impacts, and a looming fire season are all concerns for Oregonians moving forward. Stay tuned each week as drought conditions are released every Thursday.
To see how drought could affect our 2020 fire season, tune into our latest Your Weather Podcast here or listen below: