PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Oregon is seeing major improvements to its drought conditions as the extremely wet spring conditions persist.
The latest data from the U.S. Drought Monitor show that less than 2% of the state remains in exceptional drought and less than 70% of the state remains in some level of drought.
While that 70% might sound concerning, it’s an improvement from the conditions recorded earlier this year. At the start of 2022, 97% of the state was in some level of drought and 18% was in exceptional drought.
“Our recent rainfall has done wonders for improving drought across the state,” KOIN 6 News meteorologist Kelley Bayern said. “Seeing the exceptional drought status decrease in Central and Southern Oregon, where dry grass and shrub lands prevail, is fantastic if we’re looking through it from the lens of wildfires.”
In fact, information from the National Weather Service shows that the fire danger in the Portland area has been below average and below 2021’s fire danger levels since late March.
The above-average precipitation the western part of the state has received in the last few months is paying off.
Bayern said in terms of rainfall, April, May and June 2022 has been the rainiest three-month period in the last decade or more.
In March 2022, at a media briefing on Northwest drought conditions, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said many of the areas impacted most by drought would need 150-200% or more of normal precipitation over the next two months to lessen drought conditions.
NOAA is expected to give another drought and climate webinar on June 27.