PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Multnomah County’s drought conditions moved from “abnormally dry” to “none” on March 16, after several rounds of precipitation dampened the region last week.
Multnomah County was moved back into “abnormally dry” conditions for the 2022-2023 water year on Feb. 21 after an unusually dry start to the winter season. But Oregon state climatologist Larry O’Neill told KOIN 6 News that the county is now back on track for normal precipitation levels this year.
“This region has moved close to normal precipitation for the water year, beginning Oct 1, which is one factor in the improvement on the drought monitor,” O’Neil said. “A second consideration is that the snowpack in the North Oregon Cascades is normal to slightly above normal, so we expect adequate streamflows and water supply going into early summer.”
Despite the dry start to winter, Northwest Oregon has seen near-normal precipitation levels in the past few years. These long-term rain and snow totals, O’Neil said, have allowed Multnomah County to see a faster transition to a drought-free stage than other parts of Oregon, like Crook County, which continues to suffer the most extreme stage of drought.
Last week’s atmospheric rivers also brought intense rainfall to the Southwest, improving conditions in parts of California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. More rain is forecast for the Portland area on Sunday.