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Wet April brings major improvement to Oregon's drought

Small portion of Willamette Valley still Abnormally Dry

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- Spring time in Portland is typically mild as the weather pattern shifts from winter to summer. However, the month of April started off with a bang as heavy rain and melting snowpack flooded portions of the Willamette River in the central valley and near Portland.

The Portland Intenational Airport logged its normal monthly rain totals in just the first 15 days of the month. Down the valley, the Eugene airport has tracked 7.34 inches of rain so far and will likely go down as the third wettest April on record.

While spring time flooding is always a concern this time of the year, the heavy rainfall did benefit our current drought status. On April 2, roughly 40% of Oregon was experiencing Moderate Drought, while 82% were deemed abnormally dry.

Just one week later, all of Oregon bumped out of the drought category and roughly 17% remains Abnormally Dry, as this graphic shows.

Portland is still in a rainfall deficit of 5.83 inches since the start of the new water year on October 1, 2018. Below normal rainfall from November through January is to blame. If it weren't for the late return of Winter in February which bumped the Cascade mountain snowpack to above normal levels, and a soggy March and April, our state would likely suffer through a tough drought this summer. 

Looking ahead, the CPC seasonal outlook favors below normal precipitation odds across northwest Oregon and western Washington.


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