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NW Fishletter #379, March 5, 2018

[7] Drought Likely In Eastern Oregon

Drought conditions in eastern Oregon are likely to persist in some areas and develop in others over the next three months, according to NOAA Climate Prediction Center's Feb. 15 monthly outlook.

Drought is projected to persist in the central part of the state, and is likely to develop throughout southeastern Oregon.

Jake Crouch, a climate scientist at the CPC, said the West Coast experienced warmer-than-normal temperatures in January. That caused rain instead of snow in some areas, including the south Cascades. "The lack of snow in this part of the country can cause water resource issues as we move into the warm and dry season," he said. About 36 percent of the land in the lower 48 states, stretching from Oregon to Texas, is experiencing drought conditions, he said.

Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana are expected to experience cooler-than-average temperatures in March, persisting through May except in the southern half of Oregon and Idaho. Washington and Oregon are projected to have average precipitation, while Montana and northern Idaho face above-average precipitation.

These patterns are being influenced by continuing La Niña conditions, according to Dan Collins, a seasonal forecaster at the CPC. Collins said La Niña tends to lead to below-normal precipitation in the southwest, and above normal across much of the northern U.S. -K.C. M.

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Publisher/Editor-in-Chief: Mark Ohrenschall, Editor: K.C. Mehaffey
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