Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Portland, OR

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DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OREGON
1010 AM PDT FRI JUL 17 2015

...UPDATE ON DROUGHT CONDITIONS AND IMPACTS FOR OREGON AS OF
JULY 17TH 2015...

DROUGHT CONDITIONS ACROSS OREGON RANGE FROM MODERATE TO EXTREME...AS
IDENTIFIED BY THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR. DROUGHT CONDITIONS HAVE
INTENSIFIED AND EXPANDED ACROSS THE STATE OVER THE PAST SEVERAL
MONTHS...DUE TO TWO MAIN FACTORS:

1 - A WINTER WITH RECORD-LOW OR NEAR-RECORD-LOW SNOWPACK CAUSED BY A
COMBINATION OF BELOW-AVERAGE PRECIPITATION AND MUCH-ABOVE-AVERAGE
TEMPERATURES.

2 - A DRY AND HOT SPRING...WITH PERIODS OF RECORD-HIGH TEMPERATURES
IN MAY AND JUNE...ESPECIALLY IN WESTERN AND NORTH-EAST OREGON.
OVERALL IT WAS THE HOTTEST JUNE ON RECORD FOR MOST OF OREGON.

VISIT DROUGHT.GOV FOR MORE DETAILS ON DROUGHT CONDITIONS AND
CATEGORIES IN OREGON AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST.

STATE DROUGHT DECLARATIONS HAVE BEEN ISSUED FOR MANY COUNTIES...TOO
MANY TO LIST HERE. AFFECTED COUNTIES INCLUDE ALL THOSE IN
SOUTHWEST...SOUTHEAST...AND NORTH-CENTRAL OREGON. FOR DETAILS...
VISIT THE OREGON WATER RESOURCES DROUGHT WATCH AT
WWW.OREGON.GOV/OWRD/PAGES/WR/DROUGHT.ASPX.

US DEPT OF AGRICULTURE DROUGHT DISASTER DECLARATIONS ARE ALSO IN
EFFECT FOR MOST OREGON COUNTIES...EXCEPT FOR A HANDFULL OF COUNTIES
IN EXTREME NORTHWEST OREGON. VISIT USDA.GOV FOR MORE INFORMATION ON
DISASTER DECLARATIONS AND ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS FOR DROUGHT-IMPACTED
AREAS.

FOR MUCH OF SOUTHERN OREGON...THIS IS THE SECOND OR THIRD YEAR OF
DROUGHT...AND DROUGHT IMPACTS CONTINUE TO INTENSIFY. HOWEVER...THE
AREAL EXTENT AND SEVERITY OF THIS YEAR`S DROUGHT EXCEED THE TWO
PREVIOUS YEARS FOR THE STATE AS A WHOLE.

DROUGHT IMPACTS WILL EVOLVE AND CHANGE THROUGH THE FALL AND MAY
PERSIST INTO NEXT WINTER. THE MUCH-PUBLICIZED ONSET OF A MODERATE TO
STRONG EL NINO IN THE TROPICAL PACIFIC OCEAN IS UNLIKELY TO PROVIDE
WIDESPREAD DROUGHT RELIEF FOR OREGON THIS COMING WINTER.

THERE ARE A MULTITUDE OF DROUGHT IMPACTS AROUND THE STATE...
INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING: DRASTICALLY-REDUCED WATER ALLOCATIONS FOR
IRRIGATORS IN SOME BASINS...REDUCED WATER SUPPLY FOR COMMUNITIES
ESPECIALLY WHERE DEPENDENT ON NATURAL STREAMFLOW ONLY...VERY LOW
STREAMFLOW AND WARMER-THAN-NORMAL WATER TEMPERATURES AFFECTING FISH
AND WILDLIFE HABITAT...REDUCED ACREAGE AND OVERALL PRODUCTION FOR
MANY FIELD CROPS...POOR RANGE CONDITIONS AND WATER AVAILABILITY FOR
CATTLE AND OTHER RANGE ANIMALS...AND DRIER-THAN-NORMAL FOREST
CONDITIONS.

NOTE...THIS PRODUCT WILL BE ISSUED ON AT LEAST A MONTHLY BASIS IN
2015 AS LONG AS WIDESPREAD DROUGHT CONDITIONS PERSIST IN OREGON. THE
NEXT UPDATE WILL BE ISSUED BY AUGUST 14TH.

===================================================================
...OBSERVED PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURES...

WATER-YEAR PRECIPITATION /OCTOBER 2014 - JUNE 2015/ IS GENERALLY 70
TO 80 PERCENT OF AVERAGE...EXCEPT FOR 80 TO 90 PERCENT IN FAR-
SOUTHEAST OREGON. THESE NUMBERS AREN`T EXTREME...BUT IT`S WORTH
NOTING THAT MOST OF THE WINTER PRECIPITATION CAME IN BIG PULSES AS
TROPICALLY-SOURCED ATMOSPHERIC RIVERS...WHICH BROUGHT SEVERAL DAYS
OF FAIRLY HEAVY RAIN INTERSPERSED AMONG EXTENDED DRY PERIODS. THIS
MEANT THAT MOST STORMS DID NOT PRODUCE MOUNTAIN SNOW AND GRADUAL
RECHARGE OF SOIL MOISTURE THROUGH THE WINTER. BY APRIL AND MAY...
MOST RIVERS WERE DROPPING TOWARD SUMMER BASEFLOW LEVELS INSTEAD OF
THE USUAL SPRING SNOWMELT RISES.

TEMPERATURES THROUGHOUT THE WINTER WERE NOTABLY ABOVE-AVERAGE...BOTH
FOR VALLEY AND MOUNTAIN LOCATIONS. THE ABOVE-AVERAGE TREND HAS
CONTINUED ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE SPRING...AND MUCH OF WESTERN AND
NORTH-CENTRAL OREGON ALSO HAD EXTREMELY LOW PRECIPITATION TOTALS
DURING THE SPRING. SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS PROVIDED SIGNIFICANT
BUT SPOTTY PRECIPITATION TOTALS NEAR OR ABOVE AVERAGE FOR SOUTHEAST
OREGON IN MAY AND JUNE.

THE FOLLOWING TABLE SHOWS JUNE 2015 TEMPERATURE DEPARTURE FROM
AVERAGE...MONTHLY PRECIPITATION TOTAL AND PERCENT OF AVERAGE...AND
WATER YEAR PRECIPITATION (OCT 2014 - JUN 2015) AND PERCENT OF
AVERAGE FOR SELECTED OREGON LOCATIONS.

LOCATION   JUNE AVE   JUNE PRECIP  PERCENT    WY PRECIP    PERCENT
           TEMP DEP    (INCHES)    AVERAGE     (INCHES)    AVERAGE
========   ========   ===========  =======    =========    =======
ASTORIA      +2.8         0.73        29        53.01         84
NORTH BEND   +1.1         0.29        15        42.54         68
PORTLAND     +6.7         0.40        24        29.47         89
EUGENE       +6.8         0.23        15        29.41         67
MEDFORD      +8.0         0.31        50        13.99         82
REDMOND      +7.3         0.11        17         8.31        112
PENDLETON    +7.9         0.06         6         9.70         85
KLAM. FALLS  +7.8         0.36        35        11.88         88
ONTARIO      +9.0         0.21        30         8.74         95
BURNS        +8.4         0.00         0         8.56         88

TEMPERATURES THUS FAR IN JULY CONTINUE THE ABOVE-AVERAGE
TREND...GENERALLY 1 TO 5 DEGREES ABOVE AVERAGE. PRECIPITATION HAS
BEEN LITTLE TO NONE FOR NORTHWEST OREGON...BUT SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS HAVE PROVIDED SOME NEEDED PRECIPITATION FOR PARTS OF
SOUTHWEST AND EASTERN OREGON.

VISIT WWW.NWRFC.NOAA.GOV/WATER_SUPPLY/WY_SUMMARY/WY_SUMMARY.PHP FOR
MORE DETAILS ON OBSERVED PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURES IN OREGON.

===================================================================
...PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL
MONTHS...

CONTINUED ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED THROUGH THE REST OF
SUMMER AND FALL. WITH THE ONSET OF A MODERATE TO STRONG EL NINO IN
THE TROPICAL PACIFIC...THE CLIMATE PREDICTION OUTLOOK FOR
TEMPERATURES SHOWS HIGH LIKELIHOOD OF ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES
CONTINUING THROUGH THE UPCOMING WINTER OF 2015-16. THE OUTLOOK FOR
PRECIPITATION FOR THE COMING FALL AND WINTER IS MORE UNCERTAIN BUT
LEANS BELOW-AVERAGE.

VISIT WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SEASONAL
OUTLOOKS AND EVOLVING EL NINO CONDITIONS.

===================================================================
...RESERVOIR CONDITIONS...

SEVERAL RESERVOIRS IN SOUTH-CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST OREGON HAVE LITTLE
OR NO REMAINING STORAGE AS OF MID JULY. FOR EXAMPLE...WARM SPRINGS
RESERVOIR STORAGE IS 2 PERCENT OF CAPACITY AND OWYHEE RESERVOIR IS
10 PERCENT OF CAPACITY. IN OTHER PARTS OF THE STATE...RESERVOIR
STORAGE IS GENERALLY 25 TO 75 PERCENT OF AVERAGE...AND OPERATORS ARE
DOING THEIR BEST TO MANAGE THE REMAINING STORAGE FOR A VARIETY OF
DOWNSTREAM NEEDS...INCLUDING IRRIGATION...IN-STREAM FISHERIES
HABITAT...RECREATION...AND HYDRO-ELECTRIC POWER.

MOST OF THE SMALLER RESERVOIRS SUPPLYING URBAN AREAS...SUCH AS THE
BULL RUN PROJECT OPERATED BY PORTLAND WATER BUREAU...ARE NEAR NORMAL
STORAGE WITH ADEQUATE SUPPLY FOR THE SUMMER AND FALL.

VISIT WWW.WCC.NRCS.USDA.GOV/CGIBIN/RESV_RPT.PL?STATE=OREGON FOR MORE
INFORMATION ON RESERVOIR CONDITIONS.

===================================================================
...STREAMFLOW AND SUMMER WATER SUPPLY VOLUMES...

STREAMFLOW IN MAY AND JUNE HAS BEEN MUCH BELOW AVERAGE...ESPECIALLY
FOR WESTERN OREGON RIVERS. MANY RIVERS AND STREAMS ALONG THE OREGON
COAST HAVE BEEN NEAR OR BELOW PREVIOUS RECORDS FOR THIS TIME OF
YEAR. TYPICALLY...OREGON RIVERS WOULD SEE SIGNIFICANT RISES IN MAY
AND JUNE WITH THE MELTING OF MOUNTAIN SNOW...BUT THERE WAS LITTLE OR
NO SNOW TO MELT...AND STREAMFLOW DROPPED THROUGH THE SPRING MONTHS
TOWARD SUMMER BASEFLOW LEVELS. A FEW RIVERS THAT HAVE RECENTLY BEEN
AT OR NEAR RECORD LOWS INCLUDING THE LOWER NEHALEM...SILETZ...
CLACKAMAS...BREITENBUSH...HOOD...AND DONNER UND BLITZEN.

MEANWHILE...MANY RIVERS IN EASTERN OREGON HAVE SEEN GRADUAL RISES IN
EARLY JULY IN RESPONSE TO SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS AND ARE RUNNING
50 TO 80 PERCENT OF AVERAGE FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR...STILL LOW BUT
NOT AS EXTREME AS THEY WERE APRIL THROUGH JUNE.

WATER SUPPLY VOLUMES FOR APRIL - SEPTEMBER ARE TRENDING 30 TO 60
PERCENT OF AVERAGE ACROSS THE STATE...WITH SOME BASINS IN EASTERN
OREGON ONLY 15 TO 25 PERCENT. MANY OF THESE VOLUMES ARE AT OR NEAR
THE PREVIOUS LOWEST STREAMFLOW VOLUMES ON RECORD. THE COLUMBIA RIVER
AT THE DALLES...A GOOD INDEX FOR CONDITIONS THROUGHOUT THE COLUMBIA
BASIN...IS ON TRACK FOR 70 PERCENT OF AVERAGE FOR APR-SEP.

VISIT WATERWATCH.USGS.GOV FOR DETAILS ABOUT INDIVIDUAL BASINS AND
RIVER GAGES AND WWW.NWRFC.NOAA.GOV FOR WATER SUPPLY VOLUMES.

===================================================================
...DROUGHT IMPACTS IN OREGON...

HOT AND DRY CONDITIONS SINCE MAY HAVE EXACERBATED DROUGHT IMPACTS
AROUND THE STATE AND ESPECIALLY IN WESTERN OREGON...WHICH TYPICALLY
SEES SOME COOLER AND WETTER CONDITIONS IN LATE SPRING BUT HAD THE
OPPOSITE THIS YEAR.

ONE OF THE MOST TANGIBLE IMPACTS OF THE DROUGHT IS THAT MANY RIVERS
HAVE BEEN AT OR NEAR RECORD LOW STREAMFLOW FOR THIS TIME OF
YEAR...LEADING TO RESTRICTIONS AND REDUCTIONS IN WATER USE FOR MANY
IRRIGATION DISTRICTS AND SOME COMMUNITIES. WATER TEMPERATURES HAVE
BEEN MUCH WARMER THAN TYPICAL IN MAY AND JUNE DUE TO THE LOW FLOW
AND LACK OF SNOWMELT CONTRIBUTION.

SEVERAL OREGON RIVERS HAVE SEEN HIGHER FISH MORTALITY THAN NORMAL
DUE TO THE LOW FLOWS AND WARM TEMPERATURES...AND MANY RIVERS HAVE
FISHING RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE.

FOREST FUEL CONDITIONS HAVE BEEN TRACKING 4 TO 6 WEEKS AHEAD OF
NORMAL SUMMER DRYING...AND THERE HAVE ALREADY BEEN SIGNIFICANT
WILDFIRES IN OREGON. ITS DEFINITELY BEEN AN EARLY START TO THE FIRE
SEASON IN OREGON.

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT THIS DROUGHT INFORMATION
STATEMENT PLEASE CONTACT...

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE - PORTLAND
PHONE: 503-261-9246
EMAIL: W-PQR.WEBMASTER@NOAA.GOV

$$



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