Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Portland, OR

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DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OREGON
110 PM PST TUE DEC 22 2015

...UPDATE ON DROUGHT CONDITIONS AND IMPACTS FOR OREGON AS OF
DECEMBER 22 2015...

DROUGHT CONDITIONS ACROSS OREGON RANGE FROM NO DROUGHT IN NORTHWEST
OREGON TO SEVERE IN SOUTHWESTERN AND CENTRAL OREGON...AND EXTREME IN
NORTH-CENTRAL...SOUTH-CENTRAL AND SOUTHEASTERN OREGON... AS
IDENTIFIED BY THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR. DROUGHT CONDITIONS
INTENSIFIED AND EXPANDED ACROSS THE STATE THROUGH THE SPRING AND
SUMMER OF 2015. DROUGHT CONDITIONS IN WESTERN OREGON HAVE EASED
GREATLY DUE TO ABOVE-AVERAGE RAINFALL IN OCTOBER...NOVEMBER...AND
THE THE FIRST HALF OF DECEMBER 2015.

THE MAIN DRIVERS FOR THE ONGOING DROUGHT ARE:

1 - WINTER 2014-15 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 AND SUMMER 2015...WITH PERIODS OF RECORD-
HIGH TEMPERATURES IN MAY THROUGH AUGUST...ESPECIALLY IN WESTERN AND
NORTH-EAST OREGON. OVERALL IT WAS THE HOTTEST JUNE ON RECORD FOR
MOST OF OREGON AND ONE OF THE HOTTEST JULYS ON RECORD. THE
METEOROLOGICAL SUMMER...JUNE THROUGH AUGUST...WAS ALSO THE HOTTEST
ON RECORD FOR MANY LOCATIONS OF OREGON.

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

STATE DROUGHT DECLARATIONS REMAIN IN EFFECT FOR MANY COUNTIES...TOO
MANY TO LIST HERE. 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 ALL OREGON COUNTIES. 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.

THE MUCH-PUBLICIZED ONSET OF A STRONG EL NINO IN THE TROPICAL
PACIFIC OCEAN MAY PROVIDE ADDITIONAL DROUGHT RELIEF FOR MUCH
OF OREGON THIS WINTER.

DROUGHT IMPACTS SEEN IN 2015 INCLUDE...DESTRUCTIVE WILDFIRES ACROSS
VARIOUS PARTS OF OREGON...MAJOR DIE-OFFS FOR STURGEON AND MIGRATING
SALMON DUE TO THE LOW STREAMFLOW AND VERY WARM WATER
TEMPERATURES...DRASTICALLY-REDUCED WATER ALLOCATIONS FOR IRRIGATORS
IN SOME BASINS...REDUCED WATER SUPPLY FOR COMMUNITIES ESPECIALLY
WHERE DEPENDENT ON NATURAL STREAMFLOW ONLY...REDUCED ACREAGE AND
OVERALL PRODUCTION FOR MANY FIELD CROPS...POOR RANGE CONDITIONS AND
WATER AVAILABILITY FOR CATTLE AND OTHER ANIMALS...AND REDUCED
RECREATION ACCESS FOR MANY OREGON RESERVOIRS.

NOTE...THIS PRODUCT WILL BE ISSUED ON AT LEAST A MONTHLY BASIS AS
LONG AS WIDESPREAD DROUGHT CONDITIONS PERSIST IN OREGON. THE NEXT
UPDATE WILL BE ISSUED BY JANUARY 15TH 2016.

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

WATER-YEAR PRECIPITATION (OCTOBER 2014 - SEPTEMBER 2015) WAS
GENERALLY 60 TO 80 PERCENT OF AVERAGE...EXCEPT FOR 80 TO 100 PERCENT
IN FAR-SOUTHEAST OREGON.

PRECIPITATION FOR FALL 2015 WAS ABOVE-AVERAGE FOR MOST OF THE
STATE...GENERALLY 110 TO 150 PERCENT OF AVERAGE.

TEMPERATURES FOR THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS HAVE BEEN NOTABLY ABOVE-
AVERAGE. IN FACT...IT WAS AMONG THE WARMEST WATER YEARS (OCT 2014-
SEP 2015) ON RECORD. THE TREND OF ABOVE-AVERAGE TEMPERATURES
CONTINUED IN OCTOBER...WITH MOST CLIMATE STATIONS 4 TO 6 DEGREES
ABOVE AVERAGE FOR THE MONTH. NOVEMBER 2015 WAS THE FIRST IN MANY
MONTHS WITH BELOW-AVERAGE TEMPERATURES...GENERALLY 2 TO 3 DEGREES
BELOW AVERAGE.

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...

WITH THE CONTINUED INFLUENCE OF A STRONG EL NINO IN THE TROPICAL
PACIFIC...ABOVE-AVERAGE TEMPERATURES ARE LIKELY JANUARY THROUGH
MARCH 2016...ESPECIALLY FOR WESTERN OREGON. THE OUTLOOK FOR
PRECIPITATION IS MORE UNCERTAIN BUT LEANS BELOW-AVERAGE...
ESPECIALLY FOR NORTHEAST OREGON.

THE IMPACT OF ABOVE-AVERAGE TEMPERATURES IS LIKELY TO BE MOST
STRONGLY FELT IN THE CASCADES AND EASTERN OREGON MOUNTAINS...WHICH
MAY RESULT IN BELOW-AVERAGE SEASONAL SNOWPACK.

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

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

RESERVOIR STORAGE REMAINS VERY LOW IN MOST OF CENTRAL AND EASTERN
OREGON. EYES ARE ON HOW THE COMING WINTER AND SPRING PLAYS OUT FOR
STATEWIDE PRECIPITATION AND MOUNTAIN SNOWPACK. RESERVOIR STORAGE IS
GENERALLY 10 TO 50 PERCENT OF AVERAGE.

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 NOVEMBER AND THE FIRST THREE WEEKS OF DECEMBER WAS
ABOVE-AVERAGE IN WESTERN OREGON AND NEAR-AVERAGE IN CENTRAL AND
EASTERN OREGON.

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

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

DRY AND HOT CONDITIONS SPRING AND SUMMER 2015 SET THE STAGE FOR A
PROLONGED AND INTENSE FIRE SEASON. THUNDERSTORMS IN JULY AND AUGUST
PROVIDED THE IGNITION FOR MANY OF THE LARGE FIRES THAT DOMINATED
NEWS HEADLINES ACROSS OREGON AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST IN LATE
SUMMER. MANY FIRE-SCARRED AREAS WILL BE SUSCEPTIBLE TO FLOODING AND
DEBRIS FLOWS IF IMPACTED BY HEAVY RAIN THIS WINTER.

ANOTHER TANGIBLE IMPACT OF THE DROUGHT WAS THAT MANY RIVERS WERE AT
OR NEAR RECORD LOW STREAMFLOW IN LATE SUMMER 2015...LEADING TO
RESTRICTIONS AND REDUCTIONS IN WATER USE FOR MANY IRRIGATION
DISTRICTS AND SOME COMMUNITIES.

HIGH FISH MORTALITY WAS SEEN IN MANY OREGON RIVERS DUE TO THE LOW
FLOWS AND WARM RIVER TEMPERATURES.

ALL EYES ARE ON THE COMING WINTER...WITH HOPES THAT NEAR-NORMAL
PRECIPITATION AND MOUNTAIN SNOWPACK WILL AT LEAST PARTIALLY
ALLEVIATE DROUGHT IMPACTS FOR THE SPRING AND SUMMER OF 2016.

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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