Drought Worries Pt 2

Drought Worries Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Threats of a second straight year of drought in the Pacific Northwest is certainly worth watching, but some pretty knowledgeable folks feel it’s unlikely.

University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences professor, Cliff Mass says we need look no further than our water supply for reassurance …

MASS … “I mean, for instance, right now, if you look at the reservoirs, look at the Yakima reservoir system. It’s unbelievable how high it is. I mean, you could look at the total reservoir capacity of the Yakima reservoirs and its way, way above normal.”

Compared to last year, Mass says, things are looking pretty good …

MASS … “Right now, the water that’s in the reservoirs are at what’s normally there in May and we’re already there and we haven’t even entered the snowpack. So, we’re going to have tremendous water supply in the Yakima. Things look good for the Columbia so there’s really no water issue in terms of any of the reservoirs or river runs that we depend on.”

So far, Mass says this is playing out like a La Nina year with our dry and cool period in February …

MASS … “But what happens inevitably at the end of a La Nina season is the ridge weakens and shifts off which opens us up to precipitation. It’s just so classic La Nina years. Sometimes you’ll have a dry period, but at the end you get wet and cool. And that is exactly what’s going to happen now. I mean that’s, all of the models are going that way right now.”

Mass says February’s dry spell was typical for a La Nina year and forecasts cool and wet for at least the next month.

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