Drought Worries Pt 2

Drought Worries Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. In spite of the record cold and wet weather Washington has experienced the past couple of months, the drought prognosticators aren’t letting up.

Cliff Mass, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, says a Seattle Times story reports parts of Eastern Washington are in extreme drought …

MASS … “The core of the dry area is a desert, right. The core of the driest area is the places where only irrigated farming is existing, and there’s plenty of water for irrigation.”

Mass says drought is a non-issue there this year …

MASS … “So, there will be no impact there from Yakima, through Tri Cities, to Moses Lake, right. So, that’s almost all irrigated. They have plenty of water so there’s no drought impact whatsoever and there’s more than enough water. So, what does “severe drought” mean there?”

Even Oregon, Mass says has seen some much-needed precipitation …

MASS … “Washington state is a homerun, and down there it’s improved substantially. I mean clearly California has issues. I mean, there’s no doubt about that. But they have reservoir capacity that we don’t have.”

And, Mass says you don’t have to take his word …

MASS … “I got a call yesterday from Dennis Lettenmaier. He used to be here at the UW and one of the leading hydrologists in the United States. And he runs hydrological models in real time. Now, he’s at UCLA, but he used to be here, and he saw the Seattle Times thing and he said it’s ridiculous. He said there’s no drought in Washington state, and he’s probably the top hydrologist and most knowledgeable about the region.”

Mass says we’ll see some warmer temps near term, but then another system comes in with more rain next week.

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