The Pacific Northwest has seen several storms over the past couple of weeks, boosting the snowpack numbers. Unfortunately, those storms have done very little to address the on-going drought. Climatologist Zach Hoylman of the Montana State Climate Office says the Pacific Northwest has seen cooler-than-average temperatures this winter, helping the region’s snowpack.
But he was quick to point out, the region needs more snow than “normal” to make up for several years of drought, especially in central and southeast Oregon. January was Oregon’s 20th-driest on record dating back 128 years, and Hoylman expects February will rank in a similar way.
“Conditions are very, very extreme, especially when you’re looking at those really, really long-time scales. So, the short-term precipitation is likely to help but is not likely to eliminate drought.”
And that, he says, will impact stream flows and groundwater availability.
“The current drought in the Pacific Northwest is widespread, long-standing, persistent and far from over.
The National Weather Service is predicting a cooler and wetter March for the Northwest.