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Pacific Northwest DEWS October Drought & Climate Outlook

Document Author
Document Date
Document Type
Drought Status Update
Document Description

This drought and climate outlook was originally sent via email to the Pacific Northwest DEWS email list.

Climate Recap and Current Conditions

Nicholas Bond, Office of the Washington State Climatologist

  • Temperatures for the last 3 months have been on the warm side for the Pacific Northwest.
  • Precipitation was light during summer in most regions; more recently it has been wet in the north and dry in the south.
  • Portions of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana remain in Extreme Drought (D3).

Seasonal Conditions & Climate Outlook

Mike Halpert, NWS Climate Prediction Center

  • ENSO Alert System Status: La Niña Advisory
  • La Niña conditions are present and expected to persist through the winter.
  • This favors a northward shift in the jetstream and storm track.
  • Odds favor above-normal precipitation in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana
  • This should lead to improving drought conditions (and possibly drought removal) in these states.

Overview and Application of

Robb Lankston, Lankston Consulting LLC

  • Fuelcast is a new program within the Rangeland Production Monitoring Service that provides projections of expected fuel and forage conditions.
  • Provides weekly projections of fuel and forage conditions based on weekly remote sensing data (eMODIS), daily precip (GridMet), and EDDI.
  • Starts 4 months prior to average peak for each pixel (each pixel gets a unique phenology) and uses a machine learning process (models reformulated each week).
  • Provides projections of 1-hr fuel yield, 1-hr fuel yield compared with normal, annual herb yield, herb yield compared to normal, day of year (peak), day compared with normal (departure), Surface Fire Behavior Fuel Model, and Trend of Prediction.

Access here:

WSU Rangeland Resilience Videos & Case Studies

Sonia Hall, Washington State University

  • Goal is for farmers and ranchers to learn from peers who are experienced at dealing with risk.
  • Worked with three farmers/ranchers to produce multi-media case studies.
  • Focused on different aspects of resilience: the health of the rangeland vegetation (ecological resilience), rangeland health and resources diversity and flexibility (operational resilience), and community and agency relationships (community resilience).
  • There is no one recipe for increased resilience that works across the inland Pacific Northwest. Different cattle operations with different challenges use different strategies to increase resilience.

Access the case studies:


For any additional information, contact Britt Parker, NOAA/NIDIS.

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Pacific Northwest DEWS October Drought & Climate Outlook Email
DEWS Region(s)
Pacific Northwest