PNW Climate & Drought Update
While much of the Pacific Northwest is experiencing abnormally dry or drought conditions, the region as a whole is faring better than it was a year ago during the record-breaking drought of 2015. The abnormally warm start to the calendar year led to a much earlier and faster melt of the region’s snowpack. As the summer of 2016 progresses this early runoff could result in below-average streamflows and higher water temperatures. Low soil moisture is already being observed in some areas but the fire season has been relatively quiet due to low potential evapotranspiration and energy release components. Cooler temperatures and average precipitation in July offered some temporary relief, but above average temperatures are forecasted for August and September.