Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Site Section
News & Events

Pacific Northwest DEWS Drought & Climate Outlook Webinar: April 22, 2024

Event Date
April 22, 2024
Event Time
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

These webinars provide the region's stakeholders and interested parties with timely information on current and developing drought conditions, as well as climatic events like El Niño and La Niña. Speakers also discuss the impacts of these conditions on things such as wildfires, floods, disruption to water supply and ecosystems, as well as impacts to affected industries like agriculture, tourism, and public health.

For more information, please contact Jason Gerlich (


Webinar Introduction

Speaker: Britt Parker | NOAA's National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)

  • This bi-monthly webinar is co-hosted by NIDIS, the USDA Northwest Climate Hub, and the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute (OCCRI).
  • Introduction of today's speakers.
  • Highlight 1: Welcome Jason Gerlich (, the new Pacific Northwest DEWS Coordinator.
  • Highlight 2: Submit your Drought Impacts! 



Climate Recap and Current Conditions

Speaker: Karin Bumbaco | Office of the Washington State Climatologist, University of Washington

  • Water Year 2024 has had above-normal temperatures in the Pacific Northwest with more regional variability in precipitation.
  • The PNW has seen a more consistent drier signal region-wide in last 30-60 days
  • Washington has much-below-normal snowpack, with a state drought declaration.
  • Snowpack is normal to above normal in Oregon and southern Idaho.
  • Oregon and southern Idaho are looking much better with higher snowpack and good reservoir storage.



Seasonal Conditions & Climate Outlook

Speaker: Amy Burke | NOAA’s National Weather Service Northwest River Forecast Center

  • Water year to date precipitation and current snowpack are stratified geographically, with well-below-normal conditions in the north to well-above-normal conditions in the south.
  • Some warm spells this past month have melted off mid- to lower-elevation snow.
  • April–September water supply forecasts largely mimic precipitation and snow conditions, with extremely dry forecasts in the north (Canadian portion of the Columbia River Basin) and very wet forecasts in the south.
  • The Climate Prediction Center’s 3-month outlook predicts dry and warm conditions.

Who, What, and Where? Key Considerations for Effective Freshwater Protection in a Changing Climate 

Speaker: Rebecca Flitcroft | U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station

  • How can we do better for freshwater conservation?
    • Identify gaps in protections.
    • Measure and map freshwater protected areas.
    • Not ONE protected area: a MOSAIC of protections.
    • Co-locate protected areas.
    • Expand objectives of existing protected areas.
    • Monitoring is key to evaluating effectiveness of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.



Q&A and Conclusion

Speaker: Britt Parker, NOAA/NIDIS

  • Register now for the next webinar on Monday, June 24, 2024 at 11 a.m. PT.