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: February 28, 2022

Event Date
February 28, 2022
Event Time
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

The Pacific Northwest Drought Early Warning System Drought & Climate Outlook Webinar is part of a series of regular drought and climate outlook webinars designed to provide stakeholders and other interested parties in the region with timely information on current drought status and impacts, as well as a preview of current and developing climatic events (i.e., El Niño and La Niña).


Webinar Introduction

Speaker: Britt Parker, NOAA/National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)



Climate Recap and Current Conditions

Speaker: Nick Bond, Office of the Washington State Climatologist

  • For much of the Pacific Northwest, the middle and latter part of this winter (so far) has been a surprising bust in terms of building our snowpack.
  • Long-term precipitation deficits are reflected in the severe (D2) to exceptional (D4) drought depiction for much of the interior Pacific Northwest.
  • The lack of negative SST anomalies in the western tropical Pacific may be related to the ridge that set up shop off the coast of the Pacific Northwest from early January through most of February.



Climate and Drought Outlooks

Speaker: Andy Bryant, National Weather Service – Portland Weather Forecast Office

  • The April–June 2022 outlook shows an increased probability of near-average precipitation and water supply for Washington and northern Idaho.
  • During April–June, odds favor below-average precipitation and water supply for Oregon and southern Idaho.
  • Spring temperatures are more likely to be near or below average.
  • Summer temperatures are more likely to be above average.
  • There are compounding drought concerns for areas already dealing with multi-year drought.



Beaver Pond Influences on Downstream Temperature in the Umpqua River Basin, OR

Speaker: John Stevenson, Oregon State University


  • Warming was common below beaver dams, especially in June and July.
  • Heating signal was localized.
  • This warming appears driven by heated water from pond bottoms.

Concluding thoughts:

  • Our findings are consistent with other studies that have shown downstream warming.
  • Beaver-related restoration requires the right things to come together.
  • We cannot assume beaver-related restoration is ‘no regrets’ strategy.



Dammed If You Do, Dammed If You Don't: Lessons Learned from Designing, Permitting and Monitoring Beaver-Related Restoration Projects in the Western U.S.

Speaker: Caroline Nash, CK Blueshift LLC


  • Relatively cheap
  • Potential scalability
  • New and existing state and federal funding opportunities
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Growing body of demonstration projects
  • Emerging innovative finance strategies


  • Regulatory uncertainties
  • Unfunded pre-development
  • Cross-boundary partnerships
  • Need for more research on:
    • Magnitude, scale, and duration of potential benefits
    • Appropriate contexts for use
    • Best practices for implementation
    • Maintenance needs
  • Workforce
  • Timely match funding