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Pacific Northwest DEWS Drought & Climate Outlook Webinar: June 27, 2022

Event Date
June 27, 2022
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 will 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.

Note: A glitch in the recording appears later in the video that caused the audio and visuals to be out of sync. We apologize for this issue.


Webinar Introduction

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

  • 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:
    • Karin Bumbaco, Office of the Washington State Climatologist
    • Joe Casola, NOAA/National Centers for Environmental Information, Western Region
    • Zach Hoylman, Montana Climate Office
  • Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS)
  • Register for the 2022 U.S. Western and Southern Plains Drought & Heat Webinars on July 21.



Climate Recap and Current Conditions

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

  • Water year temperatures are near normal to below normal depending on the location within the Pacific Northwest.
  • Water year precipitation is near normal to above normal for most locations with there being more exceptions in southern Oregon and southern Idaho.
  • Spring/early summer has been among the top 10 coldest and wettest on record.
  • Drought has improved region-wide though long-term, multi-year precipitation deficits still remain with below-normal reservoirs in Oregon.
  • Most reported impacts have been in the “too wet” category.



Seasonal Conditions & Climate Outlook

Speaker: Joe Casola, NOAA/National Centers for Environmental Information, Western Region

  • A cold, wet spring has led to an above-average streamflow forecast for many Pacific Northwest basins.
  • 8–14 day outlook: Elevated chances for cool and wet for most of the Pacific Northwest.
  • July outlook: Elevated chances for cool temperatures along the coast.
  • June–August outlook: Elevated chances for warm and dry conditions in the Pacific Northwest interior.
  • Despite recent weakening, La Niña is anticipated to continue into early winter 2022.
  • Drought is expected to persist in central/eastern Oregon and southern Idaho.
  • Above-normal fire danger is forecasted for areas in drought.



Drought Assessment Has Been Outpaced by Climate Change: Empirical Arguments for a Paradigm Shift

Speakers: Zach Hoylman, Montana Climate Office, University of Montana

  • Read the article in Nature Communications.
  • Implications:
    • If drought severity is assessed using stationary assumptions, drought severity will be exaggerated in locations that are experiencing aridification.
    • Alternatively, drought conditions will be underestimated in locations that are trending wetter.
    • By adjusting drought methods to be based on a moving window, drought assessment will better reflect “current day” drought risk to affected communities, be more standardized across datasets with differing periods of record, and account for climate change into the future. 



Conclusion and Q&A

Speaker: Holly Prendeville, USDA Northwest Climate Hub