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Pacific Northwest DEWS Drought & Climate Outlook Webinar: October 24, 2022

Event Date
October 24, 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 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.


Webinar Introduction

Speaker: Janelle Christensen, USDA Northwest Climate Hub



Climate Recap and Current Conditions

Speaker: Joe Boomgard-Zagrodnik, Verisak Weather Solutions

  • Warm and dry conditions were present from July through mid-October.
  • A delayed start to the rainy season has resulted in record warm/dry anomalies in the last 30 days.
  • Year-to-date precipitation is near normal thanks to wet conditions in winter/spring.
  • Drought conditions are better than last year at this time, but streamflows are at record lows in many areas.
  • Wildfire season is largely over (finally). 



Seasonal Conditions & Climate Outlook

Speaker: Jon Gottschalck, NOAA Climate Prediction Center

  • La Niña conditions continue in the Pacific Ocean as shown by both oceanic and atmospheric conditions
  • La Niña most likely will remain in place through the winter 2022–2023.
  • Above-normal precipitation is most likely for much of the Pacific Northwest during the November–January and December–February 3-month seasons. Odds decrease thereafter for western areas of the region.
  • Below-normal temperatures are favored for the northern half of the region during December–February and January–March as colder conditions sometimes are more likely later in the winter.
  • Forecast extended range outlooks (Weeks 1–3) currently show enhanced storminess (rainfall, snowfall, high winds), which is anticipated to improve current drought conditions in the region.



Mountain Rain or Snow: Citizen Scientists Help Advance Precipitation Phase Research 

Speakers: Meghan Collins and Ben Hatchett, Desert Research Institute; Keith Jennings, Lynker Technologies 

  • What is the goal of Mountain Rain or Snow? Improve estimates of rain, snow, and mixed precipitation with real-time, ground-based observations of winter weather.
  • What have we learned so far? A threshold of 0°C for the rain to snow transition isn’t accurate, and what’s interesting is that the transition differs by region. And satellite technologies also struggle in different ways in different regions to estimate the rain–snow transition. 
  • Want to contribute? Text 855-909-0798 or visit New regions/locations are welcomed! 



Monitoring the Daily Evolution and Extent of Snow Drought

Speakers: Ben Hatchett, Desert Research Institute



Conclusion and Q&A

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