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Pacific Northwest DEWS Drought & Climate Outlook Webinar: October 25, 2021

Event Date
October 25, 2021
Event Time
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

The Pacific Northwest Drought Early Warning System (PNW DEWS) 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: Holly Prendeville, USDA Northwest Climate Hub



Climate Recap and Current Conditions

Speaker: Joe Boomgard-Zagrodnik, Washington State University

  • It finally rained, but the recent rainfall is typical for early autumn.
  • Year-to-date precipitation remains extremely low across eastern Washington/Oregon and Idaho. Precipitation is the worst in southeast Washington. 
  • Exceptional (D4) drought conditions persist in the same areas as the last update. 
  • Abnormal dryness (D0) in Western Washington has been erased.



Seasonal Conditions and Climate Outlook

Speaker: David DeWitt, National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center

  • The current drought over much of the Pacific Northwest is likely to be ameliorated this fall and winter given the large-scale climate drivers (La Niña).
  • We are predicting below-normal temperatures for the Pacific Northwest this winter.
  • The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and the Climate Prediction Center are collaborating to produce state-of-the-art probabilistic drought outlooks that will be co-developed with stakeholders. 



Climate Toolbox Historical Drought Stripes Tool

Speakers: Katherine Hegewisch | University of California – Merced

  • The Climate Toolbox Drought Stripes tool depicts past wet and dry conditions for a location as a time series of colors.
  • The tool can be customized for a location, for a type of drought, and for short- or long-term drought timescales.
  • The tool uses the same thresholds and colors as the U.S. Drought Monitor.
  • The Drought Stripes tool can be used to explore the past drought intensity, duration, and frequency for a location.
  • Explore the Historical Drought Stripes Tool.



Evaluating Fish Rescue as a Drought Adaptation Tool

Speaker: Jonny Armstrong, Oregon State University

  • Fish rescue can increase fish abundance by functioning as a fry-to-smolt hatchery. This could be beneficial in extreme scenarios of drought or population decline.
  • We lack evidence that fry-to-smolt captive rearing is safe, and it doesn’t have the well-demonstrated effects of egg-to-smolt rearing.
  • Any type of fish rescue will likely prevent natural selection from favoring drought-resilient phenotypes.