Growing Drought Concerns in the Northwest
There are growing concerns of building drought conditions in the Northwest as dry weather is expected to continue straight through the winter season.
"I have big concerns about the Northwest as far as drought goes," Pastelok emphasized. "We have already set up the stage here at the start of fall with wildfires and drought conditions. With the exception of a break with some rain and snow during October and early November, it will be drier than normal through the winter season and maybe even longer as we head toward spring."
This winter, the storm track is forecast to be well to the south in the West, most likely into Southern California, while drier air spreads from western Canada into the Northwest.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate and severe drought conditions are already gripping much of Montana, portions of Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and Oregon. Spokane, Wash., Pendleton, Ore., and Boise, Idaho, have all received 10 percent or less of the normal August and September rainfall.
Numerous wildfires have been fueled by dry vegetation in the Northwest, including massive blazes such as the Wenatchee Complex and Barker Canyon Complex burning in Washington state, the Mustang and Kinyon Road fires in Idaho and the Long Draw and Holloway fires in Oregon.
The fire season may be extended due to the worsening drought conditions
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