Oregon is dry, which is not good news as we head into the irrigation season. Most snowpacks across the state as below average for this time of year. Julie Koeberle with NRCS said Oregon’s problems actually started October 1st at the beginning of the current water year.
“It’s been dryer than usual for the season, and a below normal snowpack which leads to the outlook of below normal stream flows and below normal water supplies overall for a lot of the state. Especially that SE corner of Oregon.”
Snowpacks in Malheur and Harney counties were around half of what they should have been for the year, which will put a strain on irrigation opportunities this summer. NE Oregon is actually in good shape when compared to the rest of the states. Koeverle said snowpacks totals are not good, but decent around the Columbia River.
“So the Umatilla River and the Grande Ronde River and tributaries will actually possibly see near normal stream flows for part of the summer, so they will be in better shape.”
To make maters worse, NOAA’s three month forecast calls for above normal temperatures, and below normal precipitation for Oregon. Already, Grant and Klamath counties have declared drought for 2018.
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