The water year is just a few weeks old, and after the hot dry summer the Northwest experienced, many are concerned that we are abnormally dry as we head into November. Scott Pattee with NRCS said those concerns are unfounded. Pattee said the summer was a hot dry one, but the good news is we didn’t dry out any worse than in previous years. And recent rain storms have been great news for area soil moisture levels.
“The soil moisture sensors have reacted to those recent storms and seen that data come in, and that’s a really good sign and really positive that we’re starting to recharge our soil moisture profile going into fall before we get snow, which is good.”
Pattee acknowledged that reservoirs in the Yakima Basin are a little low, but that’s typical for this time of year. And when it comes to the 2018-19 water year, the Upper Yakima Basin is at 150%-160% of average.
Some have expressed concerns that because of El Niño, the Northwest won’t see snow. Pattee said history shows that’s not the case.
“It’s not uncommon for us to not see really good snow until we get quite a ways into December or even January. But, I’m confident we will eventually get it.”
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