Governor Tina Kotek has added 3 more counties to the list of now 12 in Oregon, officially in drought emergencies. This week, Kotek declared a drought in Gilliam, Douglas and Lincoln Counties through Executive Orders, directing state agencies to coordinate and prioritize assistance to the regions.
She says the Drought is likely to have a significant economic impact on the farm, ranch, recreation, tourism and natural resources sectors. Drought also impacts drinking water, fish and wildlife, and important public use. She expects extreme conditions to affect local growers and livestock, increase the potential for wildfires, shorten the growing season, and decrease water supplies. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor for this year, more than 45% of the Pacific Northwest overall, is in a drought. But I found that
the story of drought overall in the Northwest, is complicated; some areas are recovering, others getting worse.
In this episode, experts in Oregon, Washington and Idaho tell us how some areas are actually rebounding well, while others are getting even drier. We start with Oregon state climatologist Larry O’Neill, who notices a huge split. Some parts of the state are recovering from drought while others are worsening. Meantime, just across the state line, in Washington, State Climatologist Nick Bond notices drought reaching some unfamiliar territories.
In parts of Idaho, Hydrologist David Hoekema says there’s a real recovery from drought. He’s with the Idaho Water Resources Department.
And for the northwest region overall: Joe Casola with NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, with his climate predictions for the Northwest region, sayz drought is likely to continue, and fire potential remains likely through October.