Rain brings drought relief

By on Thursday, June 9th, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

PENDLETON – A drought was in full swing in Umatilla County, but the rains of May and June appear to have made an impact. In addition, the snowpack is for the Umatilla, Walla Walla, and Willow region is at 112 percent of normal.

“That’s a good thing,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Marcus Austin said. “It puts us in a position to where we can replenish that water supply as we go into those warmer, drier, and – eventually – hotter months.”

The latest drought monitor issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that most of Umatilla County and a large part of Morrow County are out of the drought declaration. There are small sections in extreme southeastern Umatilla County and extreme southwest Morrow County that remain in a moderate drought. There are also slightly larger patches that are considered abnormally dry, but not in drought status. Those are the yellow areas in the accompanying map.

Things will not be drying out soon. The weather service is predicting a weekend of wet weather for the area. A strong Pacific storm system, referred to as an atmospheric river, will move across Oregon beginning in the Cascades early Friday and not ending until Sunday evening.

The graphic shows the most recent drought conditions in Oregon