The results of a long, hot, dry summer became official Thursday, as the USDA declared an Extreme Drought, or D-3 designation for Central Washington, stretching from Okanogan County to the Oregon border. National Weather Service Meteorologist Marilyn Lohmann said the new designation follows the rain shadow created by the Cascades.

“Even through that area does use a lot of irrigation water, other indicators of lack off precipitation, evaporation potential and things like that, have taken its toll.”

According to USDA over 6% of Washington is now under that D-3 designation, 17% is under a D-2, or Severe Drought, and over 42% is under a Moderate Drought, or D-1 classification.


Meanwhile in Oregon, over 34% of the state is under an Extreme Drought, 67% is facing a Severe Drought, while nearly 84% is dealing with a Moderate Drought. In fact, less than 5% of both Washington and Oregon are on par with where they should be soil moisture wise.

While Idaho is fairing much better, for the first time this year, Extreme Drought has been reported in the Gem State; in southern Idaho’s Blaine County.


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