The 2023 water year started October 1st, but unfortunately persistent drought remains for much of Oregon.  Pacific Northwest forecaster Washington State University’s Joe Boomgard-Zagrodnik said it’ll be tough for some of the driest areas to recover.


"The areas with a little bit higher drought categories, in southern Oregon and Idaho, would need 130-150% of normal precipitation over the next six months.”


While things aren’t great to start the new Water Year, Boomgard-Zagrodnik said things overall look better now than a year ago.


"Things actually look better on the year-to-date plot for 2022 than 2021, and that’s thanks to the first half of the year. We’re running slightly above average, temperature-wise, for the year, which is nothing new for this era but could be worse.” 


The forecast is for La Niña again this winter, which would make three winters in a row under the influence.  La Niña means below normal temperatures are expected with above normal precipitation through February, meaning some areas could see drought relief by spring.


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