The Water Year’s Long, Cold, and Wet Goodbye Kiss to the Northwest’s Drought
The Water Year’s Long, Cold, and Wet Goodbye Kiss to the Northwest’s Drought.
For the first time since 2011, the Pacific Northwest is not registering any sign of drought on the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Here’s what we know: The water year starts every calendar year on Oct. 1 (ending on Sept. 30 of the following calendar year).
This water year, the normally drier months of October, February, March and April were wetter than normal — much wetter — across the entire Pacific Northwest.
Unfortunately, heavy precipitation that early in the water year didn’t end the drought — that would come later — and it arguably did more harm than good.
However, most of this October’s precipitation fell as rain, not as snow that can accumulate in the mountains and then melt and run off later in the year.
Like rain in October, snow in December and January is not uncommon.
Whereas many of the drought years, especially 2015, were especially warm, this winter was especially cold.
In fact, this winter was the coldest winter on record in the Pacific Northwest since 1992-93.
So what was different about this year?