The Northwest Drought

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There have been a lot of complaints about our summer weather, but one thing you have to admit--it has NOT been very wet.  Northwest summers are supposed to be relatively dry, but the last 4-weeks have been downright arid around here....even after we got through the climatologically dry period of the last week of July and first week of August.

Here are the precipitation traces for the past four weeks of a line of stations across the State, with the normal shown by the blue lines.

All are way below normal, with virtually no rain the last three weeks.  Sea Tac has had about .15 inches and Spokane nothing.  Week after week of high pressure area parked offshore...pretty boring!  We haven't even seen many thunderstorms over the mountains either.

Want more precipitation...try Phoenix where they had 1 inch during the same period.  You heard that Austin, Texas was in a major drought...well, they had .91 inches during those four weeks.  Surely Las Vegas was drier...but NO...they have had .22 inches-- a lot more than us.

The bottom lines is that we should not be reticent about claiming our title as national drought king during mid-summer.  There is only one area that can give us trouble--southern California.  But who would want to live down there anyway?

The interesting thing is that with all this drought there have been very few wildfires--the recent Tumwater canyon fire near Leavenworth the exception.  Thank the cool spring and massive snowpack. And a lack of thunderstorms.

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