Western Oregon, Southwest Washington Blanketed by ‘Severe Drought’

Western Oregon and southwest Washington have deteriorated from moderate to “severe drought” in the past week, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported Thursday.

A severe drought that already had covered much of Eastern Oregon crossed over the Cascades into the Willamette Valley and as far south as Douglas County. The percentage of the state in severe drought more than doubled to 55 percent from 25 percent. The southwest corner of Washington, making up 6 percent of the state, moved from moderate to severe drought. It’s the first time any part of Washington has been in a severe drought since late 2015.

Washington State Assistant Climatologist Karin Bumbaco said periodic summer rains have been absent, while temperatures have been high.

“It’s looking like it’ll get worse before it gets better,” she said.

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