Office of the Washington State Climatologist

WA State Drought 2015


Narrative updated 5/15/15
Reports updated weekly through Sept 24, 2015

A record warm rainy season (October through March) in WA State has caused the majority of our precipitation to fall as rain rather than snow in the mountains. Averaged statewide, October-March average temperature was 40.5 degrees Fahrenheit, 4.7 degrees above the 20th century long-term average and ranking as that warmest October through March on record. We have been monitoring the conditions throughout the winter season, and Governor Inslee made the first set of drought declarations on March 13. More drought declarations were made on April 17, covering nearly half of the state. On May 15, Governor Inslee declared drought statewide, as about 85% of the state met the two criteria for drought declaration. Two components are required for drought declaration on the state level: basin water supply is at 75% of normal or below; and hardships for people, farms, and fish are expected because of the reduced water supply. The latest information on the process of declaring drought as well as maps showing the evolution of the drought declarations can be found at the WA State Department of Ecology, along with many more links to drought information.

In partnership with the WA State Department of Ecology, OWSC will be producing weekly drought monitoring reports for the duration of the summer. These reports review the previous week’s weather conditions and synthesize the statewide drought conditions with a focus on those regions that have an active drought declaration. The reports will be released every Thursday and archived here.

2015 September August July June May April
Sept 24 Aug 27 July 30 June 18 May 28 April 30
Sept 17 Aug 20 July 23 June 11 May 21 April 23
Sept 10 Aug 13 July 16 June 4 May 14 April 16
Sept 3 Aug 6 July 9 May 7
July 2
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