Nov 16, 2015

Lingering drought seen in region’s low lakes, waterways

Liberty Lake, WA
USA
by
Becky Kramer
,
The Spokesman
Ralph Sherrill works to clean up debris on the exposed shoreline near the Liberty Lake, Wash., home he shares with his wife, Sandra, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. The lake recently reported its second lowest level since 1951. (Tyler Tjomsland)
Ralph Sherrill works to clean up debris on the exposed shoreline near the Liberty Lake, Wash., home he shares with his wife, Sandra, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. The lake recently reported its second lowest level since 1951. (Tyler Tjomsland)

Despite recent rains, the Inland Northwest remains in the grip of a record-setting drought, with stream flows and lake levels far below normal. The deficit comes amid uncertainty about how one of the strongest El Niños since 1950 will affect the region’s winter snowpack. “Half of the state is still in extreme drought … and that includes most of Eastern Washington,” said Dan Partridge, communications director for the Department of Ecology’s water resources program. The year that set records for poor snowpack, blistering heat in early summer and an exceptionally warm October is continuing with a streak of tough water conditions