May 18, 2015

Washington State Is In A Drought ‘Unlike Any We’ve Ever Experienced’

Washington
Oregon
USA
by
Natasha Geiling
,
ThinkProgress
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee talks to the media about his statewide drought emergency as state ecology director Maia Bellon looks on, Friday, May 15, 2015, in Olympia, Wash. Credit: AP
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee talks to the media about his statewide drought emergency as state ecology director Maia Bellon looks on, Friday, May 15, 2015, in Olympia, Wash. Credit: AP

Citing historically low snowpack, falling river levels, and rising temperatures, Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) declared a statewide drought emergency for Washington on Friday...Statewide, snowpack levels are currently 16 percent of normal, ten percent lower than the last time a statewide drought emergency was declared in 2005. Of 98 snow sites measured at the beginning of the month by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), 66 were snow free — 11 of them for the first time in history. Along with record low snowpack, the NRCS found that 17 of 34 long-term measuring sites recorded their earliest peak on record, occurring on average 48 days earlier than normal.