The Washington State Department of Ecology said the state saw the warmest May on record and an unusually dry spring and early summer.
SEATTLE — The Washington State Department of Ecology issued a statewide drought advisory on Wednesday.
The department said the state saw its warmest May on record and unusually dry spring and early summer leading to early snow melt. The snowmelt initially caused a surge in snow-fed rivers and streams but now most flows are projected to be 75% lower than normal.
Additionally, the department said the state received only 47% of normal awareness between April 25 and June 23.
The Drought Advisory is an early warning of a possible drought to ensure people in areas with developing drought conditions are prepared. As of July 4, all of western Washington is experiencing unusually dry or moderate drought US Drought Monitoring.
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Ecology said it will continue to monitor water supplies to assess the need for an official drought declaration.
“This year our warm weather came a few weeks early and really caused runoff to increase excessively,” said Jeff Marti, water resources planner for the Department of Ecology. “Now, as we head into the hottest weeks of summer, we want people to use water wisely and be aware of our water supply situation. This drought advice will help us get that message across.”
The department said climate models show summers will continue to be warmer than usual.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center has announced El Nino has officially arrived and scientists have issued a warning. Recommended El Nino. El Nino could mean a higher chance of less snow for the mountains this coming fall and winter.
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