Oregon drought concerns rise with the temperatures - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon drought concerns rise with the temperatures

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While we continue to see well above average temperatures for the first part of March, now the concern is possible drought for this summer. 

Despite seeing just about normal rainfall since the early part of October, one thing the mountains haven't been seeing much of is the snowpack.

Hydrologist Julie Koeberle has been paying very close attention the snowpack, or lack thereof. 

“If we don't get that precipitation for the spring time we are looking at some drought potential, and there are likely going to be some water shortages," she said. 

Over the last couple of weeks Koeberle says she's been seeing snowpack levels at 8 percent of normal on Mount Hood. The other potential a drought brings are wildfires. John Saltenberger with the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center has already been looking at that.

“What precipitation has come this winter has come in just a few dumps and long periods of dry in between that's not effective at moistening up forests," he said. 

Saltenberger says he's been seeing some snow locations on Mount Hood report levels at 10 to 20 percent of normal, while others have been at zero. 

NOAA has already classified parts of Oregon in a moderate to extreme category for drought. Those places include the eastern and southern part of the state.

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