Climate Risk Areas Initiative News

Drought and Extreme-Event Impacts to the Pacific Northwest

  • 8 March 2021
Drought and Extreme-Event Impacts to the Pacific Northwest

The CPO-led National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and regional partners in the Pacific Northwest, including the Pacific Northwest Climate Impacts Research Consortium, a CPO Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) team, collaborated on an assessment to summarize water year 2020. They focused on conditions and sector impacts as a resource for future management of drought and other climate extremes. In water year 2020, most of Oregon experienced a significant drought with dominant impacts that included wildfires, agricultural and livestock losses, and limited outdoor recreation. Drought in Idaho and Washington was not as widespread or significant, with localized drought in a few basins in south-central Idaho and east of the Cascade Mountain crest in central Washington. Washington and Oregon also experienced major flood events in February, which are also highlighted in the assessment.

This Assessment was developed by the Office of the Washington State Climatologist, University of Washington Climate Impacts Group, Oregon State Climatologist, and Idaho Department of Water Resources, with support from NIDIS, the Climate Impacts Research Consortium (CIRC), and other regional partners.

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