Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Seattle/Tacoma, WA

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NOUS46 KSEW 152109
PNSSEW

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
210 PM PDT WED APR 15 2015

...RARE DROUGHT POTENTIAL IN WESTERN WASHINGTON...

WESTERN WASHINGTON HAS RECEIVED NEAR NORMAL PRECIPITATION FOR THE
WATER YEAR TO DATE. BUT WITH WARMER THAN NORMAL TEMPERATURES DURING
THE WINTER...THERE HAS NOT BEEN MUCH MOUNTAIN SNOW AT THE LOW TO MID
ELEVATIONS. FOR MANY AREAS THERE IS NO SNOW AT ALL AT ALL AND WE
HAVE PASSED THE TYPICAL TIME FOR THE PEAK SNOW PACK DEPTH WHICH IS
APRIL 1. THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR FOR APRIL 7 DEPICTS MODERATE
DROUGHT INTENSITY FOR THE OLYMPIC PENINSULA...ACROSS THE CENTRAL AND
SOUTHERN PORTIONS OF THE EAST SLOPES OF THE CASCADES...AND MUCH OF
THE SOUTHERN HALF OF EASTERN WASHINGTON. THIS IS MOSTLY DUE TO THE
SNOW DROUGHT.

THE GOVERNOR HAS DECLARED A DROUGHT FOR THREE REGIONS IN WASHINGTON:
THE EAST SLOPE OF THE CENTRAL CASCADES INCLUDING THE UPPER AND LOWER
YAKIMA...NACHES... WENATCHEE AND ENTIAT RIVER WATERSHEDS; THE WALLA
WALLA RIVER WATERSHED INCLUDING PORTIONS OF WALLA WALLA AND COLUMBIA
COUNTIES; AND THE OLYMPIC PENINSULA...PRIMARILY IN JEFFERSON AND
CLALLAM COUNTIES.  SPECIFIC WATERSHEDS INCLUDE THE QUILCENE-SNOW...
ELWHA-DUNGENESS...LYRE-HOKO...SOL DUC-HOH AND QUEETS-QUINAULT. OTHER
AREAS ARE BEING CONSIDERED AND WILL BE ADDED AS NECESSARY.

MOST AREA SKI RESORTS CLOSED AT LEAST TEMPORARILY BY MID MARCH DUE
TO LACK OF SNOW. HOWEVER...MOST OF THE EXPECTED IMPACTS WON`T
DEVELOP UNTIL SUMMER. THESE INCLUDE STREAM FLOWS THAT ARE TOO LOW
(TOO WARM AND TOO SHALLOW FOR FISH AND FLOWS TOO LOW FOR FACILITIES
LIKE WATER TREATMENT PLANTS OR FISH HATCHERIES)...RESERVOIRS THAT
GET TOO LOW (DETERIORATING WATER QUALITY IN TEMPERATURE AND
TURBIDITY)...GROUND WATER LEVELS THAT GET TOO LOW(AFFECTING WELLS
AND SPRINGS)...AND THE POTENTIAL FOR REDUCTION OF WATER AVAILABLE
FOR AGRICULTURE.

THE LATEST OUTLOOKS FROM THE NOAA CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER FOR THE
THREE MONTH PERIOD FROM APRIL TO JUNE HAS GREATER ODDS OF DRIER THAN
NORMAL AND WARMER THAN NORMAL CONDITIONS AND THE SAME IS TRUE FOR
THE JULY THROUGH SEPTEMBER PERIOD. THIS WOULD NOT INDICATE MUCH
DROUGHT RELIEF IN EITHER SUPPLY OR DEMAND.

THE SNOWPACK WAS WELL BELOW NORMAL FOR WESTERN WASHINGTON AS OF
APRIL 15. THE WATER CONTENT OF THE  MOUNTAIN SNOWPACK FOR THE WEST
SLOPES OF THE CASCADES AND OLYMPICS RANGED FROM ONLY 7 TO 44 PERCENT
OF NORMAL. DATA FROM THE NORTHWEST AVALANCHE CENTER AS OF APRIL 15
SHOWED THAT SNOW DEPTHS IN WESTERN WASHINGTON WERE 0 TO 50 PERCENT
OF NORMAL. THESE ARE RECORD LOW SNOW DEPTHS FOR MANY SITES.

LONG RANGE HYDROLOGIC MODELS AS OF APRIL 14 ARE FORECASTING BELOW TO
MUCH BELOW NORMAL RIVER FLOWS AND WATER SUPPLY FOR ALL RIVERS
THROUGH THIS SPRING AND SUMMER WITH MANY RIVERS HAVING FORECASTS
THAT ARE FOR WELL BELOW 75 PERCENT OF NORMAL. WATER SUPPLY FORECASTS
FOR WESTERN WASHINGTON RANGED FROM A LOW OF 35 PERCENT FOR THE
DUNGENESS RIVER RIVER TO 80 PERCENT FOR THE SKOOKUMCHUCK RIVER. THE
FORECASTS FOR MOST RIVERS ARE FOR RECORD LOW VOLUMES.

                           WATER SUPPLY FORECASTS
                  NATURAL FLOW UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED

RIVER AND GAUGING SITE                      PERIOD    PERCENT OF
                                                        NORMAL
NOOKSACK RIVER AT NORTH CEDARVILLE          APR-SEP       49
SKAGIT RIVER NEAR CONCRETE (REGULATED)      APR-SEP       68
BAKER RIVER UPPER BAKER RESERVOIR INFLOW    APR-SEP       64
SULTAN RIVER SPADA LAKE INFLOW              APR-SEP       58
TOLT RIVER TOLT RESERVOIR INFLOW            APR-SEP       49
CEDAR RIVER CHESTER MORSE LAKE INFLOW       APR-SEP       40
GREEN RIVER HOWARD HANSON DAM INFLOW        APR-SEP       53
NISQUALLY RIVER ALDER RESERVOIR INFLOW      APR-SEP       68
COWLITZ RIVER MAYFIELD RESERVOIR (REGULATED)APR-SEP       56
CHEHALIS RIVER NEAR GRAND MOUND             APR-SEP       75
ELWHA RIVER MCDONALD BRIDGE                 APR SEP       37
DUNGENESS RIVER NEAR SEQUIM                 APR-SEP       35
WYNOOCHEE RIVER WYNOOCHEE DAM INFLOW        APR-SEP       67
NF SKOKOMISH RIVER BELOW STAIRCASE RAPIDS   APR-SEP       36

&&

RELATED WEBSITES...

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON CURRENT DROUGHT CONDITIONS MAY BE FOUND AT
THE FOLLOWING WEB ADDRESS /USE LOWER CASE LETTERS/:

NWS WFO SEATTLE...HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV/SEATTLE

$$





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