West Drought Summary
Well-above-average precipitation continues in the West, improving long-term soil moisture deficits, building snow pack, and filling reservoirs, therefore leading to more widespread drought improvement. Areas of western Utah received up to double their typical precipitation in the last month, improving conditions across the region. From northern California into Oregon and Idaho, snowpack continues to build at mid and high elevations, compensating for long-term dry soil moistures. Reservoirs have also continued to fill. Improvements were made across this region, including a vast reduction in severe drought (D2) in Oregon and a return to normal conditions across most of Idaho and northern Nevada. Idaho’s central mountains received more snowfall in February than the previous three months combined. Snow there continued to accumulate, with continuing colder-than-normal temperatures. As such, no irrigation issues are anticipated and water supplies are expected to be adequate. Dry conditions also improved to normal to the north across parts of eastern Washington, northern Idaho, and northwestern Montana. Precipitation in recent months, including for the water year to-date, has been above average and enough to erase long-term impacts. In the Southwest, improvements were seen along the Mogollon Rim and White Mountains of eastern Arizona. Many of the lakes are full and spilling, and snow remains to melt in the higher elevations. Normal conditions also returned to most of southwestern Arizona to the Salton Sea in southeastern California. The rest of the region in Southern California is still abnormally dry due to very dry previous years. Reservoirs in San Diego County are only at 65% capacity. Big Bear Lake was down 18 feet in early March, although expected to continue to rise.
Read the full drought summary