A statewide drought emergency was declared on 14 March 2001 (Hart et al. For instance, Andreadis and Lettenmaier (2006) found that trends in model-simulated runoff over the twentieth century compared well with similar studies by Lins and Slack (1999) that were based on observed streamflow. As such, DMS indicators were in line with the official drought declaration. (The number of stations at which precipitation and temperature had been observed prior to 1915 falls off rapidly, and this is therefore the beginning of our period of analysis.) For a major part of the rest of the year, many of the indicators continued to have a drought severity of class 3 or more. Results are provided for the Yakima River basin in Tables 2b, 3b, 4b, and 5b, where drought onset is indicated by bold italic font, and drought recovery is indicated by bold regular font. WY 2001 began as a normal year. Since 2000, the longest duration of drought (D1-D4) in Washington lasted 116 weeks beginning on January 7, 2014 and ending on March 22, 2016. September 6, 2016 Dept. March 14, 2016 Capital Press Newhouse, Reichert introduce Yakima Basin bill. during WY (a) 1977 and (b) 1978 shown against 1950–2005 mean climatology, maximum and minimum values for each month. The impact of drought depends on not only the indicator but also on the potential uses of water over the time period and region of interest. Because the state’s water resources are strongly dependent on winter snow accumulation, they are susceptible to droughts resulting from dry winter conditions, warm winter conditions, or both. 06-11-001, 48 pp. However, model-derived SM provides a reasonable alternative for large-scale studies (see, e.g., Maurer et al. Dept. Declining mountain snowpack in western North America. 1994). Number of WRIAs under class 3 or more severe according to DMS indicators during the 2000–01 drought. We used monthly gridded precipitation data to compute SPI for each grid cell. Then, for a more focused case study, we use the highly drought-vulnerable Yakima River basin, whose irrigated crops, and potential drought losses, represent the highest agricultural economic value in the state. To estimate an n-month SPI (where n was 1, 3, 6, 12, 24, and 36), precipitation was averaged over the n months and a Gamma distribution was fit to the time series. Because annual precipitation is so heavily dependent on precipitation during these months, in years when there is a substantial accumulated precipitation deficit at the end of this 4-month period, it is unlikely the deficit can be offset later in the water year. Will the Pacific Northwest Drought Impact Our Beer? By clicking “I agree” below, you consent to the use by us and our third-party partners of cookies and data gathered from your use of our platforms. Twentieth-century drought in the conterminous United States. For more information about sharing your work with Kudos, please visit our Kudos information page. January 11, 2016 Capital Press Washington snowpack looks good. We ran about an inch below average in August. Please join NIDIS and its partners the Pacific Northwest Climate Impacts Research Consortium (CIRC) a NOAA RISA team, the USDA Northwest Climate Hub and the National Weather Service on Thursday October 6 at 11:00am PDT for the Pacific Northwest Drought Early Warning System (PNW DEWS) October Drought and Climate Outlook Webinar. 1990). (2004), Andreadis et al. As indicated above, our percentile values of SPI, SMP, and SRI lie between 0 and 1. Considerably below-normal precipitation began to affect SM by late November. By clicking “I agree” below, you consent to the use by us and our third-party partners of cookies and data gathered from your use of our platforms. In this section we describe the development of these indicators. None of the indicators showed signs of drought until January 2001, when SMP, SPI-3, SPI-6, SPI-12, SRI-3, and SRI-6 met the criteria for the onset of drought. State officials see the need for millions, if not billions more, January 20, 2016 Washington State Dept. Record low snowpack during the winter further exacerbated these conditions, leading to extremely low SM and a significant drop in runoff in the spring. The second and third soil-layer depths are the same as in the Land Data Assimilation System (LDAS) retrospective simulations (Maurer et al. We ran the VIC model from 1915 to 2006 to produce gridded SM, SWE, and runoff, as well as precipitation (model forcing). Since 2000, the longest duration of drought (D1-D4) in Washington lasted 116 weeks beginning on January 7, 2014 and ending on March 22, 2016. 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Soc., 179–184. Considerably below-normal precipitation and snowpack led to a severe statewide drought. Furthermore, in the case of streamflow, the temporal lag between drought onset and its impact can be influenced by reservoir storage. Local conditions may vary. The authors evaluate how a DMS for Washington State, b In addition, as the climate warms, the sensitivity of the state to drought is likely to increase because of reductions in mean snow accumulation. 2001; Anderson et al. The DMS incorporates the standardized precipitation index (SPI), standardized runoff index (SRI), and soil moisture percentile (SMP) taken from the LSM. A testbed for new seasonal hydrologic forecasting approaches in the western U.S. Again, we used percentiles for this indicator, rather than a standard normal deviate. This highlights an important feature of the 2000–01 drought: it developed very quickly, much more so than the other droughts we analyzed. United States Drought Monitor 42.51% of Washington in Extreme Drought August 13. Furthermore, the spring of 1977 was relatively warm, resulting in an early melt of the abnormally low snowpack. Therefore, our SPI values lie between 0 and 1. Monthly cycle of precipitation (P), SWE, SM, and runoff (RO) based on 1950–2005 averages. The nature of water supply systems, and hence the characteristics of DMS, varies across the state with its hydroclimatology. The 91 years of monthly values formed the climatology for each grid cell and month. This research was supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) under Grant NA06OAR4310075 and NOAA Cooperative Agreement NA08OAR4320899 and by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) under Grant 06HQGR0190 to the University of Washington. Another declaration will be considered later in 2016 if water supply conditions change. Executive Water Emergency Committee (EWEC). Ecology WA Drought relief Application Status (As of 08.07.15) August 12. As shown in Table 2a, SPI-3 met this criterion in November 1977, while SPI-6 met it in December 1977. The DMS approach also provides a scientific basis for indicators and triggers that can assist in drought management decisions for Washington State and other regions.

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