Updated May 12, 2022
As the state's lead agency for water supplies, we pay close attention to multiple data sources and monitor them closely. The Office of the Washington State Climatologist serves as a credible and expert source of climate and weather information for the state. Their monthly newsletter reviews the previous month’s data and provides an outlook for the coming weeks.
Statewide, April 2022 was the third coldest April on record in Washington, and the coldest recorded in Walla Walla, Ritzville, Wenatchee, and Ephrata. Most of the state received above-normal precipitation. Averaged statewide, April was the 10th wettest, with April 3 the wettest April day on record.
The coupled cold and wet weather resulted in surprising gains in snow water equivalent at higher elevations throughout the state. As of May 2, basin averages ranged from 96% of normal in the Lower Yakima to 134% of normal in Central Puget Sound. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is now forecasting a full April-September water supply for the Yakima junior irrigators. The U.S. Drought Monitor has upgraded drought designations for portions of eastern Washington, but long-term precipitation deficits from the past one to two years persist.
More details are available in the May Washington State Climatologist’s Newsletter, along with a 2021-2022 Winter Summary, and updated climate summary and outlook for the state.