Drought in Washington 2019
We're responsible for monitoring water supply and drought conditions. This year, nearly half the state, 27 watersheds, are part of the state’s drought emergency
. In June, we began accepting applications for grants to help those experiencing hardships related to the drought emergency. We continue to accept applications for grants
through the October 2 deadline.
Here's the latest as of September 9th:
Despite the overall warmer than normal conditions, the absence of heatwaves helped make this summer’s drought less extreme and damaging.
- At summer’s end, reservoirs are approaching their lowest levels. Low reservoirs in the Yakima Basin are causing blockages to fish at the mouths of tributaries as streams flow below the surface.
- A major storm system dropped significant precipitation over the western half of the state on September 8 and 9, and rivers are responding. U.S. Geological Survey water level stations are showing that 11 percent are still below the 10th percentile, but 76 percent are normal or above. Wetter conditions are forecasted for the west half of the state over the next two weeks which should continue to replenish dry soils and help rivers sustain higher volumes. Get the latest streamflow data for Washington.
- June through August ranked as the 22nd warmest period since 1895 and August was the 15th warmest.
- For precipitation, June through August ranked as the third driest period since 1895. August was slightly wetter than normal, ranking as the 72nd driest.
- Read the Office of the Washington State Climatologist September newsletter.
- How can you help? You can report any drought conditions, and water conservation is always important.
Chehalis River at Discovery Park, Centralia, WA July 2019
Washington's Hoh River during drought conditions on June 25, 2019
Drought conditions in the Naches River looking downstream to the Yakima River
Satsop River flowing low and slow in August 2019
We project water supplies by working with state and federal agencies to evaluate seasonal weather forecasts. Averaged statewide, January through June was the eighth driest on record for Washington since 1895, with especially dry conditions on the west side of the state. Drought conditions continue to persist.
National Drought Information System - Report your drought impacts