Despite rain and snow, drought still a concern across Oregon and California

MEDFORD, Ore. — Even with all the rain and snow this year, much of Northern California and Southern Oregon are still experiencing drought.

Although the National Weather Service says the wet, winter weather is helping delay dryer conditions for the coming months, it’s still not enough.

Despite reaching historical averages for our snowpack in Southern Oregon and Northern California, a solid snowpack is vital to our water supply preventing drought and can even have an effect on the upcoming fire season.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor projected for this week, many areas in the Rogue Valley have turned from severe to moderate drought because of recent weather conditions.

In Northern California, from Mount Shasta southward, conditions are looking really good. However, we’re still in the midst of a long term drought, going back several years.

“So, what we’re recovering from is those water deficits that actually developed over the course of, you know, 12 months and even going back 24 months,” said Brett Lutz, Meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

He says getting out of the drought will depend on how things play out the rest of the winter, and March is a good month to make those assessments.

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