Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington State expanded a drought emergency declaration on May 20 to cover nearly half of the state due to worsened, poor water supply conditions and warmer, drier weather predictions through to the summer.
Snow pack conditions are currently less than 50 per cent of average for this time of year, and experts expect the warmer, drier weather will cause the already-diminished snow pack to melt more quickly, reducing water availability this summer when it is needed most for farms, communities and fish. Rainfall totals for the state remain below normal.
According to a CBC report May 21, 2019, the state’s water worries mirror those in British Columbia. Record-breaking temperatures earlier in May and a below- average snowpack have led to a faster snow melt in the province.
The U.S. based National Interagency Fire Centre has released its weather outlook for May to August and it presents worrying signs, with the Pacific Northwest already experiencing abnormally dry conditions, and some areas entering a moderate drought.
"An early entry [into fire season] is possible across the Cascades and in the Okanagan," the outlook reads, referring to the Okanagan region in Washington, south of British Columbia.
Sources: CBC news, May 20, 2019 web posting https://bit.ly/2YKjUlg
Washington Governor Jay Inslee May 20, 2019 web posting https://bit.ly/2M3hLQg