Serving Franklin County, WA

No drought on the horizon for state

CONNELL — The March drought report shows good news for farmers across much of Washington state and Franklin County.

According to the report released earlier this month, the state is drought-free. But, some "abnormally dry" areas remain.

Conditions remain abnormally dry in the Othello area, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a division of the USDA.

But with a better-than-average snowpack and rain in the forecast, farmers should be ready for the spring growing season.

The Upper Columbia basin shows that snowpack was 113% of normal in February, even though February precipitation was only at 74% of normal, the March water report from the Conservation Service shows.

So far, precipitation for the water year remains at 89% of normal, the report shows, meaning producers should see good stream flows in the mainstem Columbia River as the growing and irrigation season ramps up.

On the east side of Franklin County, the water year is looking good on the Snake River, too.

According to the report, the snowpack for the Snake River was 94% of normal and rainfall was only 81%.

But while low snowpack and rainfall may look low, the Snake River had reservoir capacity at 121% of the median year.

So far this water year, the Lower Snake is at 89% of normal.

Overall, the report said that must of the state was near normal for precipitation last month.

The water report forecast shows below normal temperatures and slightly above normal precipitation for the remainder of March, April and May.

Author Bio

Roger Harnack, Publisher

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Roger Harnack is the co-owner/publisher of Free Press Publishing. Having grown up Benton City, Roger is an award-winning journalist, photographer, editor and publisher. He's one of only two editorial/commentary writers from Washington state to ever receive the international Golden Quill. Roger is dedicated to the preservation of local media, and the voice it retains for Eastern Washington.


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