Drought Over? Warm February May Have Ruined Recovery
It snowed and rained in the mountains this winter! Yay! That means the drought is over... well, probably not.
Remember that snow is a water bank for the entire year. As it melts slowly throughout the spring and summer, it releases water at a controllable pace into local streams and rivers.
If we have an unseasonably warm spring (like we did in February and now everyone is in T-shirts in March), the snow will melt too fast and there won't be any left at the end of the growing season in July and August. WSU's AgWeatherNet says we're seeing record-high temps.
Aren't there reservoirs to catch the water as it runs out? Yes, but going with the bank analogy, the reservoir is just a wallet. It holds water temporarily. None are big enough to hold water that melts in February until July. Besides, it evaporates!