Despite snow, rain, Pacific Northwest faces drought

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — Despite a healthy amount of snowfall in the North Cascades over the winter and some recent rain, the Pacific Northwest slid into the “abnormally dry” drought category last week. Kelsey Jencso of the Montana Climate Office says there’s been an intensification of dryness since February. Much of Washington, Oregon and Idaho are already experiencing moderate, severe and even extreme levels of drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Ryan Lucas of the NOAA’s Northwest River Forecast Center said low precipitation will likely continue through July. He says rainfall isn’t keeping pace with normal levels.