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Credit: U.S. Drought Monitor

Remember Washington's Bad Drought? It's Still Out There

Under Friday's gun-metal skies, Seattleites might be forgiven for thinking the drought gripping Washington state for the past year is over.

It’s not.

The latest weekly map from the U.S. Drought Monitor (click here or see above) shows a little over two-thirds of the state is in the grip of extreme drought. And the rest of the state isn't much better.

That’s a little improvement over the state of things at the end of August, but the same as last week and worse than three months ago, despite recent rains.

El Nino conditions in the Pacific Ocean could bring warmer than normal conditions and subnormal precipitation for the rest of this fall and early winter, according to the state’s latest climate outlook.

The past year’s drought left our snowpack at record low levels, meaning there wasn’t enough water in rivers for fish this summer or for farmers’ crops. And of course, the drought left forests tinder dry and provoked a record year for wildfire.

Are we headed for another low-snow winter? Stay tuned.