Heavy rains diminish drought in Western Washington

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Heavy rains have diminished drought conditions in most of Western Washington but much of Eastern Washington remains in “extreme drought.”

The latest report from the U.S Drought Monitor shows the area west of the Cascade Mountains is nearly drought-free.

The Capital Press reports that more than one-third of the state is no longer in drought status. The entire state was in a “severe” to “extreme”drought in early October.

Snow is accumulating in the Olympic and North Cascades mountains, and the five Yakima River Basin reservoirs have caught up to normal levels.

There has been little change, however, in drought conditions this month in Oregon and Idaho.

A vast majority of Oregon is in some drought stage, with 60 percent in extreme drought. In Idaho, about two-thirds of the state is in drought, including 9 percent in extreme drought.