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Northwest Agriculture, Weather and Climate

Local weather and climate determine the commodities produced and affect growth, disease, and soil health. Understanding current weather and climate is important for producing crops sustainabily. The Northwest Climate Hub works to support use of current and projected information for proudcing a wide variety of farm products.

Incorporating weather and climate information into agricultural decision making will enhance the productivity and sustainability of our working landscapes. Changing climate conditions have a wide range of effects on agriculture. Warmer temperatures are increasing the growing season length, but also are increasing stress on crops and livestock. Changing precipitation rates and timing are heavily impacting soils. Warmer winters are affecting fruit and nut production and changing insect ranges and densities. 


Current Conditions and Outlooks  

Drought Monitor

The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced through a partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Drought Monitor summary map identifies general drought areas, labelling droughts by intensity, with D1 being the least intense and D4 being the most intense. D0 drought watch areas that are either drying-out and possibly heading for drought, or recovering from drought but not yet back to normal, suffering long-term impacts from stresses such as low streamflow or reservoir levels.

Soil moisture maps

Various soil moisture maps show weekly measurements and seasonal outlooks. Maps are generated by the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) with its partners NIDIS supports efforts to develop a national soil moisture monitoring network.

Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin

The Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin (WWCB) is jointly prepared by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The WWCB provides a vital source of information on weather, climate and agricultural developments worldwide, along with detailed charts and tables of agrometeorological information that are appropriate for the season.  The most current Bulletin can be found here. The Bulletin is posted every Tuesday by 4:00 p.m. (ET). Posting will be delayed to the next business day when federal offices are closed.

Western Regional Climate Center

The Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC) is a cooperative program between NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information and the Desert Research Institute. WRCC helps to better explain climate and its impacts in the Western US and provide practical solutions to specific climate problems.