Is this a drought? Not yet

Is this a drought? Not yet »Play Video
Low water at Fern Ridge Reservoir near Veneta, Oregon, on July 30

EUGENE, Ore. - Miss the pitter-patter of the raindrops on your fire escape ladder?

Try Phoenix, LA or Vegas - they've all received more rain in the last month than Eugene.

Here in the southern Willamette Valley, the Eugene Airport should have seen more than 25 inches of rain since January 1. There've been less than 10.

And for the first time in a decade, Eugene appears poised to finish July without a drop of rain.

The weather has contributed to perilous fire danger. The Oregon Department of Forestry is in the midst of the state's largest mobilization against wildfires in a decade.

But does our rain deficit mean we are in a drought? Not yet.

"What we're in right now is a D-zero, which means abnormally dry," said Kathie Dello with the Oregon Climate Service. "So we're recognizing that it's very dry here, drought conditions could develop, but it's more of a watch category."
    
Mike Russell with Lane County Parks said the effects of the lack of rain are very visible at Fern Ridge Reservoir.

"The main impact has been Fern Ridge because it's not fed by snow melt," he said. "It's purely from precipitation that we get, so since we haven't had much of that, we're really seeing the impacts - especially at Fern Ridge."