Counties with the worst droughts in Oregon

Written by:
August 23, 2023
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Counties with the worst droughts in Oregon

Nearly one-third of the continental U.S. is currently experiencing moderate to exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Parts of the West are currently experiencing a brief reprieve from its driest period of the last 1,200 years, but conditions are worsening in the Northwest and Southwest.

In periods of drought, levels of major reservoirs and rivers can fall dramatically. Groundwater systems too feel the effects, and shrinking water supplies impact agriculture, hydropower generation, and wildfire risk.

Periods of drought have intensified and become more frequent in recent years due to climate change. Scientists predict that even in low emissions scenarios, much of the U.S. will be drier by the end of the century.

Stacker cited data from U.S. Drought Monitor to identify the counties in Oregon with the worst droughts in the week leading up to August 21, 2023. Counties are listed in order of percent of the area in drought conditions. Abnormally dry is not considered to be a drought, but is included as a separate data point. Additional data for the state overall is included. Any counties which are not experiencing drought are not included in the slideshow. Counties are listed in order of drought severity, but the list does not necessarily include every county in Oregon which is experiencing drought.

Oregon statistics

- Abnormally dry: 24.6%
- Area in drought: 52.1% (#10 nationally)
--- Moderate drought: 34.4%
--- Severe drought: 17.7%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Klamath County

- Abnormally dry: 66.3%
- Area in drought: 23.8%
--- Moderate drought: 23.7%
--- Severe drought: 0.1%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Yamhill County

- Abnormally dry: 62.7%
- Area in drought: 37.3%
--- Moderate drought: 18.2%
--- Severe drought: 19.1%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Multnomah County

- Abnormally dry: 59.8%
- Area in drought: 40.2%
--- Moderate drought: 11.1%
--- Severe drought: 29.1%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Union County

- Abnormally dry: 27.8%
- Area in drought: 72.2%
--- Moderate drought: 72.1%
--- Severe drought: 0.1%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Marion County

- Abnormally dry: 18.2%
- Area in drought: 81.8%
--- Moderate drought: 31.7%
--- Severe drought: 50.1%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Umatilla County

- Abnormally dry: 17.9%
- Area in drought: 82.1%
--- Moderate drought: 24.8%
--- Severe drought: 57.2%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Clackamas County

- Abnormally dry: 16.4%
- Area in drought: 83.6%
--- Moderate drought: 31.8%
--- Severe drought: 51.8%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Gilliam County

- Abnormally dry: 16.2%
- Area in drought: 83.8%
--- Moderate drought: 70.3%
--- Severe drought: 13.5%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Douglas County

- Abnormally dry: 7.5%
- Area in drought: 92.5%
--- Moderate drought: 91.0%
--- Severe drought: 1.6%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Morrow County

- Abnormally dry: 7.2%
- Area in drought: 92.8%
--- Moderate drought: 91.9%
--- Severe drought: 0.9%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Polk County

- Abnormally dry: 4.1%
- Area in drought: 95.9%
--- Moderate drought: 15.8%
--- Severe drought: 80.1%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Sherman County

- Abnormally dry: 3.4%
- Area in drought: 96.6%
--- Moderate drought: 26.8%
--- Severe drought: 69.8%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Tillamook County

- Abnormally dry: 2.6%
- Area in drought: 97.4%
--- Moderate drought: 56.5%
--- Severe drought: 40.9%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Deschutes County

- Abnormally dry: 0.8%
- Area in drought: 99.2%
--- Moderate drought: 55.5%
--- Severe drought: 43.7%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Wallowa County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 97.3%
--- Severe drought: 2.7%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Hood River County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 93.3%
--- Severe drought: 6.7%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Crook County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 52.4%
--- Severe drought: 47.6%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Wasco County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 50.5%
--- Severe drought: 49.5%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Jefferson County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 44.2%
--- Severe drought: 55.8%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Lane County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 31.5%
--- Severe drought: 68.5%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Linn County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 26.3%
--- Severe drought: 73.7%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Lincoln County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 5.9%
--- Severe drought: 94.1%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

Benton County

- Abnormally dry: 0.0%
- Area in drought: 100.0%
--- Moderate drought: 0.0%
--- Severe drought: 100.0%
--- Extreme drought: 0.0%
--- Exceptional drought: 0.0%

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