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Longest May Dry Stretch in almost 20 Years

By Lauren Mickler

LANE COUNTY, Ore. — The forecast shows we’ll have a total of 16 straight days without rain come Monday.

That hasn’t happened in Eugene since 1992.

Thursday marked the 13th straight dry day in Eugene, and for David Desmond at Lost Creek Farms, that meant switching on the sprinklers.

“Usually I can just rely on rain that comes once a week at least, but as you can see we’re running irrigation right now,” Desmond said.

And while Desmond says he usually starts the sprinklers in May, he usually doesn’t run them as much as he has lately.

The average stretch of dry days in May is three, not the 16 that are in the forecast.

“We’re having to water everything right now,” Desmond said.

But other than having to turn a few more knobs, the dry weather doesn’t inconvenience Desmond. He actually prefers it for his veggies.

“I’m able to get more ground worked and I’m able to plant more early on,” Desmond said.

But that’s not the case for all farmers.

“I’d imagine maybe a grass seed farmers are crossing their fingers for some more rain,” Desmond said.

Allergy victims are in that same boat.

Dr. Kraig Jacobson says without rain, pollens don’t clear from the air as easily, which makes all this weather hard for his patients to enjoy.

“Sneezing, nasal congestion, itching of the eyes and nose, people get a lot more symptoms than they would in an intermittently rainy year,” Jacobson said.

But for those who aren’t suffering through watery eyes and sneeze attacks, it’s been a great two weeks to be outdoors.

And you’d think the dry weather would mean trouble for local dams and reservoirs, but the Army Corps of Engineers says excessive snowpack and plenty of precipitation in the past couple months will tide things over for the summer.

From a water management standpoint, they say it’s been an exceptional year.

The longest Eugene has ever gone without rain was 21 days back in 1928.

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