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Oregonians relieved for rain, but experts say drought isn't over

"I love the rain. It's perfect weather and I love it."

Posted: Sep 18, 2021 7:53 PM
Updated: Sep 19, 2021 1:58 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- For the first time in about three months, Western Oregon saw significant rainfall.

RELATED: WESTERN OREGON SEES HEAVIEST RAINFALL IN 3 MONTHS

Many people in downtown Eugene were excited to break out their umbrellas and rain jackets after one of the driest summers in the state's history.

"I could say it's about time," Janet Stewart said.

Margarita Olivas was also excited to see the rainfall.

"I love the rain," Olivas said. "It's perfect weather and I love it."

Others said the air felt cleaner.

"It seems like it's helping the smoke. I certainly can't smell the smoke today, so that's a relief," Virginia Anderson said.

This comes as more than three quarters of the state is currently under extreme or exceptional drought.

Larry O'Neill, a climatologist and associate professor at Oregon State University, said the state will need to see signficantly more rainfall over the next six months to offset the impacts of this year's drought.

"By next April 1, for some place like Eugene, we would essentially need about 120% of our average precipitation," O'Neill said.

O'Neill estimates there's about a 19% chance of that happening. If it doesn't there's a chance the state will face lasting consequences from the dry conditions of this spring and summer.

"We had this rain event and then we're actually going to go into a kind of a dry period for at least the next week to few weeks," O'Neill said.

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