NPR Story
4:56 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Northwest Farmers Take Heart In Prediction Of Rainy Spring

Northwest farmers call him “the weather man.” And at a farming conference in Spokane, he offered a reason for them to be optimistic about the upcoming season.

Every year, farmers gather at the Pacific Northwest Farm Forum in Spokane -- in part to hear what Art Douglas will say. He's a professor emeritus of atmospheric science from Creighton University and delivers an annual forecast on the Northwest.

“I would guess that most areas are going to have at least normal precipitation this spring," said Douglas. "And a lot of areas are going to have up to 120 percent.”

The pronouncement was a pleasant surprise to many of the farmers here.

“Our problem is we have almost no snow cover to fill the reservoirs so we're going to need all the moisture we can get this spring," said Dave Harris an alfalfa seed farmer from southeast Idaho.

By July, the rain is expected to give way to unusually warm, dry conditions in much of the Northwest.

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