The U.S. Drought Monitor conditions for Alaska can be seen in this Dec. 10, 2019 map. (Image courtesy U.S. Drought Monitor)

The U.S. Drought Monitor conditions for Alaska can be seen in this Dec. 10, 2019 map. (Image courtesy U.S. Drought Monitor)

Snow, rain fail to ease peninsula drought

While precipitation was above normal for the Kenai Peninsula, snow pack remains below normal.

Despite the heavy snowfall and rain the peninsula has received over the last few weeks, the northern half of the Kenai Peninsula is still being considered “abnormally dry” by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The U.S. Drought monitor map and summary, updated Dec. 12, says that while precipitation was above normal for the Kenai Peninsula, longer deficits are still present and snow pack remains below normal.

The Kenai Peninsula was first categorized by the U.S. Drought Monitor as abnormally dry on July 9.

By July 16, the entire peninsula was placed in a level one drought. By the Aug. 13 monitor map, the eastern peninsula was placed into a level two drought, known as a severe drought.

On Aug. 20, the area around the Swan Lake Fire, just north of Sterling, was placed into a level three drought, known as an extreme drought. The extreme drought wasn’t downgraded until Sept. 24.

The U.S. Drought Monitor provides a state-by-state list of potential impacts for each level of drought. All states and Puerto Rico are included, except for Alaska, where droughts are unprecedented.

The U.S. Drought Monitor — produced in partnership with the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — measures droughts using five levels — level zero being abnormally dry conditions with no drought, and the fourth level being an exceptional drought.

The U.S. Drought Monitor Map is updated every Thursday.

More in News

Alaska Department of Fish and Game logo. (Graphic by Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Board of Fisheries approves Kenai River king salmon action plan

The plan adds bait restrictions for in-river fisheries, doubles the sport bag limit for sockeye salmon, and adds a swath of restrictions to the commercial setnet fishery

The Kenai Municipal Airport is seen on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
New Grant Aviation planes to double service’s flight capacity

The first of two Cessna 208B EX Grand Caravans will start transporting passengers on Monday

Stickers are available for voters at the Kenai No. 1 precinct for Election Day on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna to hold ‘I Voted’ sticker design contest

City council members approved the program during their Wednesday night meeting

Rep. Justin Ruffridge, R-Soldotna, speaks in support of a bill increasing state funds for public education in the Alaska House of Representatives on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024 in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Bill seeking to bump use of Alaska Performance Scholarship clears the House with unanimous support

The money is awarded to high-performing high school graduates to help pay for postsecondary education at participating institutions in Alaska

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner Ryan Anderson answers questions from state senators during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024 in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
State officials working to meet Friday deadline for revised transportation plan

The federal government rejected the plan on Feb. 9, citing numerous deficiencies

Travis Every, top left, speaks in support of fishing opportunity for the east side setnet fishery before the State Board of Fisheries at the Egan Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Local fishers talk conservation, opportunity before Board of Fisheries in Anchorage

Local fishers from the Kenai Peninsula traveled to Anchorage this weekend to… Continue reading

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, presents information on a bill establishing a voluntary buyback program for Cook Inlet’s east side setnet fishery on Monday, Feb. 19, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Bjorkman bill would pay bonuses to nationally certified teachers

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development estimates that the bonus program would apply to about 215 of Alaska’s estimated 7,315 teachers — about 3%

Alaska senators meet with members of the media to discuss education legislation after a press conference by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on the topic on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Dunleavy threatens veto of education bill if more of his priorities aren’t added

It is not certain there would be the 40 votes necessary to override a veto by the governor

A map displays a wide-ranging special weather statement, published Tuesday by the National Weather Service, covering Southcentral Alaska. (Map courtesy of National Weather Service)
Strong winds, low wind chills forecast through Friday

Wind chills over night may reach as low as -20 to -40 degrees in much of Southcentral

Most Read