By GILLIAN FLACCUS
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Climatologists in the U.S. Pacific Northwest warn that much of Oregon and parts of Idaho can expect even tougher drought conditions this summer than in the previous two years. Water and climate experts from Oregon, Washington and Idaho said at a news conference called by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that parts of the region should prepare now for severe drought and wildfires. Drought covers 74% of the Pacific Northwest and nearly 20% is in extreme or exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. A high pressure ridge off the U.S. West Coast scuttled winter storms.