Drought Update

The news is all atwitter about our current drought being the driest in the last 1,200 years, based on some blue oak tree ring samples.  Let see what some of the climate history has to say.

As you can see in the chart below, that in Northern California 1923-1924 and 1976-1977 were much drier than the years 2013-2014 and in the 2014-2015 year, we are about on track for an average year.

Drought Update

The above chart is up to December 7th. Since then the northern end of the state has received 4-6 additional inches of rain and several feet of snow at higher elevations. We may be a little above normal. Let’s hope this stays above normal.

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About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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One Response to Drought Update

  1. Russ Steele says:

    Natural weather patterns, not man-made global warming, are causing the historic drought parching California, says a NOAA study out Monday.

    “It’s important to note that California’s drought, while extreme, is not an uncommon occurrence for the state,” said Richard Seager, the report’s lead author and professor with Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory. The report was sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The report did not appear in a peer-reviewed journal but was reviewed by other NOAA scientists.

    “In fact, multiyear droughts appear regularly in the state’s climate record, and it’s a safe bet that a similar event will happen again,” he said.

    The persistent weather pattern over the past several years has featured a warm, dry ridge of high pressure over the eastern north Pacific Ocean and western North America. Such high-pressure ridges prevent clouds from forming and precipitation from falling.

    The study notes that this ridge — which has resulted in decreased rain and snowfall since 2011 — is almost opposite to what computer models predict would result from human-caused climate change.

    H/T Coyote Blog

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