California Drought Report #66: Future Drought?

The California Weather Blog has some insight into the future of the State’s drought. It is not going away anytime soon according to Daniel Swain.

What does the near future hold? Well, it’s probably no surprise to anyone on this blog that California’s long dry season has nearly arrived, and that there’s little chance of meaningful widespread precipitation before next autumn at the earliest. It’s difficult to impossible to be specific about what next winter may hold precipitation-wise. That said, it does appear to be very likely that strong cooling of the equatorial Pacific associated with a developing La Niña event will be a major player. Historically, La Niña has yielded a wide range of outcomes in terms of California precipitation–including both very wet and very dry years. But historical observations and climate model simulations agree that there is a definite tilt toward dry winters during La Niña–especially in Southern California.

I know it is hard to be saving water when it is plunging down dam spillways on it’s way to San Francisco Bay and the Pacific beyond. But, saving water needs to be part of a lifestyle change, as droughts are going to be with us for the next 20 to 30 years. Yes, we will have some El Niño years, but La Niña will be the dominant pattern for at least a generation.

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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