Meteorologist: US Southwest “Permanent” Drought Totally Gone! …US “Now As Good As It Gets”!

What follows is another example climate-scare prediction turned folly.

The NOAA’s and the University of Nebraska (Lincoln) National Drought Mitigation Center’s (NDMC) US drought monitor map that follows now shows extraordinarily little drought conditions across the USA, despite earlier predictions of permanent drought and misery over vast regions.

Meteorologist Paul Dorian of vencoreweather.com here in fact writes that moisture conditions across the US are now “about as good as it gets“.

He reports that “severe”, “extreme” or “exceptional” drought conditions are limited to a puny 1.6% of the continental US. Going back to the year 2000, only February and March of 2010 had similar limited drought conditions on a nationwide basis that we are enjoying today.

In fact the news may actually get better with the next drought monitor update as the numbers cited in today’s posting reflect only precipitation data registered through last Tuesday, April 4th and does not include the substantial rainfall that fell late last week in California and across the southern and eastern US.

Western US drought conditions from one year ago (left) to current (right); courtesy NOAA/CPC

Western US drought conditions from one year ago (left) to current (right); courtesy NOAA/CPC

Discussion on current and recent conditions

In recent years, much of the western US was suffering through widespread and deep drought conditions, but that has changed dramatically in recent months; especially, in the state of California. One year ago, much of California was in the midst of an “exceptional” drought – the worst category of drought as classified by NOAA – but all of that has changed dramatically this winter season with a tremendous amount of rainfall throughout the state.

Today nowhere is California classified by NOAA/NDMC as experiencing “exceptional” (D4) or “extreme” (D3) drought conditions and less than one percent of California is currently experiencing “severe” (D2) drought.

Sierra Nevada Mountains provide more than 60% of California's developed water supply

Massive Sierra Nevada snowpack

Figure right: Sierra Nevada Mountains provide more than 60% of California’s developed water supply

In addition to the recent rainfall in California, there has been an extreme amount of snow this winter season in the higher elevations of the Sierra Mountains across eastern California.  Snowpack in the Sierra Nevada region plays a critical role in California’s water supply as a natural form of water storage. More than 60% of California’s water originates in the Sierra Nevada region.

There has actually been so much snow this winter in some of the higher elevation locations that the National Guard has been called out to help with the removal of the snow. Another 3 or 4 feet of fresh snow piled up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains on Friday of last week in the latest major storm to affect California with significant rain and snow.

Now “as good as it gets.”

Also much of the south-central and eastern US experienced dry weather during the fall and winter seasons and this led to the declaration by NOAA/NDMC of “abnormally dry” (D0) or “moderate” (D1) drought conditions in many areas. But like California, recent significant rainfall events during a very active weather pattern have improved overall conditions in many regions across the south-central and eastern US.

The Palmer drought index, sometimes called the Palmer drought severity index and often abbreviated PDSI, is a measurement of dryness based on recent precipitation and temperature. The Palmer Drought Index is based on a supply-and-demand model of soil moisture. Drought conditions were extremely widespread and severe in July 1934 during the midst of the “Dust Bowl” era. 

The Palmer drought index shows that drought conditions were extremely widespread and severe in July 1934 during the midst of the “Dust Bowl” era, far worse than what was experienced over the past years. Chart: NOAA

The worst heat and drought conditions by far occurred in 1930s

Meteorologist Dorian explains that any drought talk of recent years really pales in comparison to what happened in this country during the decade of the 1930’s. In the “The Grapes of Wrath”, John Steinbeck vividly captured the plight of millions of Americans whose lives had been crushed by what is referred to as the “Dust Bowl” era – a time when “climate gas” CO2 levels were far lower.

The 1930’s still ranks as the hottest and driest in US recorded history and the “Dust Bowl” was truly a significant event in our national history.

The figure on the left shows the annual values of the U.S. Heat Wave Index from 1895 to 2015 for the contiguous 48 states. An index value of 0.2, for example, could mean that 20 percent of the country experienced one heat wave, 10 percent of the country experienced two heat waves, or some other combination of frequency and area resulted in this value.  Data source: Kunkel, 2016 (EPA).  The figure on the right shows the number of all-time maximum temperature records at USHCN weather stations that reached extreme heights in 1936 - far and away above any other year.

The figure on the left shows the annual values of the U.S. Heat Wave Index from 1895 to 2015 for the contiguous 48 states. An index value of 0.2, for example, could mean that 20 percent of the country experienced one heat wave, 10 percent of the country experienced two heat waves, or some other combination of frequency and area resulted in this value. Data source: Kunkel, 2016 (EPA).

The above figure on the right shows the number of all-time maximum temperature records at USHCN weather stations that reached extreme heights in 1936 – far and away above any other year.

Tens of thousands of “climate refugees”

Conditions were so dry in such a widespread part of the country that dust storms formed numerous times in the Central Plains as loose soil turned to dust which the prevailing winds blew away in huge clouds that blackened the skies – even as far away as the east coast. The drought came in three waves during this decade, 1934, 1936 and 1939-1940, and tens of thousands of families had to abandon their farms.

Dorian summarizes today’s conditions:

Yes, these are pretty fortunate times we are currently living through across the US.”

See Vencore meteorologist Paul Dorian’s full report here.

 

21 responses to “Meteorologist: US Southwest “Permanent” Drought Totally Gone! …US “Now As Good As It Gets”!”

  1. sod

    This data does not matter. I have been told this 100s of times, because it is an el nino effect.

    If people want to remove el nino years from the temperature record, why keep the rain effect?

    1. clipe

      “This data does not matter.”

      Bingo!

      /sarc

    2. clipe

      If people want to remove el nino years from the temperature record, why keep the rain effect?

      DUH!

      1. Mindert Eiting

        Just read what he says. This is the ‘pause’ construction. The ‘real’ drought is obscured by an El Nino effect. Perhaps the drought has disappeared in the deep ocean and will show its ugly face at some point in the future. AGW is a nice example of a promissory theory.

        1. sod

          drought followed by heavy rain is not a good thing.

          and i have been told that el nino is a natural cycle and we can not control the strength of it.

          so warming trends ending now are some form of cheating, because there is the el nino. and the fact that this el nino was beating all temperature records was just a random el nino strength thing (which is false, but that is beside the point here).

          but now the rain effect of that random super el nino is supposed to be teh simple cure for california drought conditions.

          This does not make any sense.

          1. AndyG55

            yap, yap, zero science,

            just make it up as you go along !!

    3. Sunsettommy

      Oh my!

      Sod, did you bother to read the blog post?

      Did you forget the many warmists statements,that this is a man caused problem,that it would be common or permanent?

      1. SebastianH

        Do you think California will be save from droughts from now on? Does it normally rain more during/after an El Nino event? So did an El Nino end the drought? And since El Ninos are special nothing really changed climatewise, correct? Or can we include El Ninos in climate changes now and stop pretending that temperatures didn’t change at all in the last decades?

        1. AndyG55

          No,

          NORMAL climate variability will continue, like it has FOREVER.

          We know already that man’s CO2 has absolutely NOTHING to do with ocean warming or warming of a convectively controlled atmosphere.

          We also know that if you are looking for a CO2 warming signal, you absolutely MUST exclude the NON-CO2 El Ninos.

          I know you will not accept that most basic of TRUTHS, because you KNOW that those El Ninos are the ONLY WARMING in the whole of the satellite data.

          They are all that you have.

          TOTALLY EMPTY apart from NON-CO2 El Nino events.

          so sad. ! so pathetic.

        2. sod

          “… do you ALWAYS suck both your big toes while you are wetting the bed ?”

          is this kind of insults and really baseless ranting really how this blog wants people to comment?

        3. Kenneth Richard

          “Or can we include El Ninos in climate changes now and stop pretending that temperatures didn’t change at all in the last decades?”

          At this stage in the -0.6°C denouement from the peak of the latest ENSO event…

          http://www.woodfortrees.org/graph/rss/from:2016/to:2017.3/plot/rss/from:2016/to:2017.3/trend

          the temperature change in the last 2 decades has been 0.09°C. Several more months from now, as the monthly anomalies closer to the 30-year mean accumulate, the flat trend line will return. And so will the excuses. Because the flat temperatures have accrued with 45 ppm of additional CO2 pumped into the atmosphere.

    4. AndyG55

      Poor sob, still hasn’t figured out that El Ninos are a TOTALLY NATURAL event, with absolutely NOTHING to do with CO2.

      But ITS ALL HE HAS if he wants to show any warming at all in the satellite temperature data.

      The very fact that he always wants to include the El Nino warming events in his trend calculations, shows that he actually KNOWS this to be the truth.

      … like seb, totally DISHONEST.

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    […] Meteorologist: US Southwest “Permanent” Drought Totally Gone! […]

  3. Bill Butler

    Please tell everyone who is dependent on the amount of water in Lake Mead that the “US Southwest Permanent Drought [is] Totally Gone!”

    http://www.durangobill.com/GCTpics/GrCynSuperimposition2.jpg

    Note: The upward blip for 2017 includes the expected runoff from this year’s snowpack.

    1. Kenneth Richard

      Since warming is expected to increase rather than decrease precipitation volumes in California (see below paper), why do you think it is that there was a drought in that location in the first place, Bill? Since humans didn’t cause it, what did?

      Cheng et al., 2016
      http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0260.1
      The model simulations show that increases in radiative forcing since the late nineteenth century induce both increased annual precipitation and increased surface temperature over California, consistent with prior model studies and with observed long-term change. … The results thus indicate that the net effect of climate change has made agricultural drought less likely and that the current severe impacts of drought on California’s agriculture have not been substantially caused by long-term climate changes.

      1. SebastianH

        I’ll reply with the usual AndyG55 comment:

        Models “indicate”! Just models … no prove. Where is the evidence yada yada …

        On the other hand, do you now accept that increased radiative forcing is real, since you are quoting from a paper mentioning it? Do you still believe this has no effect on water surfaces?

        1. AndyG55

          yap yap.. poor little seb

          Again shows he has absolutely ZERO understand of the NON-WARMING effect of LW radiation on water.

          And is totally content to remain abysmally ignorant.

        2. Kenneth Richard

          “Just models … no prove.”

          Oh, I fully acknowledge that it is only models that claim that precipitation will increase in California with warming. That way, CO2 emissions can cause flooding. There are other models that say that precipitation will decrease in California with warming. That way, CO2 emissions can cause drought. Droughts and floods are caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions at the same time and in the same place because…only math illiterates would claim otherwise. And because it’s the truth…found in models. That’s how modern climate science works.

          “do you now accept that increased radiative forcing is real”?

          SebastianH, I’ve never suggested that the radiative forcing increases from higher solar activity (the Modern Grand Maximum relative to centennial-scale solar minima periods) or decreased clouds/volcanic aerosols (surface solar radiation, “Global Brightening”) since the 1980s and during the 1920s to 1940s (“Early Brightening”) are NOT real. Solar radiative forcing heats water surfaces to depths of tens of meters, and sunlight penetrates to 150 to 200 m.

          http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/94JC01621/full
          “Beside the strong effects on vertical mixing, solar radiation is the primary heating term in the surface layer heat budget, and wind forcing influences SST by driving oceanic advective processes that redistribute heat in the upper ocean.”

          “Do you still believe this has no effect on water surfaces?”

          Once again, SebastianH, you are engaging in dishonest fabrication. I have never stated that I “believe” that solar radiation changes (via changes in the Sun’s output or albedo) have “no effect on water surfaces”. Do you ever stop making up false positions and attributing them to others? Do you consider yourself an honest person, SebastianH?

  4. CO2isLife

    “It’s Official, Global Warming and Higher CO2 Ended the California Drought!!!”
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2017/04/08/its-official-global-warming-and-higher-co2-ended-the-california-drought/

  5. tom0mason

    History rarely repeats but it may well follow similar patterns. Severe droughts followed by flooding in California has happened before. The local native Indians knew this. Californians do have some records of recent events. E.M. Smith looked at the subject a while ago https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/california-extreme-super-flood/