Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Looking for an end to the Drought? 
El Nino offers hope. 

10:30 PM 7/17/2012 (A special report by Southern Plains Forecaster/Affiliate Wesley H. of  After a 2 year hiatus, El Nino conditions are returning to the Pacific. This past spring, I mentioned that an El Nino could arrive as early as September or October, but it now appears that it could arrive by/in August. Since then, the latest models have become more aggressive, and the Climate Prediction Center now shows a 65% probability of an El Nino by November. This is a 10-15% increase since last month and a significant increase since last spring. 

CPC Outlook for the winter
For the rest of the article on El Nino's impacts to the drought, please visit ConvectiveWeather.

DROUGHT STATUS - There is no arguing that the country as a whole is in the midst of a very serious drought. While portions of the country had a drought in 2011, 2012 is much worse because of the widespread impact. For example, on July 12th, 2011 35.67% of the country was in any stage of a drought, while a whopping 11.96% was in the worst stage of an exceptional drought. As of July 10th, 2012, an astounding 79.98% of the country is in any stage of the drought, while only .74% is the in "exceptional drought" category. So essentially, 2012's drought is far more widespread, but 2011's hit local areas (mainly Texas) much harder. 

From the graphic above, you can see the Percent of Normal precipitation that has fallen across the country for the 180 Day period ending July 17th. Any shade of yellow or other warm color indicates below normal precipitation. The only areas that are not predominantly dry are in the Pacific Northwest and some local areas along the Gulf Coast. The Gulf Coast was spared because of repeated influxes of moisture onto land, as well as tropical impacts like that of Debby. The worst of this year's drought is concentrated in the southwest, but has gradually expanded 

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