Two charts tell the story. First, here’s last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor:
David Miskus of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center explains why this drought persists:
… a persistent ridge of high pressure located over the central Rockies kept the Southwest, Great Basin, and southern halves of the Rockies and Plains unseasonably mild and dry. The weakened Pacific storm systems were diverted northeastward into south-central Canada by the ridge, then southeastward by the eastern trough into the northern Plains, lower Missouri Valley, the Delta, and across the Southeast.
No doubt this persistent high-pressure system and the prolonged drought are just more coincidental weather events in this year of record low Arctic sea ice and coincidental uber-extreme events (see Arctic Death Spiral: How It Favors Extreme, Prolonged Weather Events “Such As Drought, Flooding, Cold Spells And Heat Waves“).
The three-month drought outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center isn’t pretty:
Sadly, the scientific literature makes clear this is going to be the new normal in the coming decades for the U.S. Southwest and “Breadbasket of the World” if we don’t rapidly and sharply reverse global carbon pollution trends:
- We’re Already Topping Dust Bowl Temperatures — Imagine What’ll Happen If We Fail To Stop 10°F Warming
- James Hansen Is Correct About Catastrophic Projections For U.S. Drought If We Don’t Act Now
- My Nature Piece On Dust-Bowlification And the Grave Threat It Poses to Food Security
- The Shape Of Droughts To Come: “The United States will suffer a series of severe droughts in the next two decades, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. Moreover, global warming will play an increasingly important role in their abundance and severity….”