Western US Enters Summer in Severe Drought

The drought bullseye has shifted to a New Mexico – Colorado – West Kansas configuration. Recent midwestern rains and floods have abated the drought in the wheat belt and removed it from Illinois and most of the adjacent states, and the recent tendency in the Southeast toward drought is absent, but those are the main silver linings in a grim national picture.

Most of the west is in drought, including of 90% of Texas.

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The New Mexico fire season is starting early, and the picture in Calfornia is also grim.

Although there have been some spring rains and the countryside in central Texas looks lush and pretty, reservoirs and aquifers enter the summer at a historic low and 90% of the state is in drought. If rainfall is even modestly below normal (comparable to last summer), a simple extrapolation shows complete depletion of Texas reservoirs. State climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon explains that this is not entirely realistic but that major urban areas in Texas may actually run dry this summer.

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“The forecast represents a statewide average.  Many places, probably in eastern Texas, will be still have plenty of water available from reservoirs, but other places, mostly in central and West Texas, will do much worse.  Current hotspots are the Rio Grande along the border with Mexico and north-central Texas west of Fort Worth.”

Seasonal outlook shows a hot summer is very likely for most of the country, and below normal precipitation is more likely than not for Colorado and New Mexico. This is the current August-September-October outlook; maps for other periods this year show very similar patterns.

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  1. When is anybody going to point out to Texas that when they finally accept that the drought is caused by CO2 it is going to be too late! By then the drought will be permanent, and Texas a desert. It took over 100 years to put all that CO2 into the air. How long will it take to remove it?

  2. That was a rhetorical question :-0

    It is likely that Texas will be a desert very soon.
    Jim Hansen wants to leave a habitable world for his grandchildren, but he may find that Texas (and California) become uninhabitable in his children's lifetime - perhaps even his own.

    Of course, if the Texans are told this they won't believe it, but shouldn't they be told anyway?

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