US drought coverage down to least amount in 5+ years
Feb 4, 2016
During the four-week period ending Feb. 2, 2016, contiguous U.S. drought coverage fell to 15.48 percent—a decrease of 2.91 percentage points. This also represents the smallest areal coverage of U.S. drought in more than five years, since Oct. 26, 2010. Perhaps not coincidentally, the U.S. drought minimum of 2010 occurred in the wake of the most recently completed El Niño, which lasted from the summer of 2009 to the spring of 2010.
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Experts point to humans’ role in drought
Feb 2, 2016
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Droughts aren’t just a natural phenomenon. Humans’ land and water use patterns affect how dry spells play out, according to an article by an international group of experts released Feb. 2, 2016, in Nature Geoscience. “This is important because how we understand the problem drives what we do about it,” said Mark Svoboda, co-founder and one of the original U.S. Drought Monitor authors, leader of the NDMC's Monitoring program area, and a coauthor of the article. “We produce drought monitoring maps, but that’s the easy part. The harder question is, now that you know how dry it is, what are you going to do about it?”
DroughtScape, Winter 2016: climate, impacts, mitigation and more
Jan 29, 2016
The latest edition of DroughtScape is out. Several articles of the articles deal with aspects of California’s long-term drought:
- California drought FAQ: Is it over yet?
- The social vulnerability of farmworkers in California to drought
- Drought impacts recap, for the fourth quarter and for the year
- Drought climate recap for the fourth quarter
And, in case you didn’t make it to the workshops, we’ve got features on:
- Workshops to help ranchers and foresters at the Tonto National Forest improve drought planning for public lands
- Ranch planning resources for the southern Plains, including workshops that wrapped up in Chickasaw, Oklahoma
And -- Help Wanted: Geospatial analyst
Read DroughtScape, Winter 2016
December 2015 Drought & Impact Summary: NW drought eases while CA contends with ongoing impacts
Jan 12, 2016
The NDMC’s December 2015 Drought & Impact Summary is out, highlighting drought-related climatology and impacts from the past month. As winter storms began to erode drought in the Pacific Northwest, California braced for El Niño-driven precipitation, looking to capture rainfall and hoping that the excess wouldn’t be too damaging. Recognizing that it will take more than one good year to end the long-term drought, California authorities continued to fine-tune regulations. Subsidence and uranium contamination were issues in the Central Valley. Read the full report.
USDA Crops In Drought Update: Heavy rains reduce drought
Jan 7, 2016
During the five-week period ending Jan. 5, 2016, contiguous U.S. drought coverage fell to 18.39 percent—a decrease of 2.19 percentage points. This also represents the smallest areal coverage of U.S. drought in more than five years, since Dec. 7, 2010. Perhaps not coincidentally, the U.S. drought minimum of 2010 occurred near the end of the most recently completed El Niño, which lasted from the summer of 2009 to the spring of 2010.
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