Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Drought Monitor: Texas Drought Expands

This is starting to look like a replay of the 1952-56 drought, the second worst of the 20th century:
From AgWeb:

According to NOAA's Drought Monitor, the drought in Texas continues to expand, and this week worsening conditions in the east central part of the state brought D0 and D1 designations toward the Houston area. Precipitation deficits of the last few months, as well as reports of increasing burn bans and poor streamflow, are among the factors that were considered. In west central Texas, further degradation was made, introducing D2 to encompass most of Val Verde County and others, as well as a southern expansion of D2 extent over Maverick and Dimmit counties. Following on its heels, D3 was expanded as well.

In the far northern High Plains, western North Dakota was improved to reduce areas of both D1 and D0, reflecting snowfall in the last 60 and 90 day periods. The drought area now resides south of the Missouri River.

Looking ahead, NOAA says a more active weather pattern is setting up over the Pacific Ocean, with some much needed precipitation anticipated in areas of the western United States over the next week. Below normal temperatures in the northern tier should help retain the snowpack in the mountains. "There remains much uncertainty yet among the models for the coming weekend’s forecast, with a split flow projected to develop off the west coast, and exactly where it will bring most of the precipitation," says NOAA....MORE

Here's a site that does a remarkable job of tying a lot of information together in an easily understandable way:

The Oceanic Influence on North American Drought

Here are a few of the papers I will be referring to in future posts as this now two year drought starts to come to the attention of the rest of the country:

Temperature and Precipitation Patterns Associated with the 1950s Drought in the U.S. Southwest


Pacific and Atlantic Ocean influences on multidecadal drought frequency in the United States