The dry spell in the West has dashed hopes of a respite from the relentless drought, which is expected to continue across the region into spring and beyond, forecasters said. , forecasters said on Thursday.
Dan Collins, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said at a news conference that the continuation of La Niña, a climate pattern that originates in the Pacific Ocean and affects weather worldwide, will contribute to expected higher-than-normal temperatures, and below-normal precipitation, over much of the West through May.
Dr. Collins said he also doesn’t expect to see much improvement after that month, especially in California, where dry conditions last summer led to water shortages and contributed to a number of major wildfires.
“From a climate perspective, there doesn’t appear to be a big change in drier-than-usual conditions in the coming months,” he said.
Most of the western half of the country remains dry, although wet weather in the second half of last year has reduced the severity of the condition in many areas. Forecasts for warmer and drier weather mean droughts will continue across much of the West.
For much of the Southwest, that would most likely mean a prolonged severe drought, or super-drought, that began in 2000 that would continue into its 23rd year. science that studies past climates in the region said in a Research published this week that the current super-drought is the driest two-decade period in at least 1,200 years. Their simulations also predict that it will continue this year and possibly longer.
Dr. Collins said drought could also develop in some areas, particularly south-central Arizona and eastern and coastal Texas. The situation could improve in much of eastern Washington state.
During the La Niña period, colder-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific affect the amount of energy released into the atmosphere, which in turn affects the jet stream, the fast-moving air currents in the atmosphere. book. In the United States, La Niña often, though not always, leads to warmer conditions across the southern part of the country.
Dr Collins said that La Niña is expected to persist through May, and sea surface temperatures are likely to shift to neutral conditions, neither warmer nor colder, in the summer, reducing the effect ozone.
Temperatures are forecast to be warmer than normal across most of the eastern part of the country over the next three months. Wetter-than-usual conditions are forecast in the Ohio Valley and drought is likely in Florida.
Even though snow storm affected much of the Northeast in late January, the drier-than-average month for the region.
Snowstorms, known by meteorologists as bomb cyclones, occur when a cold air mass collides with a warmer air mass, resulting in a very rapid decrease in atmospheric pressure, high winds, and especially if it occurs. Along the coast, heavy snow fell.
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That’s what happened on January 28, said Samantha Borisoff, a climatologist with the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University. absorb more moisture, resulting in 3 feet or more of snow. in some places.
Ms. Borisoff said that while it is impossible to know for certain at this point, global warming may have influenced the strength of the storm, because as humans pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, oceans and the atmosphere is getting warmer.
A bomb vortex depends largely on its energy on the temperature difference between the cold and warm air masses, so an air mass growing over a warmer ocean would create a large temperature difference. than with cold masses that develop on land, helping to power storms. When that happens, parts of the western North Atlantic are “quite warm,” Ms. Borisoff said.
NOAA data shows that globally, January was the sixth hottest month on modern record, dating back 143 years. Given La Niña and other factors, forecasters say there’s only a 10% chance that 2022 could be the warmest year on record. But in recent years, as the world continues to warm, this year is almost certainly in the top 10 warmest.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/17/climate/noaa-weather-western-drought.html Expect the Western drought to end soon? Not likely, forecasters say.