Drought Water

October 1, 2015

d7dfe440-98af-11e3-a20a-4197883a2af2_calif-terra-nasa-2014Overcast with thick fog this Thursday morning on California’s north coast, and with the month of October, the fall season is apparently becoming more settled, with winter a short, hot-tamale away.

Heat the chart-topper: According to WXshift, the autumn season for our shoreline region up here has been warming-up since the early 1970s — in 1971, the fall temperature average was 52 degrees; in 2014, the average had notched-up more than five degrees to 57.3. Yipes!

(Illustration: NASA satellite image of California’s drought in early 2014, found here).

And in context to our drought, and the lack of moisture therein, new numbers for statewide water use.
Via US News and World Report this morning:

State official say Californians have surpassed a mandate to save water for a third consecutive month, using nearly 27 percent less in August than the same month in 2013.

Max Gomberg, a senior climate scientist for the board, said the results meet the 25 percent savings goal set by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Gomberg also warned that Californians can’t allow themselves to be distracted by the hype of a coming El Nino weather pattern.
He said an El Nino doesn’t guarantee a wet winter for California and urged people to keep saving water.
“We need to continue the conservation efforts,” he said.
“People need to keep on doing what they’ve been doing.”
The state reported savings of 27 percent in June and 31 percent in July.

Gomberg said climate change — signaled by warmer temperatures, a low snowpack and intense wildfires — has made water conservation an ongoing effort.
“Climate change is not something that’s happening in the future,” Gomberg said.
“California is already dealing with the impacts.”

A warming, shifting climate is making its mark.
From HuffPost, also this morning:

With Californians crossing their fingers in hopes of a super El Niño to help end the state’s historic drought, California’s water agency just delivered some startling news: for the first time in 120 years of record keeping, the winter average minimum temperature in the Sierra Nevada was above freezing.
And across the state, the last 12 months were the warmest on record.
This explains why the Sierra Nevada snow pack that provides nearly 30 percent of the state’s water stood at its lowest level in at least 500 years this last winter despite precipitation levels that, while low, still came in above recent record lows.
The few winter storms of the past two years were warmer than average and tended to produce rain, not snow.
And what snow fell melted away almost immediately.

Off the California coast recent temperatures have been 5 to 6°F warmer than historic averages –among the warmest conditions of any time in the past 30 years.
In August and September California coastal buoys reached their warmest levels ever recorded.

Although the forthcoming El Niño event is highly anticipated, and needed, the approaching winter is felt with trepidation — chaos of mudslides and flooding.
Future’s future is warm and dry-wet…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.