California is one of the least vulnerable states to drought even as it faces record wildfires, according to a first-ever state ranking funded by NOAA. The “Drought Vulnerability Index” finds that Oklahoma is the most susceptible to extreme dryness followed by two other states — Montana and Iowa — with a “very high” drought vulnerability.
As historic wildfires continue to burn across California, Oregon and other Western states, government climate experts say much of the U.S. is likely to see persistent drought conditions and fire risk alongside continued above-average temperatures through the fall.
During a briefing Thursday, forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that while wetter conditions are expected to bring some drought relief to parts of the Pacific Northwest and New England in the months ahead, drought conditions are likely to persist or even worsen in Central and Southern California and across the Southwest.
The Northern Hemisphere had its hottest summer on record in 2020, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday. Scientists from NOAA also said that 2020 is likely to be one of the five warmest years on record, and that last month was the second-warmest August on record.
NOAA said the 10 warmest Augusts have all occurred since 1998 and the five warmest Augusts have occurred since 2015. North America had its warmest August on record, with a temperature departure from average of +2.74 degrees Fahrenheit, according to NOAA.
Climate forecasters said Thursday that the world had entered La Niña, the opposite phase of the climate pattern that also brings El Niño and affects weather across the globe. Among other impacts, La Niña has the potential this winter to worsen what are already severe drought conditions in the American Southwest.
Two weeks ago, the Pine Gulch Fire became the largest wildfire in Colorado history when it grew to an area nearly the size of Chicago. The 139,000-acre blaze, ignited July 31, was fueled by another record: The area where the fire occurred experienced its hottest August in at least 126 years.
Federal weather forecasters on Thursday predicted the development of drought-producing La Niña pattern that could to last through the winter.
There is a 60% chance that La Niña will develop during the Northern Hemisphere fall, with a 55% chance the pattern will continue through the winter of 2020-21, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center said in its monthly forecast.
Funds to support 3rd grade students in the Escondido Union School District have been awarded to The Escondido Creek Conservancy.
The Conservancy has been awarded a national grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Planet Stewards Education Project to fund environmental education and stewardship in Escondido. The program will support 3rd grade students in the Escondido Union School District as they work to address the problem of litter in their community, in conjunction with their learning about local habitats and the impacts of humans on the environment.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a La Niña watch earlier this month, meaning that conditions are favorable for development of a La Niña in the next six months.
The Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego will host a major research initiative funded by the federal government.
UC San Diego will host the Cooperative Institute for Marine, Earth and Atmospheric systems, and it will get up to $220 million in funding for research over a five-year period.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is making the investment locally after a competitive bidding process.
The Western drought has continued to expand and intensify, according to U.S. Drought Monitor data released Thursday.
Wet late-spring weather resulted in a slight decrease in the area deemed to be in extreme drought in Northern California.
Severe drought receded a little in parts of northeastern Utah and southwestern Washington. Unseasonably heavy precipitation, including high-elevation snow, fell in northeastern Utah, the Drought Monitor reported