News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Scientists say La Nina may extend Texas drought-Houston Chronicle

9/8/11, "La Niña's return may extend Texas drought," Houston Chronicle, Eric Berger

"La Niña is back, and that bodes ill for the state's deepening drought.

On Thursday scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the pattern of cooler temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean has returned,

  • and likely will strengthen this winter.

"This means drought is likely to continue in the drought-stricken states of Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico," said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.

That's because, four years out of five, Texas has a dry November through March

  • when La Niña is in place.

Last winter La Niña conditions kick-started a drought that has now engulfed 80 percent of Texas in an "exceptional" drought, the worst category tracked by the U.S. Drought Monitor. The resulting drought has led more than 800 of the state's communities to initiate water restrictions, and caused Texas' worst wildfire year on record....

"We need above-normal rainfall to break this drought, and we're probably not going to get it," said John Nielsen-Gammon, the state climatologist.

"This is looking more and more like a multi-year drought. Anyplace that doesn't get lucky with tropical moisture in the next couple of months

  • is probably going to be in bad shape for a long time."...




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