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Western Drought

Posted: Aug 20 2013 5:52 pm
by RedRoxx44
From Dr. Jeff Masters Wonderblog ( on Weather Underground)

For the first time in history, the U.S. government has ordered that flow of Colorado River water from the 50-year-old Glen Canyon Dam be slashed, due to a water crisis brought about by the region's historic 14-year drought. On Friday, the Federal Bureau of Reclamation--a division of the Department of Interior that manages water and electric power in the West--announced that it would cut water released from Lake Powell's Glen Canyon Dam by 750,000 acre-feet in 2014. An acre-foot is the amount of water that will cover an acre of land one foot deep; 750,000 acre-feet is enough water to supply at least 750,000 homes for one year. The flow reduction will leave the Colorado River 9% below the 8.23 million acre feet that is supposed to be supplied downstream to Lake Mead for use in California, Nevada, Arizona and Mexico under the Colorado River Compact of 1922 and later agreements. "This is the worst 14-year drought period in the last hundred years," said Upper Colorado Regional Director Larry Walkoviak in a Bureau of Reclamation press release.

In the winter of 2005, Lake Powell reached its lowest level since filling, an elevation 150' below full pool. Lake levels recovered some in during 2005 - 2011, but the resurgence of severe to extreme drought conditions have provoked a steep decline in 2012 and 2013, with the lake falling 35' over the past year. As of August 18, 2013, Lake Powell was 109' below full pool (45% of capacity), and was falling at a rate of one foot every six days."


Get ready for higher water prices and stricter conservation ???

Re: Western Drought

Posted: Feb 13 2019 1:52 pm
by Pivo
In his very best Lisa Loopner voice
Jim_H wrote:Excuse me, Todd! This is a thread about climate! There is a difference. The weather thread is dead, and completely different. However, I did see someone posting a, "I got xx of rain last week", or something like that.

Re: Western Drought

Posted: Feb 13 2019 4:16 pm
by trekkin_gecko
@chumley
it would be nice if we could block specific forum threads
redflex, anyone?

Re: Western Drought

Posted: Feb 13 2019 6:07 pm
by Jim_H
@trekkin_gecko
Hey, I had no idea that 10 years later that thread would still be active! How could I know?

Re: Western Drought

Posted: Feb 13 2019 6:08 pm
by Jim_H
And, no one is discussing drought!

Re: Western Drought

Posted: Feb 14 2019 10:12 am
by Alston_Neal
Jim_H wrote:
Feb 13 2019 6:08 pm
And, no one is discussing drought!
I think the drought topic dried up.

Re: Western Drought

Posted: Feb 20 2019 1:54 pm
by chumley
I should probably just send this in a PM to Jim since he's the only one who cares?
Snowpack in the Sierra is running about 50 percent above normal season-to-date, according to California's Department of Water Resources.

Several mountain resorts have recorded more than 400 inches (33.3 feet) of snow this winter, the National Weather Service's Reno, Nevada forecast office recently reported. At Mammoth Mountain near Yosemite National Park, 543 inches (45.3 feet) of snow had fallen through Feb. 17. The Squaw Valley ski area near Lake Tahoe isn't far behind, coming in at 492 inches (41 feet).

Re: Western Drought

Posted: Feb 20 2019 2:16 pm
by Pivo
chumley wrote:I should probably just send this in a PM to Jim since he's the only one who cares?
If you do, will that keep him quiet?

Re: Western Drought

Posted: Mar 01 2019 9:25 am
by chumley
I'm no scientist, but I feel like the "drought monitor" doesn't work on a very long time scale.

I've always thought that drought is more climate than weather (e.g. long term, not short term). Yet somehow we can go from areas of D3 Extreme Drought, and skip right down through D2 Severe, D1 Moderate, and D0 Abnormally dry, to NO DROUGHT AT ALL -- in just 5 months time! It's a miracle!

I guess I just have to wonder what kind of drought it was to begin with if a single season with 150-200% precipitation can just fix everything?

Or maybe we're actually still in a drought? Maybe it takes years to get into a drought ... and years to get out of one?

I'm just happy that scientists say the drought is over! Let's build more golf courses.

Re: Western Drought

Posted: Mar 01 2019 9:44 am
by markthurman53
I agree, droughts are usually a longer term cycle but they can have spurts of wet weather, only time will tell.

Re: Western Drought

Posted: Mar 01 2019 10:22 am
by SAMBA
@chumley
It appears to moi that you didn't read the entire report. The LONG-TERM DROUGHT CONDITIONS section of the report paints a much grimmer forecast for us Arizonans. Me thinks it would be ill-advised to follow your build more golf courses suggestion at this time. But then again, if you're auditioning for a spot on this panel, https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/02 ... ing-carbon, please disregard my contribution to this esteemed forum.

Re: Western Drought

Posted: Mar 01 2019 10:44 am
by chumley
SAMBA wrote:
Mar 01 2019 10:22 am
please disregard my contribution to this esteemed forum.
Fear not. I always do.

Re: Western Drought

Posted: Mar 01 2019 10:51 am
by SAMBA
@chumley
Touché!!!!

Re: Western Drought

Posted: Mar 01 2019 2:10 pm
by azbackpackr
@SAMBA
Hi, John, haven't seen you since Tonto Creek/Hellhole. About 12 years!

Re: Western Drought

Posted: Mar 01 2019 4:42 pm
by SAMBA
@azbackpackr
Whatever calendar you're using, throw that SOB in the trash. No way it's been 12 years since we bagged Tonto Creek.

Re: Western Drought

Posted: Mar 01 2019 7:28 pm
by azbackpackr
@SAMBA
Well I may be mistaken. One of the people on that trip, Peg, was on a 6-day Lake Powell paddle I went on this past September. I seem to recall looking up the date.

Re: Western Drought

Posted: Mar 01 2019 9:19 pm
by Jim_H
Its dry, no more!

Re: Western Drought

Posted: Mar 02 2019 7:36 am
by azbackpackr
@Jim_H
Sounds like the start of a Ray Charles song.

Re: Western Drought

Posted: Mar 02 2019 11:05 am
by SAMBA
@azbackpackr
"Maybe"? There's no "maybe" about it! Note the date on this photo, [ photo ] . You're a lucky woman that I'm ONE CLASSY DUDE, or I might have replied with a classless "I TOLD YOU SO".

Re: Western Drought

Posted: Mar 02 2019 11:26 am
by azbackpackr
@SAMBA
Well good! Glad it hasn't been so long. I'll send you a pm

Re: Western Drought

Posted: Mar 12 2019 5:34 pm
by chumley
NWS Tucson posted these graphics. The entire Colorado basin is looking good.