Blog  ::  It is Nevada, the driest state, after all…

It is Nevada, the driest state, after all…

By Brian Beffort, April 22, 2016 at 1:30 PM 


We had a pretty good winter in terms of snowpack, but it looks like there’s more drought in our future. That’s how you might sum up yesterday’s Coffee & Conservation presentation by Nevada State Climatologist Doug Boyle.

Boyle shared some of the great resources available at the Nevada State Climate Office. Boyle was smart to share maps with pretty colors on them to convey the general points without dwelling on models and probabilities. Here are a few examples:

drought.jpg

Yes, northwestern Nevada is currently in an Extreme Drought, with most of the rest of the state is pretty darn dry, despite the precipitation we’ve had. These discrepancies can be confusing sometimes, but Boyle explained that it boils down to the difference between hydrologic drought and seasonal drought (rains might come this summer, but if reservoirs are low because there wasn’t enough snowpack, farmers cannot irrigate).

The map above is a weekly snapshot of where our climate is now. Check it out live here: www.unr.edu/climate/drought-status.

Then there’s the 3-Month Climate Outlook, which analyzes the last season of temperature and precipitation, then estimates what the coming season might bring:

Drought Outlook.jpg
If you’re interested in the fine-print, you can see these maps live at http://www.unr.edu/climate/climate-outlook.

Not that it’s a surprise, but Boyle confessed these maps are not 100% accurate in their predictions (just think how hard it is to predict the weather a week from now, let alone three months from now). But it was nice to learn what information climate prognosticators use to create these assessments, and to hear that lots of really smart people across the West and nationally are working hard to make these maps better.

Check out the great resources available at the Nevada State Climate Office at www.unr.edu/climate.

Join Nevada Land Trust’s next Coffee & Conservation
May 19, at 8 a.m., at Whole Foods, to hear Brian Wakeling, Nevada Department of Wildlife’s Game Division Administrator.

Thanks so much to Whole Foods for your gracious hospitality and fine coffee!

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