Drought could last a long time

This is by far the scariest thing I’ve read in awhile.

As historically bad as this summer’s drought has been, we may not have seen the worst of it.

There’s growing concern among some scientists that Texas’ drought could linger through another dry winter and return next summer to more deeply ravage an already water-stressed state.

“I’ve started telling anyone who’s interested that it’s likely much of Texas will still be in severe drought this time next summer, with water supply implications even worse than those we are now experiencing,” said John Nielsen-Gammon, the state climatologist and a Texas A&M University professor.


Earlier this month, the federal Climate Prediction Center raised its forecast odds for the return of La Niña conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean this winter to 50 percent.

During a La Niña winter, Texas generally experiences mild temperatures and drier-than-normal weather, but there are no guarantees.

“When you think in terms of a climate forecast and a condition such as La Niña, what’s really happening is you’re changing your odds,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the climate prediction center.”There have been some La Niña winters in Texas that have been wet. But most of them have been dry.”

Nielsen-Gammon, who correctly predicted the onset of a significant drought last October because of a La Niña winter, said chance favors at least parts of Texas continuing to experience a drought that will stretch on for two or more years.

It may be even worse than it sounds, and even worse than the six-year drought of the 1950s. Anybody want to talk seriously about water conservation now?

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