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Thoughts on everything from climate modeling to energy policy.

A Record Lack of Rain in Drought-Stricken Nebraska

A Record Lack of Rain in Drought-Stricken Nebraska

As the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) stated in its monthly drought report, several states also blew away their previous records. "It should be noted that the dryness this year has been so extreme and persistent that, not only did several states rank driest for several time scales... but their records were by wide margins compared to the prev… Read More

Welcome Rains Are Forecast, But So Are Severe Storms

Welcome Rains Are Forecast, But So Are Severe Storms

Although it may spark damaging thunderstorms, drought relief is the bright side to this upcoming storm system. It is expected to provide beneficial rainfall, on the order of one to two inches, in some of the hardest hit states. Computer model projections show the likelihood for particularly heavy rains in parts of Oklahoma.… Read More

A Forecast for the American West: Hot and Hotter

A Forecast for the American West: Hot and Hotter

Over the summer and on into the fall, images of flames, smoke plumes, firefighting teams and ruined homes have been on replay, and with good reason: As of Aug. 31, this year tied the record for total acreage burned by wildfires, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. More than 8.4 million acres have burned to date — an area larger than … Read More

Image of the Day: The Wildfires that Continue to Burn

Image of the Day: The Wildfires that Continue to Burn

A view of the numerous fires that continued to rage throughout the northwestern United States as of September 17, 2012 taken from NASA’s Aqua satellite. You can also monitor and obtain stats in on the blazes in real-time using Climate Central’s new interactive wildfires map. Wildfires such as these have been burning throughout the Western U.S. … Read More

Image of the Day: Drought Forces Cows to Moo-ve East

Image of the Day: Drought Forces Cows to Moo-ve East

Ranchers out West are being forced to move their cattle eastward in order to escape extreme drought conditions. Add to that, many ranchers are also dealing with wildfires making the urgency even greater to save their cattle. One Wyoming rancher moved his herd 330 miles east, a seven hour trip with 120 head of cattle to graze on a friend’s prairie … Read More

Image of the Day: Fires Will Likely Finish Off Forests

Image of the Day: Fires Will Likely Finish Off Forests

While the wildfires in New Mexico and Colorado continue to burn, there may not be good news when they finally subside. According to the New York Times Green Blog, research for the U.S. Geological Survey has shown that over the past 15 years, the forests that have been turned to ash by growing wildfires have not come back. Grasses and shrubs are … Read More

Energy and Climate Change in the Southwest: A Prologue

Energy and Climate Change in the Southwest: A Prologue

Last year was the hottest and driest on record in Texas. There were 90 days of 100-degree heat in Austin. The Texas drought of 2011 was the driest 12-month period on record, by a large margin. The state is just beginning to emerge from under the deep red blotch that consumed it on precipitation maps. 2011 was my first full year in Texas. But … Read More

New Mexico Wildfire Now a Record-Setting ‘Megafire’

New Mexico Wildfire Now a Record-Setting ‘Megafire’

As Climate Central reported on May 23, the 2012 fire season is likely to continue the trend of severe wildfire seasons in the Southwest, due largely to the prevalence of long-term drought conditions in the region. Long-burning, massive wildfires have become more common in the U.S. recent years. … Read More