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Drought Divide: Tropical Rains to Help Plains, Not SoCal

Drought Divide: Tropical Rains to Help Plains, Not SoCal

The remnants of two tropical systems — one from the Gulf of Mexico, the other just west of Baja California — are expected to serve as wells of moisture fueling rains this weekend over portions of the country’s two main drought hotspots, namely parts of the Southern Plains and Southern California. But while those rains could make dents in the Plains… Read More

Mountain Forest Changes Threaten Calif. Water Supplies

Mountain Forest Changes Threaten Calif. Water Supplies

Hike high enough up California’s Sierra Nevada and the forest morphs around you. At around 6,000 feet, the dazzling diversity of the lower montane forest, replete with California black oak, ponderosa pine, and incense cedars gives way to more monotonous landscapes of red fir and lodgepole pine. Hike further still and trees eventually disappear alto… Read More

Battle Wages for California’s Groundwater Rights

Battle Wages for California’s Groundwater Rights

Grapevines march across wires strung along rolling hills, their little trunks improbably supporting heavy black fruit. Cindy Steinbeck’s family has been farming this land since 1920. They grow Zinfandel, Viognier, Cabernet, Merlot, and Petite Syrah grapes but are best known in this area of Central California for a blend called The Crash, named afte… Read More

Climate Change Ups Odds of a Southwest Megadrought

Climate Change Ups Odds of a Southwest Megadrought

If you think the drought in California is bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet. New research indicates that climate change is giving a boost to the odds of long-term drought across the Southwest. The research, published Thursday in the Journal of Climate, puts the chances of a megadrought lasting 35 years or longer at up to 50 percent in the region. It… Read More

Picture This: Awesome Auroras and Triple Rainbows

Picture This: Awesome Auroras and Triple Rainbows

The skies were awash in color this week, it seems, with auroras dancing across the night skies in the north, a bright triple rainbow appearing in Alaska and the sunset-hued glow of rain over one of the nation's natural jewels, Yosemite National Park. We've rounded up these riotous displays here, along with a few more of our favorite weather and… Read More

See How This Summer’s Temperatures Stack Up

See How This Summer’s Temperatures Stack Up

Get ready to retire the white wardrobes, cover the grill and shutter the lake cottage. Labor Day Weekend marks the psychological – and meteorological – end of summer. While you're enjoying on last cold one this weekend or snapping photos on the beach, take a look at how the summer's average temperatures stacked up for a number of localities across … Read More

‘Urgency of Climate Change’ to Debut as Legal Defense

‘Urgency of Climate Change’ to Debut as Legal Defense

As protests go, Ken Ward’s and Jay O’Hara’s daylong blockade of a coal delivery was low-key. There were no kerfuffles involving authorities and nobody was arrested -- the men learned of criminal charges later by mail. But the duo’s trial, scheduled to begin Sept. 8 in a Massachusetts district court, is shaping up as a high-profile affair, featuring… Read More

Crowdsourced Photos Provide Drought Snapshots

Crowdsourced Photos Provide Drought Snapshots

On May 24, a roiling dust cloud enveloped a desolate stretch of road in Prowers County, a rural county in southeast Colorado. The county and surrounding area had been deeply mired in drought for more than 2 years and the photo bore proof of just what drought looked like to its residents. The short note accompanying the photo added more context: “Ph… Read More